LESLIE: Now we are heading over to Tennessee and Randall is dealing with some mold in the garage. Tell us what’s going on.
RANDALL: Yeah. There’s some black mold in a house that I’m renting, actually. I can do any work here, so there’s no problem. Apparently, there was a water heater that went out and so it’s up about – it goes from everywhere from about a foot up to about maybe 3 feet and around the back of the water heater and down the wall.
TOM: Alright. So your question is: what should you do about that? Correct?
RANDALL: Well, yeah, yeah. I wanted to know whether I can clean it or I need to rip out all of the drywall and just start over again.
TOM: Well, the general rule of thumb is that if it’s less than 10 square feet, you can do the removal yourself or you can clean it yourself. And the simple thing to do is to mix up a bleach-and-water solution and spray it down. Let the bleach sit for 15, 20 minutes on the wall and then clean that dead – what will now be dead mold off of the wall.
RANDALL: How would you clean that?
TOM: You could use that bleach-and-water solution and a bucket and a sponge and wipe it down. You just want to not – you want to be careful not to breathe any mold spores, so wear a dust mask and that sort of thing.
RANDALL: Is it just the dust mask or do I have to buy something more extensive, like one of those filter masks?
TOM: Well, here’s the thing, Randall. Some people are super-sensitive to mold and some people are not. And a lot of people can go ahead and clean that with virtually no protection and never have any ill effects and other people that can – will try to do that and be super-allergic and be generally miserable as a result of the experience.
So, the answer is: it depends. But if you go to the website for the Centers for Disease Control, they’ve got a great section on mold and how to get rid of it, there. And you will find some step-by-step advice, too, on how to clean it up.
RANDALL: OK. So some bleach solution, water. About half and half?
TOM: No. You only need about 10-percent bleach – 10- or 15-percent bleach is plenty.
RANDALL: Hey, I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.