LESLIE: Ron in South Carolina, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
RON: I have a bathroom that the previous owners had painted a number of times and you can see where it’s been painted on the ceiling with multiple coats.
TOM: (overlapping voices) OK.
RON: Now, there are little black dots of mold there. Is there a way that I can get rid of that somehow, without first tearing everything apart or …?
TOM: Well, you probably can stop bathing. That would do it. (Leslie and Ron chuckle) You know, what’s happening here is you have a humidity issue and we’ve got to deal with the underlying problem, which is that you’re not pulling the hot, moist air out of the bathroom – small bathroom space – when you take showers.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) The moisture out of the air.
TOM: So, tell me about the ventilation system. Do you have a fan there at all or …?
RON: Yes. The shower is a single-stall shower and the fan is about a foot-and-a-half away from the shower.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Right. Well, I suspect the fan is not strong enough or it’s not vented properly or something is going on there. You want to make sure that you have your vent fans, in a situation like this, on a timer so that they run for a good 10 or 20 minutes after you’re done with the bathing process, because that really pulls all of that wet air out of it.
In terms of dealing with what you’ve got right now, you’re going to have to use a mildicide. You can use a product like JOMAX, which is actually a siding wash. But mix up a small amount of that; use it to treat these mold spots and scrub it and clean it really, really well. That will help the situation.
And then you should prime it. I would use an oil-based primer like Kilz or Bin and then you could use a top sealing coat. And make sure that you use something that’s got a mildicide in it.
RON: Alright. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.