06:58AM | 01/12/03
Member Since: 01/11/03
3 lifetime posts
I desire help! we purchased an 8 year old home from ogig. owners (in oregon), and went through typical home inspections, etc.,. Three weeks ago, our heating went out (unit is under the house in a crawlspace), and when we lifted the cover to crawlspace, saw a nightmare.. flooded crawlspace all the way up to the subfloor. It took 2 days to pump water out by professionals. There was a sump pump, but it had failed. The ductwork (flexible) was wrecked, as was the insulation, etc,. We have had the heating system replaced, and the ductwork (used metal this time), but my biggest concern, is that the workers found that we have no moisture barrier underneat our attached wrap around deck, and inadquate ventilation .. there is condensation on every under surface and it is just rotten. they also found that there is so much mold, they thought they'd visualized a dead dog (it was huge mold mounds!). Our son is highly allergic to mold, and is currently staying in our guest house so that he is not exposed to this. We had a flood expert come out and he's trenching around our home, the entire perimeter, and then routing that trench away from the house (french drain) so that this can't happen again. In essence, the underneath of our home filled like a swimming pool. None of this is covered by insurance, and we are already upward of $20,000 into this nightmare. My biggest concern, and question, is the mold issue! How do we properly get rid of the mold, and more importantly, keep it from coming back on surfaces that are clearly soaked through and rotten? We are replacing our wooden deck with a synthetic susbstitute and placing a moisture barrier underneath, but there is mold on other parts of the understructure of the home. Please, any help you could offer would be so appreciated!
Thank you!


08:41PM | 01/13/03
Member Since: 12/23/02
18 lifetime posts
Spray everything with a 50/50 mix of chlorine bleach and water. Household bleach is fine. Get a spray bottle, a respirator, and go to it. Throw out everything loose in that crawlspace which may have been contaminated, and dig out the moldy dirt down at least two inches, and replace with new pea gravel or sand. Seal the crawlspace floor air-tight, with 6 mil poly vapour barrier.
Then, you will need to ventilate the whole house, if your child is allergic. Crawlspaces are inheremtly moldy, even in the best circumstances. I suggest an HRV (heat recovery ventilator), and an air cleaner on your furnace. It's unfortunate that you have the furnace down in there. Make sure it isn't drawing in crawlspace air to fire, and seal all the seams with mastic or aluminum tape (NOT ordinary duct tape!). I'm allergic to mold, yet live with a dirt crawlspace, thanks to my HRV and electronic air cleaner. They work miracles.


06:02AM | 01/14/03
Member Since: 01/11/03
3 lifetime posts
Thank you for the information. We are currently having a lot of work done to rectify this problem, and I will show this post to our contractor. I haven't heard of the systems you mentioned, that can be added to our heating system, so that's a huge help. Again, thank you so much!!


04:22PM | 01/15/03
Member Since: 01/13/03
50 lifetime posts

The ACGIH recommends chlorine as a last resort. You need to;
1. Solve the moisture problem
2. Remove all porous material that is contaminated and replace it
3. Clean (borax soap from the grocery store is best) all non-porous material
4. Follow the rest of Housebroken's advice to the letter

1. Mold cannot grom without moisture
2. Simply killing mold is not enough, dead mold spores can still cause allergic reactions
3. Moisture control through drainage and ventilation is key



02:47AM | 01/16/03
Member Since: 01/11/03
3 lifetime posts
Thank you, Bob. What a learning experience this has been! It is going to be a challenge to get all that cleaned, as the crawlspace narrows to 18" at it's narrowest, and there are enough black widow spider webs down there to look like the Munsters house! ;-) I was a bit concerned about the chlorine situation, just because of lack of ventilation while working. We may end up hiring this part of the job out to professionals. Thanks for your input on this. Kelle
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