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Kay
mold

My problem is mold. My deceased aunt's home was unoccupied when the washing machine water hose sprung a leak. A large amount of water sprayed up onto the basement ceiling (bare wood)before it was discovered. Last month's water bill was $25 and this month's was $185.

My father died the day after the water problem was discovered so nothing was done right away aside from turning the water off to the washing machine. This caused a huge mold problem.

My cousin, a home remodeler, suggested a bleach solution, but I became aware of a greener way - tea tree oil. Does this work? Or should I go by the professional opinion and use the harsh stuff?

JLMCDANIEL
Re: mold

Personally I would go with the bleach solution and it's not that anti-green. Chlorine is routinely added to water supplies. The health department requires you to dump a couple of gallons of bleach in a well before a water test is done. Tastes like crap though for sveral weeks.
Jack

Debra
Re: mold

If you want to experiment with Tea Tree Oil do it. I haven't heard of it performing the duty you suggest. I do have that in my foot cream though, it smells wonderful.

Marjorie
Re: mold

Mold is sneaky. It makes lots of spores and spreads places you don't see... so be sure to really check around well (wearing a mask), and see if there 's any mold on or in the walls, too. And the floor above the sprayed area. If so, you might want to consider calling in the experts for an assessment and estimate. Then have it done.

jackthepug
Re: mold

I had the same problem in the basement, caused by a flood. I had mold growing on the bottom of all my floor joists. The house sat for two years after the flood, adding to the problem.

I had to hire a mold removal company because of the amount of damage (everything in the basement was a total loss) and they removed all debris, especially fabric, that was contaminated. So start by removing anything near the moldy area that you can part with. Then they pressure washed the entire basement and set up industrial de-humidifiers for several days/nights.

Next, they applied an anti-fungal (industrial strength) solution to kill the mold. You can purchase things over the counter. I don't know about tea tree oil but if you check the CDC and EPA websites, they have lots of info. Bleach kills some mold, detergent kills others.

Finally, they sprayed all the wood with Kilz which sealed the wood and will keep the mold from every reaching the surface and growing again. I have a damp basement that I don't intend to spend a small fortune to completely insulate, so it's a perfect area for mold growth. I use de-humidifiers for humidity control.

Once mold starts growing, it spreads really easily. Have a professional check your duct work, air vents, etc. A few spores can become a colony in a short time.

Remember to never let kids/pets near the moldy areas and to wear protective gear when you go near it. Masks are ok for some mold but you really need a respirator for certain types.

Also, have someone check out the washing machine. It is possible for mold to grow on metal and you'd never know it until months later, you got sick.

By the way, mold removal companies give free estimates so you can always have them down to pick their brains. Then you can do the work yourself.

Good luck!

keith3267
Re: mold

TOH has used a product called Boracare on several projects to control mold. It also controls many wood eating/boring insects. It is basically a mixture of Boric Acid, Borax and Ethylene Glycol (antifreeze). If you want to make your own, its 2 lbs of Boric Acid (roach poison), 3 lbs of Borax (laundry booster), and one gallon of antifreeze (cheapest you can find, don't need all the additives).

Heat the antifreeze (outdoors) and mix the borates until dissolved. Pour into a 3 gallon garden sprayer and add 2 gallons of water. Slosh around until mixed and spray on all wood or anything else molded.

Like bleach, it is harmful to get it into the environment, but not nearly as harmful as some of the other things that are used to combat mold. It makes wood more fire resistant. It is only temporary (about a year) when used on exterior wood as it is water soluble, but it lasts a long time on protected or interior wood.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: mold
keith3267 wrote:

TOH has used a product called Boracare on several projects to control mold. It also controls many wood eating/boring insects. It is basically a mixture of Boric Acid, Borax and Ethylene Glycol (antifreeze). If you want to make your own, its 2 lbs of Boric Acid (roach poison), 3 lbs of Borax (laundry booster), and one gallon of antifreeze (cheapest you can find, don't need all the additives).

Heat the antifreeze (outdoors) and mix the borates until dissolved. Pour into a 3 gallon garden sprayer and add 2 gallons of water. Slosh around until mixed and spray on all wood or anything else molded.

Like bleach, it is harmful to get it into the environment, but not nearly as harmful as some of the other things that are used to combat mold. It makes wood more fire resistant. It is only temporary (about a year) when used on exterior wood as it is water soluble, but it lasts a long time on protected or interior wood.

Very dangerous . A small amount of antifreeze can kill a dog or cat.
Jack

Re: mold

I am curious to know if you used the Tea Tree oil and if it worked? If you haven't yet, then here is a suggestion for you. Use some vinegar, the acid in it will help a bit. Then try the tea tree oil. By that point, you still may need to use the bleach, but you won't need to use as much as if you were to start with the bleach.
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search24sc
Re: mold

I would also like some more information regarding this.

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