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Killing Black (and White) Mold for Good

 

Everybody who owns a house cringes at the word "mold". Everybody who is looking to buy a house won't even consider a purchase if the word "mold" is mentioned. Why? because people don't understand how to get rid of it, and they hear horror stories from people who are "allergic" to mold. Horse-shit! Yes, mold, if inhaled, can cause serious respiratory problems. You'll (also) get serious respiratory problems if you inhale flour, talcum powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon powder, or any number of common household things.

If you suspect that that spot on the wall is mold, it will cost you more to find out (from an "expert") than it would to just assume it's mold and kill it. I trust contractors as far as I could spit up-wind in a Saigon monsoon....  just assume the worst and launch an all-out assault on the bugger and be done with it..

NOTE: it is common to confuse Efflorescence with mold. Maybe I did. However, after reading all of the online articles I could on the subject, not having a microscope, and not being a microbiologist, I still wasn't sure if what I was looking at was mold, or if it was, what kind of mold it was.... so if I was going to make a mistake, I was going to err on the side of caution; if it looks like mold, it could be mold, and if that's the case then it's alive, and I have to kill it by whatever means are at my disposal. I'm a Vietnam War Veteran, and I believe in the adage "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out".

That being said, the following illustrated dissertation is how I decided to handle the problem of what appeared to be mold in the basement.

 

WARNING ‒ DANGER: PROVIDE VERY GOOD VENTILATION.

THIS STUFF IS ENOUGH TO KNOCK A BUZZARD OFF A SHIT-WAGON

Use chlorine granules.... Breathing this stuff ‒ either the solution (dissolved in water) or the powder from the granules ‒ especially the powder ‒ will KILL you, or at the very least, make you wish you were dead.

This stuff produces an EXTREMELY TOXIC and EXPLOSIVE GAS. USE a dust mask moistened with grapefruit juice to avoid breathing mold spores, and kill the ones that land on the mask. ALWAYS have a spotter working with or observing you.

I don't play games with bugs; especially microscopic ones that I can't see that threaten to eat my house and kill me.

The first order of business was to scrape literally POUNDS of gooey stuff off the walls (where the orange arrow in the above photo shows). After all the loose stuff that was on the walls was swept up and disposed of (see photo below), I mixed up an especially strong bleach solution using 1/2 cup of Granular Pool Chlorine in 1 gallon of warm water. Allow the solution to sit in a strong plastic container (I use an empty Arizona Tea gallon jug) OUTSIDE THE HOUSE for a day or two (pressure may burst the container, so leave a bit of air ‒ about 3 inches from the top) to allow for expansion.

TURN OFF all pilot lights, water heaters, stoves, and electrical appliances. DO NOT flip any switches or use power tools of ANY sort (battery powered or AC powered). If possible, do this on a humid day to avoid creating electrostatic sparks.

When you open the container with the mixture, make sure you are up-wind. There may be pressure and a release of very strong chlorine gas. If you get a strong whiff of it, you may find yourself on a lung donor waiting list.

"I love the smell of Napalm in the morning...... smells like..... VICTORY!"

Well, this ain't exactly Napalm, but I guarantee whatever germ, microbe, pathogen, virus, or other living thing you douse with this stuff.... whatever it is, it will definitely NOT survive.

By the way: Two tablespoons of this stuff in a gallon of water makes BETTER Clorox for washing clothes than you buy in the stores at about 1/10th the price, and that's one less gallon of stuff to schlep back home from the store.

About 4 pounds of black mold spores killed by Chlorine bleach in the trash.

This photo shows about 4 pounds of dead (what I presumed to be) black mold spores (Stachybotrys) that I scraped off the workshop walls (see the photo of the workshop (above, with the orange arrow). DO NOT leave this stuff lying around, and dispose of it IMMEDIATELY. Avoid carrying an open or partially closed garbage bag of it through the house on the way to the trash bin, to avoid contaminating the house.

Whatever you do, DO NOT use a Shop-Vac to vacuum this stuff up (even if you believe it's dead). Mold, like any micro-bug, can develop resistance to "pesticides", like Gonorrhea developed resistance to Penicillin back in the 1960's. It will be your luck that the Shop-Vac (which doesn't have a HEPA filter) will exhaust a few billion Chlorine-resistant mold spores that "survived" all over your house.... then what are you gonna' use to kill it? A friggin' sledgehammer?

With the walls scraped clean of all the alleged mold growth, and after I turned off the (gas) water heater, I put my "killer" chlorine solution into a pump-up garden weed sprayer, and quickly but thoroughly wet down the cement blocks where the "mold" was, and eight feet either side of it, from the ceiling to the floor. I then went upstairs for a few hours, because human lungs that get damaged by chlorine gas DO NOT get "better". Just as I walked up the stairs, the explosive gas detector went nuts.

After a few days, the air in the basement was breathable again without an Aqua Lung, and I proceeded to round up all the half cans of spray paint that the previous owners left behind, and used them to completely drench the cinder block, sealing the chlorine crystals into the blocks (and stinking up the house again!). I let it dry for a few days and air out with the window open. As a coup de etat', I sprayed the paint job with mold spray that I bought at Lowe's. I'm putting up walls, so I could care less what it looks like behind the blue, mold-resistant sheetrock.

On the other side (caddy-corner) of the basement, moisture seeping in due to heavy rains this year and a broken gutter downspout, caused what appeared to be WHITE mold (Sclerotinia) to grow. Close-up it looks like very fine cotton fuzz. It cleaned up easily with a Swiffer sponge mop and the chlorine solution.

This is what you need to get rid of "mold" the way I did it. Do it right, and you'll never have to do it again

 

 

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Last modified: 05/29/15

 

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