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Photo by Saveur
Saveur is asking: (3 answers)
OT, I discovered black mold in the closet, help!---->

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Last updated: Jan. 15, 2013 9:21 pm
Posted: Jan. 15, 2013 1:12 pm
Answered by: Saveur
Jan. 15, 2013 1:15 pm
Oh, wow! Cleaning out one of my clothes closets this afternoon, I had a large cardboard moving box in there with old purses, etc. When I moved it out of the way there is black mold on the walls it was touching, perfectly alligned with the box shape. So bleach is the next step I guess? Do you think I should paint it after belaching to seal? And my clothes will probably reek like bleach if I put them back in (and there are a TON of them)...oh, man, I need a DRINK!
Jan. 15, 2013 1:18 pm
:( oh no! Thats the worst. i would say yes, take everything out and bleach the whole closet in case any spores have traveled. I've had this happen before and I dilute the bleach with water in a spray bottle, then spray on the area, let sit for 3 or 4 minutes then scrub/wipe. let it air out for a day or two then replace clothes with dryer sheets tucked in between here and there. So sorry!
Jan. 15, 2013 1:20 pm
Try TSP,it comes in a powder and you mix it with water,you can get it at a hard ware store,and follow directions.Hope this helps.Don't know about painting,they would tell you at the store.
Jan. 15, 2013 1:27 pm
Thankts ladies! I found some Clorox wipes in the basement that are pretty decent smelling (instead of just bleach, orange & bleach!). I just wiped it down and it came off easily, like powder. Geeze, I should probably be wearing a mask ;(
Jan. 15, 2013 1:28 pm
Are you absolutely sure it's mold? Is there any chance it could just be dust collected over the years or....when we moved into our new(old) house, EVERYTHING was covered in black soot. We suppose it's from the firepit, which is a bit close to the house & right outside our bedroom windows. We're talking black as black can be in some areas, especially corners & closet walls. The windows. Ugh. We didn't even notice it when we first looked at the house but the lady who lived here before was a total pack rat too. Clutter from floor to ceiling & everywhere in between. Just a thought.
Jan. 15, 2013 1:31 pm
Unfortunately not, Lisa. We painted every room in the house, including closets, before we moved in. I know that sounds all too familiar to you! It's definitely mold. The corner has an additional problem, it's two walls that form the corner of the house.
Jan. 15, 2013 1:34 pm
Don't know if you want to watch this but it's informative.
Jan. 15, 2013 1:35 pm
Uh, oh....better have that drink before I watch it, bd? Maybe I'll save that for tomorrow ;)
Jan. 15, 2013 2:12 pm
We had to deal with mold at the cottage after a minor flood. One of the guys that helped said bleach isn't the best way to deal with mold because it will block the smell and if you've missed some you won't know it. One of the best ways to detect mold (and to make sure it's gone) is by smelling it. Good old soap and water was all he used and it's fine now.
Jan. 15, 2013 2:26 pm
Good to know, Casper, thank you!
Jan. 15, 2013 4:03 pm
Shoot. I tried :( Be very careful!!
Answered by: wong
Jan. 15, 2013 1:32 pm
I had that problem. You have to much humidity we had to buy a dehumidifier. It took care of the problem. Hope this helps you
Jan. 15, 2013 1:33 pm
Thanks, wong. That box sat in there for 6 years through hot humid summers and cold dry northern winters. My BAD!
Jan. 15, 2013 1:37 pm
Definitely you should be wearing a mask.Don't want any of those spores in your lungs.
Jan. 15, 2013 1:40 pm
Saveur have that drink! Bleach is effective to a point. I won't work well on porous material such as dry wall.
Jan. 15, 2013 1:41 pm
pure vinegar will kill the mold as well, we had a mold specialist come in and test the house we bought because there was ventilation issues in conjunction with the mold and that is what they recommended, then we painted with fungicidal paint, it is an airflow issue, with the closet door closed no air moves and the cardboard box is an organic item the mold thrives on.
Jan. 15, 2013 1:42 pm
If you find you need something more this worked great for my parents. They had a larger area than you and I'd also mention I have a bottle and it doesn't seem to have any odor :) ...
Jan. 15, 2013 1:47 pm
Great info, everyone! Thank you so much for all of the good info. I knew you would calm me down! Now if I could just stop kicking myself for being such a closet hoarder....
Jan. 15, 2013 2:10 pm
Sorry, Saveur! An insurance adjustor once told me mold needs two things: moisture and a food source. Eliminate one or the other, and the mold dies. Perhaps an inspection of the outside of the house is in order to see it there are obvious signs of moisture--hose hydrant, inoperative downspout, roof leak, even overgrown landscaping.
Jan. 15, 2013 2:26 pm
Thanks, Bibi! I'm sure you are right about the house, we have serious water "whamies" with this one, it's almost 90 years old, it's stone, and it has a 90 year old tile roof. It is charming, though!!!
Mike Harvey, daPITA
Jan. 15, 2013 4:40 pm
Once you have the surface cleaned you can apply a primer such as Kilz which is a sealer. It is alcohol based so it dries quickly and gives you a hangover without having to drink. ... Mold requires two conditions for it's home. No circulation and moisture. I would suggest that you rearrange closet items frquently and leave that closet open as much as possible. Perhaps install a vent in the door itself?
Jan. 15, 2013 8:43 pm
Sorry I am late to the party but we have a house by the ocean in S. Oregon so we have tons of moisture. We have lived here for 12 years now and when we moved in the basement smelled moldy, It is underground. We purchased a dehumidifier and have used one continuously. If you have a problem with that part of the house I would encourage you to buy one. We empty it about every 2 days and take out about 2 gallons of water. The moldy smell has gone and a bonus is that that part of the house stays constantly at 70 degrees. It is so comfortable down there. Agree with others that you need to clean the area in the closet, but I think if you have a problem in that area of your house a dehumidifier would definitely help. Good luck.
Jan. 15, 2013 9:04 pm
i ran into the same problem when i took over my parents' house. there was black mold behind most of the furniture in the bedrooms. i bought something at home depot (sorry i forget what it's called, but they're very helpful if you ask) i sprayed it on, left it on for a bit then wiped it off. i did repaint the rooms and never had any probs since!
Jan. 15, 2013 9:21 pm
my parents put filters over their heat vent in the bedrooms so the air was kind of stagnant, but there was tons of it (black mold) in the basement, ugh.we ended up demolishing the basemnt, tearing it down to the cinder blocks! my mother liked lots of humidity in the air so the humidifier was ON! all the time. i remember walking thru the front door and it would hit me like a cloud!
Answered by: Susan
Jan. 15, 2013 9:17 pm
My guess is you may have a water leak somewhere. It could be the smallest leak that over years is dripping so slowly. I know someone who had to rebuild an entire bathroom after finding they had a leak in the wall for years. After workers took out wall they could tell how long it had taken to show up and then insurance paid for repairs because it was water leak.
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