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Is there mold below the surface?

Dear George,

I’ve got a question, and I just can’t seem to say it without too many words.

I just found what the apartment maintenance manager called “black mold”. He says that he is going to spray Clorox on the 6-inch-wide spot and is going to seal it. Will that work?



Dear Wordy,

Have you ever seen a blue cheese? Have you noticed how the threads of blue run through the cheese, not just along its surface? That is because mold does not grow only on the surface. The wallboard upon which the mold is growing is ‘food’ and it is likely that what mold you see is only a percentage of what is actually there. Your maintenance manager’s bleach solution would work if the mold is actually only superficial, but the odds are against mold being superficial.

Mold is a symptom of an underlying issue–somewhere you have a water leak or excess humidity which allowed the mold to take root. So–

1) make sure that you find and eliminate the water leak;
2) dry up your humidity issues;
3) replace, paint and seal the new wallboard.

If you do not eliminate the water or humidity situation, it is probable that the mold will just grow back.

It is a good idea to have a mold inspection first, to establish a baseline (an initial measurement of airborne mold spore counts for comparison after remediation). In addition, you will be able to locate other areas with moisture intrusion or high mold-spore counts, even if hidden from view.

After remediation, another set of mold samplings will indicate if the remediation was effective.

You can schedule a professional mold inspection (also referred to as a mold assessment) by Bye Bye Mold™ at 1.800.686.1992 or you can e-mail us via our user-friendly contact form.

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