Fix Moisture Problems to Eliminate Mold
LESLIE: Next up, we’re going to take a call from Cindi in Virginia who’s got a mold situation.
Cindi, what’s going on?
CINDI: Well actually, what we’ve got is I’ve got a house – I live in New Market, Virginia and we’ve got a house that we’ve done work to over the years and I guess started about 1991. And as it turned out, we had some skylights that leaked, so we had some water coming into the house. And then, last year when our air conditioner got clogged up, the line where the water drains out of the AC, it clogged up and we found out we had another problem where we had another leak.
So we’ve got some mold. We had some mold and we tried to take care of it ourselves with bleach. But we’ve got some concerns that there might be some mold that we haven’t addressed. So I’ve looked into mold remediation and I’ve had a couple people come by and everybody’s got a different story, so I really don’t know what to do. Some people say tear out a wall; another guy said he’d come in with some big dehumidifier and get the moisture out of the drywall.
TOM: How do you know you have mold? Where are you seeing it?
CINDI: Well, there’s actually two places where we did try and clean it. One was we have our water heater upstairs and it’s in this little area off of the bathroom.
CINDI: And it was black. There was actually black mold there. And then the other one, the way that the house is built, there’s two pieces; like there’s actually T1-11 and then another addition on the side of the house and our flashing must have been leaking. We fixed that. And there was a place going downstairs where there was black mold that was coming through the wallpaper.
TOM: OK, here’s what you need to do. A – you need to fix all the moisture problems. B – if it’s only a few feet, it is possible for you to do your own remediation. You don’t have to talk to a professional, which is going to cost you oodles of money. It can be done carefully. In fact, New York State has a great website that gives step-by-step instructions on how to remove your own mold and it’s actually linked off of MoneyPit.com.
CINDI: Oh, OK.
TOM: Alright? And I think if it’s under ten square feet, that’s sort of the line of demarcation where you can actually remove it yourself.
TOM: Just follow the instructions.
CINDI: Alright, that would be great.
CINDI: Hey, I do have one more question about air duct cleaning, too.
TOM: OK, while we’re at it; quickly.
CINDI: While we’re at it. Because some of these guys said they do air duct cleaning and they recommend it when you’ve got a situation where you think you’ve had mold in the house.
TOM: Yeah. You know what? They’re always going to hop on the old mold bandwagon and try to squeeze every dollar out of you that they can. And I think duct cleaning is a good thing if you’ve done a lot of construction in your house; got a lot of drywall dust and things like that. Otherwise, I don’t really think you need to do it very frequently; once every two or three years, maybe, if you have respiratory issues. But if anybody starts talking about, “Well, you have mold; therefore, we’ve got to do this and do that,” I just don’t think they know what they’re doing.
CINDI: Alright, great. Thanks a lot.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.