I was daydreaming about our newly purchased house and the dreaded black mold that was in the back wall of the house. If only I could wave my arms around and say “Abra Kadabra!” and the mold would magically disappear. Or…. if Eric would invent a new spray-on product that would magically make the black mold dots and masses go away. I even had a name for the non-existing product. We’d call it Mold Be-Gone!
But, as I said, I was daydreaming.
Eric and I’d done our research and we knew that bleach was NOT the answer to our mold remediation. We were also aware of the cautions that we, (um, I should say Eric) would have to take during the task. Thanks to our decorative painting business, we already owned a high-volume exhaust fan, respirator, goggles and neoprene gloves. And Eric would need to use all of those for protection, along with long sleeve shirts.
Black mold isn’t something to take lightly and we certainly weren’t going to risk our health when removing it. So I’ll repeat the importance of using protective eye wear and using a respirator.
I know…..you’re wondering what the “magic” potion was that we used. I’ll get to it….I promise.
Fortunately it was late spring when we took possession of the house and it was easy to open the front and back doors and use the high-volume fan to pull the air through and out of the house for increased ventilation. Then the task of removing all of the mold infected sheetrock, trim and soggy insulation could begin. It all had to be placed in large heavy duty trash bags and put into the giant dumpster that was now sitting in our driveway.
Tearing out the sheetrock was just the beginning of what else would be tossed, flung and pitched into the dumpster. The carpet on the stairs, which led to the lower level, had also been soaked from the rain that had poured into the house, thanks to the large hole that had been in the roof. That carpet had turned into a moldy mess and needed to be bagged up too. I wasn’t going to take any chances of mold spores hiding in the dense carpet fibers so I continued to remove all of the carpet from the entire house. The carpet in the entire house was mauve , think 1980’s. That alone probably helped me make that decision. lol
Sidenote: The easiest way to remove carpet is to first pull up all the edges that are held in place by the tack-strips. Then using a utility knife, cut the carpet into strips. I cut them into about 3-foot wide strips. Once cut, roll that strip up. Bind the small rolls using either cheap, sticky masking tape or twine, so it won’t come unrolled. The small rolls are much easier for one person to handle to get it all removed from the house. Depending on where you live, I’ve found that trash-service will often haul off the small rolls of carpet for you when they won’t touch a large roll.
Back to the mold remediation…………..We had done lots of research on how to kill the black mold that was growing on the wood studs and the backside of the siding. You’ve probably heard that if you have mold somewhere, like a bathroom, then you should use bleach on it. However, bleach will NOT penetrate anything porous, like wood or sheetrock. It works fine on solid surfaces like tile, glass and countertops. But it certainly wasn’t going to actually kill the root of the mold growing in the wood of our house.
So what did we use? I’m glad you asked! lol Hydrogen-peroxide was the best solution for our situation. Eric purchased a 2-gallon weed sprayer and poured bottles of hydrogen-peroxide in it.
I know you’re thinking…..why a 2 gallon sprayer? Why not use a hand-held spray bottle?
Here’s how it works…….Pour hydrogen-peroxide into the sprayer and pump it up. Then spray a generous amount of hydrogen-peroxide onto the mold growing surfaces. When it hits the live mold, it will foam for several minutes. Eric would thoroughly spray the area and then go do something else for awhile and let the hydrogen-peroxide do it’s work. He repeated that process several times until the hydrogen-peroxide no longer foamed.at.all. If you’re going to spray that much with a hand-held bottle……well……you probably wouldn’t be able to feed yourself that night. I’m kidding…….maybe.
We were sure that the black mold spores were no longer alive when the hydrogen-peroxide didn’t foam after being applied to the damaged area. However, I wasn’t willing to risk any chance of it returning. I had to wait until the wood was thoroughly dry (I gave it a couple of days) and then I applied a heavy coat of Bin to all of the discolored boards in that entire area. Bin is a white shellac-base primer-sealer that is excellent at permanently blocking and sealing stains and odors.
Zinsser, the manufacturer of Bin is not paying me . I believe in this product and use it all.the.time! I do have affiliate links below through Amazon for the products we used if you’re interested.
Whew! That was a lot of work! Finally Eric and I were ready to tackle another project that was on the list.
PS. I know you’re wondering where all the pictures of the project are. We were both so busy actually working on this (and many other things) that pictures of the process didn’t even occur to either of us. Sorry. You will find that I’m very consistent at this…..not taking enough pictures. Please forgive me.
PPS. Here are my affiliate links to some of the products we used. If you choose to buy one of these I may receive a small commission to keep my blog up and running. Thanks!