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The Haunted House had a decent amount of mold in the sheet rock, as you can see. We cut out two foot tall sections of the entire infested walls. I have read a lot of conflicting information out there, but would like to document my process and will see if it ends up working in the end.
First some basic facts on mold. Almost every house has mold in it. It’s just when the humidity gets above 60% for extending periods of time or there is some source of constant water, does the mold proliferate profusely. The key to controlling mold is controlling the humidity/water. This may be obvious, but I wanted to throw it out there. This is also why it is very important to let your tenants know the importance of telling you if there is a water leak, whether from a pipe, drain, or the roof, immediately so your little problem doesn’t become a big one!
Also, not all black mold is the really bad kind. In fact, the chances are in your favor that you don’t have the bad kind. I have read conflicting information on whether bleach kills mold. After reading about it, I am still unsure of its effectiveness, although I did use it to deal with the mold this time.
Basically what we did first was remove all the mold-covered sheet rock. Before that I sprayed down the sheet rock with 100% bleach I put in a spray bottle (didn’t dilute it as recommended!). We found out the mold was on the studs as well, so I did my best to clean it up. I basically went to town on spraying everything and wiping up all the visible mold with paper towels. I also got a “mold control” spray from Lowe’s and drenched all suspected areas with that solution as well. After multiple rounds of spraying both solutions on all the suspected areas, we used a paint sprayer and sprayed oil-based kilz to seal in the mold in the studs.
I’m sure this is not the “correct” or recommended method by far. I just wanted to document my findings and actions, and will update this post, perhaps years later, if the mold returns or doesn’t. As I said before, the key is moisture control. I am actually going to get a dehumidifier as well to make sure everything is nice and dry. We need to do some landscaping outside, also, to prevent water from coming into the house from runoff from a nearby hill.
If any of you have experience with mold and have either removed it successfully or unsuccessfully, feel free to share your experience for everyone’s benefit!