Can I manage this mold myself?

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  #1  
Old 08-10-15, 12:06 AM
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Can I manage this mold myself?

You'll see our situation behind the furnace...

In theory, if there is not structural damage/rotting of the drywall, can this be treated with borax scrubbing and a finishing treatment?

And, to save the trouble of anyone anxious to respond with "call a specialist right now!", the response isn't necessary.

Thanks for any help based on experience and expertise! We appreciate it!

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  #2  
Old 08-10-15, 01:26 AM
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You need to use an actual mold treatment (there are several) but I'd suggest you cut all that old sheetrock out or you'll never know whats behind it, which could be a huge problem. Surface treatments on sheetrock may or may not be effective depending on what cause the problem in the first place.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 04:35 AM
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Ya, drywall is cheap to replace and it's better to be safe.

Do you know what caused the mold? Are there any foundation leaks? could be as simple as needing a dehumidifier in the basement.

almost forgot welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 08-10-15, 06:02 AM
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Any chance this is mildew? My wife seems to think this is mildew but has no basis for making that determination.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 06:36 AM
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A 50/50 mix of water and bleach will kill mold and mildew. Mix some up, put in a spray bottle, and go to town. Just be sure to put on a respirator, not just a dust mask. Eye protection and gloves is also a good idea.

It does look like mildew to me as well, but I am looking at a computer screen/ As others have mentioned, you need to find why it is growing. Mold an mildew do not grow if there is not a source of water. This can be anything from a water leak to just too much humidity in the basement.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 08:07 PM
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Great, thanks! So what do you look for to differentiate mold and mildew?

Also, do you spray and scrub or just spray?

The source is definitely humidity. I'll have to run the dehumidifier with a drain hose.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 08:25 PM
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Use T.S.P. or the borax like you intended to. I'd use a sponge and mix the detergent of your choice hot water. Use bleach if you want for your final rinse, but TSP or borax will clean the surface better because you need a detergent. Once it's cleaned, put a fan on it for a long time to dry it out before you prime and paint. Use a paint with mildewcide like Zinsser Perma-white.

Don't expect it to totally come clean (as mentioned, total replacement is best) because all fungi put down roots and stain the surface that it has been feeding on. Primarily you just want to clean the spores off the surface so that they do not become airborne and spread, which is why you need to wet it down and use the detergent.

FYI, there is not really much difference between mold and mildew.... they are both produced by a fungus, spread by spores, need moisture and a food source to survive. By definition, mildew is usually white. So no, it is probably not mildew... but a type of black mold which is also some type of fungus. Most often it occurs on a cold surface that gets condensation on it, such as during winter months.

Don't buy into all the hype about how dangerous mold is... yeah you want to get it cleaned up and yes you should probably wear a mask but you also should wear a mask inside the corn crib... about the same level of risk.
 
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Old 08-10-15, 10:27 PM
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Cool foundation walls and high humidity will concentrate the moisture near the walls and feed that mold. The moisture can also be passing through the foundation and be contributing to that high humidity. How those basement walls are constructed would tell us more about any contribution there. I've added a link on insulating basements which illustrates several of the bad combinations.

From what I understand you will never kill all of the mold on a porous surface. You can clean up what you see, but the roots are too deep for the treatments to kill. After cleaning the objective is to encapsulate what remains. And mold spores are everywhere anyways so the long term solution is to eliminate the conditions that fed the mold.

I also referred to it as mold, but I'm not a pro in that field.
Best,
Bud
Understanding Basements | Building Science Corporation
 
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Old 08-11-15, 05:02 AM
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Mildew can also be dark as commonly found on the exterior of houses in the south. If you use TSP - make sure you rinse it well!! TSP residue will cause adhesion issues with paint/primer applied over it.

While I don't have scientific proof, I've always considered mildew to be thin while mold is thicker and may penetrate the substrate deeper.
 
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Old 08-21-15, 10:13 PM
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Get yourself a dehumidifier. Put it on continuous, and place it near by. It might come with a build in humidity meter. You do that to prevent mold to grow back. Under 55% you are ok.
Then DO NOT CLEAN IT. Try to find a water infiltration meter and move it along the base. It will tell you if there is water stock there. After you control the humidity, your have to leave your humidifier there. You can set it to 50%.
Cut the sheat rock and get rid of it, outside the house. Find the source of water. Correct it.
 
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Old 08-24-15, 08:26 AM
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That wall has to be removed because thats more than surface mold.
 
  #12  
Old 09-03-15, 08:15 PM
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Similar situation question

Good luck with your project jhawker. I have a similar situation and saw some good advice on here and was hoping to get their take on it. My mildew/mold is on concrete though. I washed it with a 4/1 water/bleach combo and not a whole lot came off. It's caused by a very humid basement (75% humidity before we added a dehumidifier and got it to 50%).

I didn't know if scrubbing it off with a rough brush would potentially cause more issues with mold getting around the house. I do have all the tools and masks, but if it's a negligible benefit, I'd rather not. Thanks for any advice.

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  #13  
Old 09-04-15, 04:39 AM
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Ricky - I'd try a stronger bleach solution
 
  #14  
Old 09-04-15, 07:11 AM
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If you are measuring the humidity in the middle of the room, it will measure higher over next to those cold walls. Block walls also have the problem that the lower courses fill up with water (nasty water) that can remain there for a long time. If you have a sump pit you could consider drilling a few test holes to see if water drains out. Small holes are easily repaired.

Also, you need to be sure you have addressed all of the exterior issues, gutters draining well away from the house, slope of land next to the house, and other surface drainage problems.

Bud
 
 

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