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mold behind baseboard, wallboard intact

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  #1  
Old 02-11-05, 12:35 PM
Whitey
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mold behind baseboard, wallboard intact

Our shower had a slow leak that swelled our MDF baseboard. Shower leak has been fixed by contractor who originally did tile work. I recently removed the swollen mdf baseboard and to no surprise, found mold on the outer layer of the wallboard. There's not enough damage to replace the 6-8 inches of wallboard, but, there is definitely mold on the outer layer. The leak was fixed several months ago so there is no moisture in the wallboard. Is there any kind of sealant that I might cover this with? Or would a spray or two of bleach and a couple days to dry solve my problem before I replace the baseboard?
 
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  #2  
Old 02-11-05, 12:53 PM
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I would recommend cleaning the area with TSP (a powdered detergent similar to Tide, that comes in a pint sized box). Once you've cleaned it, you might paint it with 2 coats of kilz (a white stain blocking primer).
 
  #3  
Old 02-11-05, 12:58 PM
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I prefer to spray the area with bleach 25% in water to kill the mildew. Then seal it with a stain sealing primer, such as kilz or zinsser 123, before painting.
 
  #4  
Old 02-11-05, 01:23 PM
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It's a common misunderstanding that bleach kills mold. I took an 8 hour course on mold abatement in Chicago several years ago, and this was one of the topics they discussed. I think people use bleach because they imagine it will clean the surface well.

Many websites discourage the use of bleach.

http://www.certifiedmoldstrategies.com/nobleach.htm

http://www.moldacrossamerica.org/notobleach.htm

http://www.2getdry.com/mold_info.htm

Borax laundry detergent or TSP is what the seminar recommended using. This last link recommends this sort of treatment. http://www.moldinspector.com/mold_removal.htm

I don't mean to contradict my friend, just passing along what I know.
 

Last edited by XSleeper; 02-11-05 at 01:26 PM. Reason: HTML off, shut parse links off.
  #5  
Old 02-11-05, 05:09 PM
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I don't usually take strident issue with marginal proposals and junk science, but I will on the issue of disparaging the efficacy of sodium hypochlorite to kill organisms.

The websites to which the references are made are absolute bunk. The first three are simply copies of each other. Any notion that sodium hypochlorite won't kill mold and mildew goes beyond the pale. Sodium hypochlorite will kill bacteria and viruses, and practically anything else. It is an accepted medical practice and proven methodology to use sodium hypochlorite to kill bacteria and viruses on clean surfaces.

What bleach won't do is to clean the physical mold bodies and the "roots" from the porous surface. The TSP and borax are used for that purpose, and work as would any other surfactant and detergent. When the mold has grown into the porous surface, the structures must be removed in order to be eliminated. Killing the mold will kill the mold, but not remove the structures. These web sites say as much that the structures must be removed and the the porous materials discarded to eliminate them. After washing the materials with TSP, borax, or any other similar product, the mildew and mold can be killed with sodium hypochlorite.

As with many other processes and procedures, the essential steps to completion must be followed. Killing the mildew and sealing it in and keeping it from having moisture essential to its survival and spread are all parts of the whole of treating the problem. If you were dealing with a hard surface, using a detergent such as Tide added to the bleach and water would carry away the surface adherents, completing the process of cleaning and disinfecting.

Hope this helps.
 
  #6  
Old 02-11-05, 08:05 PM
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An excellent reply as always, Chris. I stand corrected. (actually, i'm sitting.) Apparently, the EPA calls bleach a biocide, and it will indeed kill mold. Killing the mold and scrubbing away the dead mold are 2 seperate steps, and I guess I may have remembered something incorrectly from my seminar. Their point was that "killing" or disinfecting the area is pointless when there are mold spores in every micron of air. You could kill the mold and if the conditions are still right for mold growth, it will be back, regardless of whether you used bleach or not.

Interestingly, the EPA faq on mold, at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/molds/images/moldguide.pdf states regarding the use of bleach, "not recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup." Why? evidentally because it is pointless. Mold will continue to grow in that location unless something physically changes- either the food source for the mold, or the humidity level which encourages its growth.

Anyway, I stand corrected. Bleach will indeed kill mold.

But a simple solution of bleach and water, which you first mentioned, is certainly not a cure all. Your second post made this point clear. Bravo!
 

Last edited by XSleeper; 02-11-05 at 08:07 PM. Reason: HTML off, shut parse links off.
  #7  
Old 10-31-07, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by chfite View Post
What bleach won't do is to clean the physical mold bodies and the "roots" from the porous surface. The TSP and borax are used for that purpose, and work as would any other surfactant and detergent. When the mold has grown into the porous surface, the structures must be removed in order to be eliminated. Killing the mold will kill the mold, but not remove the structures. These web sites say as much that the structures must be removed and the the porous materials discarded to eliminate them. After washing the materials with TSP, borax, or any other similar product, the mildew and mold can be killed with sodium hypochlorite.
Does that mean that the "structures" can remain in place? The structures in my case are the basement ceiling which is the sub-floor above.
 
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