Mold Removal and Prevention
LESLIE: Scott in South Carolina has a mold question. Tell us what’s going on.
SCOTT: Well, we bought a house about six months ago and we got a pretty good deal on it because there had been some water problems in the basement. We fixed the water problems – we’re not getting anymore – but at the time, there was some mold on the baseboards.
SCOTT: We cleaned it up and now my wife – six months later, my wife is worried because we didn’t do all the treatment and all that stuff. And my question is: do I really need to get all the vents cleaned and have all that mold treatment done or is it just good enough to take care of the water?
TOM: I think if you cleaned up the surface mold there and you don’t see any growing back and you’ve dried it out, I would just go enjoy your basement, Scott. What kind of floor did you put down there?
SCOTT: Well, it’s got a cement floor and we put – what’s that?
TOM: (overlapping voices) OK. Just don’t put carpet.
SCOTT: Oh, don’t put carpet down?
TOM: Don’t put carpet. Did you do it already?
SCOTT: Yeah, I sure did. (chuckles)
TOM: No. That’s about the worst choice for a floor; especially one that’s had mold, because carpet is mold food. Never ever carpet your basement. Use a hard surface flooring like laminate or vinyl tile or – you can even use engineered hardwood floors. But never carpet your basement.
SCOTT: Ah, well, that’s good to know. A little late. (Leslie chuckles) I guess that’s why they call it the money pit, right?
TOM: (overlapping voices) A little late. A little late but …
LESLIE: Just make sure you keep everything nice and dry and properly dehumidify and if you get a leak down there, get that carpet up.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Keep it dry. Yeah. Yep.
SCOTT: OK. OK. Well, so you don’t think I need to go through all the expense of cleaning and all that stuff?
TOM: (overlapping voices) No, Scott. I don’t think so. I think you’re OK for right now.
SCOTT: As long as it doesn’t come back, right?
TOM: As long as it doesn’t come back. But when it does, there’s going to be plenty of mold food there with that carpet to feed it.
SCOTT: Well, we’ll put something else down next time, then. (chuckles)
TOM: Scott, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.