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how to remove fungus from wooden floors

2. September 2019

Because wood is a porous material, it is possible for wood floors to be affected by mold growth.  Wood panels on the flooring can absorb moisture and mold can form on the surface and within the mold.  If the mold problem is extensive, it is best to call a mold remediation professional.  If the mold only covers a small area of the floor, you can attempt to remove it with the following tips:

  • Safety equipment: You can never be too careful when dealing with mold as it is a danger to your health. Make sure you get the proper safety equipment before you begin including gloves, safety goggles, breathing mask, and protective clothing and shoes.
  • Cleaning solutions: Make a cleaning solution that is a mixture of vinegar, water, and soap. It is often recommended to use a water/ bleach solution, but bleach is not as effective for removing mold.  Vinegar can penetrate affected surfaces to remove deeper mold growth and it is much safer than bleach.
  • Cleaning surface mold: Put the vinegar cleaning solution in a spray bottle, spray the affected areas and let the solution sit for about ten minutes. Use an old rag to wipe away the solution and then throw away the rag.  If the mold stains are stubborn, you can use a scrub brush to brush it off.  Just be careful not to affect the finish or scratch the wood.
  • Cleaning deep mold: If the wood panels are damp or soft to the touch, then it is likely that mold has penetrated the surface and is under the floorboards. You first need to dry out the room as much as possible by running a fan for 3-5 hours.  After the floor is dried, use 100-grit sandpaper to remove surface mold and 200-grit sandpaper to get the mold deeper into the wood.  Sand away the mold using circular motions.  After sanding away the mold, use 200 or 250-grit sandpaper to smooth out the area.  Then, apply the cleaning solution to the surface and let it sit for ten minutes before wiping it away.
  • Cutting our wood flooring: If the mold has penetrated the wood panels and made it to the baseboards, the affected flooring will have to be removed. Use a utility knife to remove the affected flooring and immediately put all removed materials into a garbage bag.  You will need to install and finish new flooring to replace what you removed.

If you are unsuccessful removing the mold from your wood floor yourself or do not think you can handle these steps, call a mold remediation professional immediately.

ROOF LEAKED CAN IT CAUSE MOLD AND HOW QUITE

2. September 2019

The short answer is yes, a leak in your roof can lead to mold growth.  This is because when a roof leaks, the water generally enters an attic space and creates the perfect conditions for mold growth.  Mold spores are a consistent presence in the air everywhere, including within your home.  The spores will form into mold colonies when it finds a dark, damp environment, such as an attic space after a roof leak.  The mold will form on the surrounding wood and insulation because these materials contain cellulose, a favorite food source for mold.  As the mold colonies feed on these surfaces, they will gradually become weakened which can lead to severe structural damage.

Now the extent of the mold growth caused by a roof leak will depend on the situation.  It will depend on the size of the leak, how much water has leaked in, and how quickly you react to the leak.  The bigger the leak the more likely mold growth will occur, and it will cover a bigger area if there is a large leak.  If you react quickly to have the leak fixed, you may be able to avoid the appearance of mold growth.  If mold growth has already begun, addressing it immediately will prevent the problem from getting worse.

Your best option is to call a water and mold remediation professional to inspect the problem.  These professionals will find and stop the source of the leak and remove the water and moisture with advanced water extraction equipment.  They are also trained to safely remove mold growth if there is mold near the leak.

In our church we have a wall in which the drywall has developed bubbles and is slowly getting soft from moisture from outside wall. It is not in one small area but there wall. Can you recommend a what to do? what type of contractor would be able to handle this type of repair? thank you.

2. September 2019

The best type of contractor to handle this job is a water damage restoration professional.  If there is an entire wall of moist, bubbled up drywall, you need to act quickly.

When water seeps in from an outside wall, which is what is happening in your scenario, the water will get absorbed by the drywall and the wood frames because these are porous materials.  The water will then spread through these materials and affect a larger area which is how it spread out across the entire wall in your church.  When drywall absorbs water, it will first become stained and discolored, then begin to bubble, and eventually become weakened to the point that its structural integrity will be compromised.  This is why you need to address the damage to this wall right away.  If it absorbs more water, it will become weakened and eventually start crumbling.  The risk of mold growth behind the wall also increases until the problem is addressed.

