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Clean Your Air Conditioner to Prevent Mold

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Mark in New Jersey, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you?

    MARK: Well, I’ve got mold in – it’s actually a dining room – on the ceiling in three different spots. Ah, not too big. About a handprint size worth. And on the exterior paint of the same room.

    TOM: OK. Are you sure it’s mold?

    MARK: Yeah, I did the little check and I got the result back. It’s like you mail it in and it comes back.

    TOM: OK.

    MARK: It’s a black mold. It’s a very common one. But still, I want to be able to basically get rid of it.

    TOM: What’d they tell you it was? Did they tell you it was cladosporium?

    MARK: Yeah, that’s the one.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: Yeah. Very, very common. It’s the kind of mold that you clean off your shower and that sort of thing. Most people are fine with it unless you happen to be like super mold sensitive.

    So what you’re going to want to do here is wipe it all down with a bleach and water solution and then you’re going to want to prime those surfaces. I would use a good quality primer like a KILZ or a …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And would you want to prime the whole ceiling rather than just those spots?

    TOM: Yeah, you know what’s going to happen if you just prime the spots and then you try to paint over it? You’ll actually get a slightly different sheen from the paint.

    MARK: Right.

    TOM: So it’ll look kind of different, you know, when you – you’ll see it. You’ll still see the spot through because the paint will absorb differently in those areas. So I would prime the whole ceiling and then after that you can go ahead and put your topcoat on. You’ll be good to go.

    MARK: So it’s basically just growing on the paint? Both on the inside of the house and the outside? It’s nothing I have to …

    TOM: Yes, yes. It’s probably landing on there. It’s landing on there like a seed in a garden and then it sprouts and those mold spores go out and they attach to the wall and that’s what’s going on.

    LESLIE: Now for the outside of the house, Mark, if you find that it’s the north side of your house or just tends to be a shady area, if there’s anyway that you can open up any of the landscapings that more light does hit that area where you see the mold growth, it will – the sunlight helps to hinder that growth. It sort of acts like the natural bleach. So do clean it with bleach and water first and then try to open it up to get some more natural light on there to help do it’s job.

    MARK: OK, I have an air conditioner in the wall in that same in that same room. I wonder if that’s relating to the …

    TOM: Oh, you know what? If you do you want to look at the – you want to make sure you clean the air conditioner. Very often you get cladosporium that will actually land and grow inside the air conditioning vents. So and if that’s the case, then guess what’s spraying mold spores onto your wall? (Leslie chuckles)

    MARK: Right.

    TOM: So you want to make sure that that’s cleaned really well.

    MARK: That’s great. Thank you very much.

    TOM: Mark, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.

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