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Mold, Mildew and Stains

June 14, 2012

Even in the cleanest of houses you have to deal with mold, mildew and stains. Sometimes we are aware that we have a leak or a flood or know that something is causing a stain. And then, sometimes, oh my – we find a sneaky, smelly mess and it overwhelms our senses. I’m here to help you. Don’t stress. It happens to the best of us.

Treating stains, mold and mildew is fairly simple. The most important thing though is to treat the problem. You need to find the source of the moisture and fix it before it becomes a major issue.

Funny as this might sound, leaving a light on in the seldom used damp-smelling closet is sometimes enough to solve the problem of mildew in that closet. It is enough light to stop more mildew from growing once you have cleaned it up. Or put in a moisture absorbing desiccant container. (I love Damp Rid)

When water gets on wood, plaster or drywall it takes some of the chemicals out and leaves behind a stain. That’s when we know there is a problem (unless we saw the drip or leak). Usually we see the mold or mildew stain as a brown or black spot and get spooked out. Sometimes the damage is enough that you will have to remove the spot and treat the area underneath but in cases where it is not, here are some steps to take.

  1. Use a mold removing product you get in the store or mix 3 parts water with 1 part laundry bleach. Use PROTECTIVE eyewear and gloves.
  2. Sponge the mixture on the wall – liberally. Allow 20 minutes and do it again even if the mold or mildew looks like it has disappeared.
  3. Now, rinse off the solution with clean water.
  4. Once the area is dry, clean it with TSP solution and apply a stain-blocking primer and paint.

Mold and mildew can be difficult to get rid of once it has gotten established in your home. If you find it’s coming back over and over I suggest you call a mold remediation company and ask for help.

Here’s to women cleaning up the mess,

Jo Ellen Soesbee, The ToolBox TomGirl

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