Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mold* is Scary

Remember when our basement flooded? TWICE?

Um, yeah. The thing that scared us the most about the floods was mold. Sure, you may have thought I was more worried about the wallpaper that almost broke us, or possible damage to our buddy Karl, but in reality it was mold.

We didn't want to go from this:

to this:

(not our basement, but what I feared would happen)

You see, we finished the basement with Luca in mind. We were thinking of starting a family and decided that if a wee one was in our future, we needed a cozy space for him or her to play (and somewhere to have all of the baby 'stuff' everyone warned us about.

So when the flood(s) happened, our first concern was mold. We didn't want this space that was supposed to be for the benefit of our (at that point) unborn child to be riddled with a toxin that could cause health problems to the little guy.

We were lucky because the neighbour who 'caused' the floods was amazing about it, taking financial responsibility for any damage, and he understood our concern for the health of our home and didn't flinch when we told him we wanted to replace the carpet (all of it) after the first flood. We had done some research and everything we read said that if the water sits longer than 24 hours, mold will certainly grow and cause problems. After the first flood, our basement carpet sat underwater for about 48 hours before we noticed and before our neighbour notified us.

So the old carpet was pulled, massive fans were brought in and everything was dried for about a week and a half before the new carpet was reinstalled. Phew.

However, flood #2 wasn't as bad and we found the problem within a few hours so instead of replacing all of the carpet, J pulled up the wet edge and set the massive fans on it to dry it out. To calm any of my our mold fears, I wanted to treat the area with some kind of mold fighting treatment to make sure that our little guy would be healthy. I figured we could just go nuts with the bleach and be done with it.

Of course, upon doing a bit more research, we realized that a) bleach may not work the way we want it to and b) it is also not great for the baby (or this preggo mama). 

So lucky for us (again) we realized that we had been sent a sample of an eco-friendly mold-control product that would be perfect:

According to the website:

Concrobium Mold Control is an innovative, market leading product that effectively eliminates existing mold, prevents mold re-growth and eliminates musty odors with no harmful chemicals. 

It works on drywall, wood, composite wood, concrete, tile, flooring, upholstery and a bunch of other materials. Since we were worried about the trim, drywall, concrete and carpet, this seemed to be perfect for our job. According to the manufacturer: Concrobium Mold Control effectively eliminates and prevents mold with no bleach, ammonia or VOCs. Concrobium works as it dries by crushing the mold spores at the roots and leaving behind an invisible antimicrobial barrier to prevent future mold growth.

Nothing sounds sweeter to a pregnant woman with a flooded basement than "CRUSHING THE MOLD SPORES AT THE ROOTS". Seriously.

The spray had no strong smell and we felt really comfortable using it in an area that would eventually be frequented by our baby.

So there you have it. We fought the war on mold and WON :-) I will say that since having Luca, we have definitely tried to use more eco-friendly/non-toxic cleaners in the house. J is a fan of DIY cleaners, but for something like MOLD-BUSTING, I was happy to use something a little stronger (while still remaining eco-friendly).

So tell me - do you have any experience with mold? According to Holmes on Holmes, it seems like every house is riddled with it!

*Apparently, there is an ongoing debate on how to spell mold - either mold or mould. I picked mold for no other reason than it was easier to type. :-)

** As I mentioned above, we did receive a free sample of Mold Control to try out, but a) that is pretty flukey because we were sent the sample before the flood and b) the above opinion is totally my own (and J's since he did the spraying!).



CA_Powell said...

We had a flood at our house in 2010 and had to move out because I am deathly allergic to mould! The house was fixed, but I live in fear of mould and use that spray whenever I think there might be an issue (like we all have with damp basements, etc.). So glad your flood was resolved!

Ryan said...

I work for a mold remediation company and good call on the bleach ! Thats the WORST thing you can use. Bleach is made to "Bleach" so even though it looks like the mold is gone you are just masking the colour, bleach is also 99% water which actually feeds the mold. I cringe when people say they used bleach on their mold. be careful with products at home depot and other do it yourself places a lot of those are products dont kill mold either. There is a product we use called Benefect. its pretty pricey but it does the trick,
we buy ours at Cleanco Fiberclean and there is one in Toronto.
Hope that helps! Good luck Mold is EVERYWHERE!

EJ @ Not A House, But A Home said...

This might be a bit off-topic, but how is the Karlstad sectional holding up? Do you still love it? We're leaning toward getting that for the condo!
p.s. I didn't know mold could also be spelled with a "u"!

Life Begins at Thirty, Right? said...

We love Karl. We don't use it everyday though so I'm not sure about how it would hold up after daily use. So far he still looks great!!

Laurie M. Rauch said...

'Mould' is a Canadian/UK spelling, so you're good on keeping the 'u'.

We picked up a bottle of that Mold Control three years ago when we first moved into our house when, during my first shower, I watched little black spots spread across the shower ceiling. It's held up, no spreading, three years and many showers later. At some point, when my budget can bear it, we'll renovate the bathroom and add in better ventilation (and a fan! who doesn't put a fan in the bathroom?!), but I do feel relieved that we're not breathing in all sorts of gross stuff every time we head into that room.

Sara Hilton said...

We probably have a little mold in our basement. Good thing the only inhabitant of the room in question is old paint cans, but it still sucks. We always get water down there, so there really is no point to fix it...keeps coming back!

Kristine225 said...

Having Having basement mold is not good for the family cos it can bring allergy or infection. It has many causes why molds form. MT&R of Western Pennsylvania use only the highest quality materials and workmanship.

Anna said...

Vinegar and tea tree oil are other natural mould killers that are baby friendly.

The new carpets was probably a good call given the long time frame.

If you are looking at reducing the chemicals in your home then I would suggest looking into using only bi-carb, vinegar and eucalyptus oil (not sure how easy to get outside of Australia - but is a natural disinfectant and sticky mess remover). There are thousands of pages telling you how to use them - I got onto it all when my baby was born and have never bought anything else since.

Once you get rid of the chemical build up from all the cleaners (bi-carb and vinegar don't appear to work that well at the start because they take a while to cut through the residue - but give it time) you will have the cleanest house you've ever had. Fabric softener is another easy thing to drop which has a huge impact on the amount of chemicals your baby is exposed to.

Darryl Iorio said...

It is perfectly normal to be concerned about your house and the mold, especially if you have a little kid living with you. Molds and mildew can be dangerous for your kid’s health. I suggest that you conduct a thorough inspection of the perimeter, as there might be molds on the crawlspaces. A qualified inspector can help you asses if there is any mold formation in the space.

To know more about mold remediation, you can check out this site:

jhonywalker said...

Why dark mold are known as toxic? How are they different from other pattern, mold and fungus growth? The article talks about the reason behind poisoning of Stachybotrys chartarum and explains how to destroy pattern with dark pattern fantastic.