4 posts / 0 new
Last post
"Bleaching" mold/mildew

Hi again to all of you ... don't post much here but don't have alot of online time.
I fell victim (sp?) to recent flooding here in Wisconsin. I am very fortunate as there are many with more damage than we sustained. Anyway, we had to remove the saturated carpet in our finished basement. Now, our entire house reeks of that musty smell. I have heard Bleach will cure this. I went and bought a couple gallons of Bleach but, am unsure how to apply it or, how to dilute it. I am thinking of putting it in a "Hudson" type sprayer and spraying the entire floor. Can I leave this there to dry or should it be washed back up ? We thought about mopping the floor with Spic'n'Span after the bleach anyway.

Rich Kelly

Re: "Bleaching" mold/mildew

Disclaimer: I am NOT an expert, I just like the smell of bleach so I use it more than other people do.

The wisdom of using bleach largely depends on how much you can tolerate the smell. The first priority should be to dry out your basement as much as possible. This is slowly, but thoroughly, accomplished by running a dehumidifier. (I'm still waiting for my dehumidifier to be returned as a result of the same flood.) If you're going to throw things out because of water damage, you might as well do this while the dehumidifier is running.

I suppose you could apply the bleach full-strength to the smelly areas, but even I wouldn't do that. I'd start by mixing the bleach 20-to-1 with water and see how you like it. (As a point of reference, the military recommends adding 2 drops of bleach to a one-liter canteen of suspect water to disinfect it in about 24 hours.)

Wear old clothes during application, they may dissolve while applying the bleach. :rolleyes:

P.S. Applying bleach to walls with a window cleaner type sprayer works nicely, but it takes a while to cover all the wall space.

Re: "Bleaching" mold/mildew

I would dilute the bleach, 20 to 1 should work. Spray it on and let it set while you go to the local tool rental and get a power washer with soap pickup. Use an anti-fungal anti-microbial soap and power wash the walls and floor. I would also recommend replacement of your water heater is it was setting in flood water, the insulation is probably saturated. And a thorough wash down of your furnace and any other appliances that was flooded. And then of course the dehumidifier. If you don't have a floor drain you may want to purchase a wet/dry vac or rent a carpet cleaner ( just use it like a wet vac).

Re: "Bleaching" mold/mildew

Thanx for your replies ... I had fans running for like four or five days, I just turned them off yesterday.The smell is all but gone, can smell it weak down there but, nowhere like it was. Someone suggested washing good before bleacking? is this true? Get rid of the bulk of dirt, etc. first does kinda make more sense, ...
I don't know that I would need to go to the extreme of "Pressure washing" the walls tho, there is a drain system around the perimiter of the basement. the water wasn't half way to the top of that trim/cover.

Rich Kelly

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.