LESLIE: We’ve got Cynthia in New York who’s got a mold situation. Tell us about it.
CYNTHIA: Well, my bathroom ceiling and along the walls have mold and mildew and I never close the window but it’s there all the time and I don’t know what to do to take it away and keep it away.
TOM: You say you never close the window. So your window’s open all the time?
TOM: OK, do you have an exhaust fan in your bathroom?
CYNTHIA: No, I have a window that opens and closes …
CYNTHIA: … and it stays open.
TOM: Yeah. OK, well, I mean obviously you have high humidity in there. It’s not venting very well with just the window. If you could find a way to get an exhaust fan in there that would be great. I’m assuming that you can’t so let me give you some step-by-step instructions on what to do here.
First of all, to remove all of that mold and the mildew and it’s attacking the walls, you need to clean it with a bleach-and-water solution. I would mix up one-third bleach, two-thirds water. I’d put it in a spray bottle. I’d spray it. I’d let it sit and then wipe it down so that you can get rid of that.
The next step is to take those walls and to prime them and I would use an oil-based primer because that is going to seal in anything that’s there. We don’t know what the surface of the walls are. Right now you could have different soap deposits on it, which is very common in a bathroom and if you prime it with an oil-based primer that’s going to do the best job of neutralizing whatever’s on that wall at that point. And then the next step is to paint it and when you paint it you want to make sure you use a paint with mildicide. I’m talking about the color coat; the topcoat. I would use a flat or an eggshell and I would make sure that is has a mildicide and you may even want to buy additional mildicide and add it to it and that will give you a paint surface that’s going to stand up as best it can to the propensity for mold to form on it.
And even after you get this together with the lousy ventilation system that you have there you may seem some form but if you get it off there quick it’s not going to build up and that’ll do it.
CYNTHIA: Thank you very much. I think that’ll be quite the thing to do.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.