Clean and Prevent Mold in a Bathroom
LESLIE: Dale in Mississippi, you’re on with The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
DALE: Hi. I have a summer home that had a leaking toilet on the second floor and – or a leaking pipe. And it leaked into the ceiling of the bathroom below. Had the plumbers come in and fix all that. But it left a lot of mold and all. And turned out it was particleboard; the ceiling of the lower bathroom …
DALE: … and it had mold and all. And at night, went in with my hazmat outfit on –
TOM: (chuckling) OK.
DALE: – mask and hair cover and gloves and everything else – and I just sort of spritzed diluted bleach in there to kill off all the stuff and I gradually pulled out the rest of the particleboard that the plumbers didn’t pull out. But it still has left out – left some bands of black-looking stuff on some of the studs and all up in there. And I’m just wondering to what extent I should go and clean all the rest of that stuff up before I put a new ceiling in there and paint it over. It is a very damp area in the summer. It’s right near the ocean.
TOM: Well, if you’ve actually removed all of the old wet, damp, rotted particleboard and now you’re just looking at the black stains that are left behind from the – from the moisture damage, what I would suggest you do is take a bleach solution and with safety glasses – because you are working above your head – you want to probably use about one-third bleach, two-thirds water and just spray that area down. And let it dry and then you’ll – you’re going to be fine. And then you can go ahead and put the ceiling back up or put a drywall ceiling back up.
By the way, you mentioned this is a – is this a bathroom below as well?
DALE: Yeah, the bathroom below is the one where it was up in the ceiling.
TOM: OK. Now, do you have a fan in that ceiling to help dehumidify that bathroom?
DALE: No, actually it’s just a half – it’s just a toilet and a sink, actually; it’s not a full bath. (INAUDIBLE)
TOM: Oh, OK. Because you said it was moist and I was going to say this is the time to do it; with the ceiling torn open like that, this is the time to put an exhaust fan in.
DALE: That’s true.
LESLIE: Heck, even with just a toilet, an exhaust fan isn’t that bad of an idea. (chuckling)
TOM: Yeah exactly. Yeah, be polite. (laughter) Put an exhaust fan in.
LESLIE: Hey, run that fan.
DALE: (laughing) Right.
TOM: Dale, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.