To remedy this situation, you need a contractor that can provide effective water extraction and replace the drywall.  A water damage restoration professional is trained to handle both.  They will start by identifying and addressing the source of the water from the outside wall so that it will stop coming inside.  They will then use advanced water extraction and dehumidification equipment to extract the moisture and dry the affected areas.  Once the water issue is dealt with, they will assess the condition of the drywall and remove it if it cannot be saved.

I recommend contacting a reputable water damage restoration professional in your area immediately.

What to do when tearing out molded drywall

from William White 2. September 2019

Unless the mold growth is confined to a small area, it is best to have a mold remediation professional remove moldy drywall.  If you are going to remove moldy drywall yourself, even if the mold growth covers a very small area, you need to strictly follow the proper safety tips for your protection and the protection of your property.

These are the tips you should follow when removing moldy drywall:

  • Test the mold: This step is important so you can determine what type of mold you are dealing with. You can hire a professional to test the mold or buy test kits to do it yourself.  If the mold is black mold, then it is best to have a professional handle it.
  • Use protective gear: Mold is dangerous for your health which is why you need to wear protective gear. This includes a P100 mask, rubber gloves, goggles, and a body suit.
  • Seal the affected area: Mold is likely to spread at any time and if you disturb it while removing the moldy drywall, you will cause it to disperse its spores. Make sure the area is sealed off with plastic tarp to prevent the mold spores from spreading to new areas.
  • Vent the room: You can vent the room by using a fan that vents air directly to the outside. You should also vacuum the affected surfaces with a HEPA filter vacuum to reduce the amount of airborne spores.
  • Clear the room: Remove anything you can from the room including furniture, rugs, and other objects. Furniture that is too big to move should be covered in plastic.
  • Cut out drywall: Make sure you identify the affected area of drywall and remove a bigger chunk than what is affected by the mold. After removing the drywall, check the insulation and studs to make sure they are not also affected by the mold.
  • Removing the drywall: The drywall and other materials you remove must be immediately put into plastic trash bags. The bags must be sealed before you remove them from the affected area and your home.
  • Replace the drywall: After all the moldy drywall has been removed, apply two new coats of drywall and sand after applying each coat. Then apply a light coat of mud on the surface and sand it so it can be painted.

This is a very involved process, even if you are only removing a 2ft x 2ft square of drywall.  You should call a professional if the mold covers too large of an area, if there is mold on the insulation and studs behind the drywall, or if you do not have the skills to remove and replace drywall.

Can I re-use the water from my dehumidifier in my musty basement to water my flower gardens without giving them mildew?

2. September 2019

The answer to this question is not so cut and dry.  Experts in the HVAC industry do not recommend that you reuse water from your dehumidifier to water your plants.  However, it will likely be OK for established, non-edible plants like the flowers in your garden.

The thing to remember with water from your dehumidifier is that it is considered gray water.  Water is categorized as clean water, gray water, or black water depending on how clean or contaminated it is.  The reason water from the dehumidifier is considered gray water is because it may contain microorganisms from the mildew in the air of your basement as well as metals like copper and aluminum and other airborne debris.  These materials can build up in the bucket that collects the water and continue to contaminate the water collected.

Because of this, you and your pets should not consume the water and you should not water edible plants with it.  However, the contaminants in dehumidifier water aren’t much worse than what some outside plants have to endure.  There are a couple things you should remember if you use water from the dehumidifier to water your flowers.  First, keep the bucket in your dehumidifier as clean as possible to reduce the buildup of metals and microorganisms.  And second, test the pH level of the water before you use it on your flowers.  If the pH is above 7, it may be bad for your plants.

So to summarize, you should be safe watering your flowers with water from your dehumidifier as long as the flowers are well established, you keep the bucket clean, and you test the pH level to make sure it is not too high.

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