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JBenson

moldy basement

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I am going to look at a job on sunday. they want the walls in the basement bleached and pressure washed as there is mold on them. They are selling the house so need it done per the realtor. anyway, would you just house Sodium Hydroxide and house wash? Thanks for your advice

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PLEASE! Wear a respirator - a good one - anytime you use bleach/chlorine in a confined space. Is the customer's HVAC in the basement? If so, make sure it is turned off until the basement has been aired-out.

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I would not bring a pressure washer into someone's basement. You'll do more damage than good. Price it as applying bleach (I would add a scent to mask the smell a bit) and brushing.

What damage would this cause Ken in comparison to doing exterior stone or concrete. I am not questioning you, just not sure why i shouldnt. Thanks for the warning.

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I would be worried where all the water is going to go. Even if the basement is nothing but cinderblock and cement floor with a drain, you will end up with standing water and very high amounts of humidity. This of course will exacerbate the very problem you are trying to fix. If there is any type of wood or drywall up, forget it, it will get wet and you could end up paying dearly.

If this were me I would price it high or walk. Technically they should have a mold remediation company come in, someone that is qualified to write off on the spore levels present throughout the home. There are disclosure and liability issues I would not want to get involved with. I think you are asking for trouble on this one.

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I told the lady that they will need to run dehumidifiers after and get the basement completly dry. There is no drywall or anything. I am sorry to keep pushing it ken. But if i go in and do as i said, the mold does come back, what is my liability. If you wash a driveway and mold comes back a year later, is that any different. I know how this reads, please understand i cant put face to face expression or tone to it. this is all in a manor to understand, not question. Thanks Ken.

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Bleach and water. Then apply kilz on the wall to help control the mold from growing back. Personally I wouldn't do it if you don't the proper insurance. You might want to sub this out to a company that does mold rememadation.

My 4 cents.

Charlie

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Contact a mold remediation company and find out where they get there supplies. There are problems associated with using bleach indoors and you would not want the liabilities for it.

If you choose to do it yourself w/o the input of a mold remediation specialist, than use a precarb on it instead. No fumes, no causticity and easier to rinse without worries of residue or further mold occurring from your cleaning.

If they have a mold issue that is reoccurring, than this would indicate a source of the problem. Locate this and you solve the problem.

Rod!~

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When a house is sold, the realtor needs to disclose any issues like lead paint, mold, aged roof etc. If the potential homeowner hears there was a mold issue they are likely to hire a remediation expert to come in and take readings. Just getting rid of the mold that is seen is a band aid. Where there is smoke there is usually fire and where there is mold growth in a residence, there is usally more.

Often walls need to be opened, ambient readings need to be made and safe levels (not sure what the acceptable ppm is) have to be achieved before a property is ready for sale. Let's say you go in as "the expert" and upon inspection a certified and licensed mold remediation guy comes in and says not only are the levels still unacceptable but the last guy who sprayed water all over the place caused the problem to get worse. Guess whose liability insurance is going to come into play? Its just not worth it, in my opinion. There are so many jobs out there that don't carry this type of risk.

In addition, you need to check your insurance. You may not even be covered to step inside a house and perform work. For some reason my insurance says "basement waterproofing" which covers a bunch of areas. I'd hate for you to try and make a few hundred bucks to find out that the burden of a real expert in this area will end up costing you thousands. In business your goal should always be to minimize risk. I think you are missing that very important criteria chasing this job. I think you should move on..just friendly advice.

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I think i may pass on this. I do have liability insurance but not sure if it covers work inside like ken had stated. I am going to go look at it and explain to them that there is to much liability involved. Thank your for looking out for my best inerest everybody. I am glad to have a place like this to come to for advice. Thanks Ken and everybody on here, and thanks Beth and Rod for the site.

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I would not bring a pressure washer into someone's basement. You'll do more damage than good. Price it as applying bleach (I would add a scent to mask the smell a bit) and brushing.

I have done 17 or 18 basements since the floods here i upstate NY. We power wash, sanitize and extract all water and dry with fans.

We use two recovery systems with the one wall and one floor steel eagle vacuum surface cleaners/

xx

Low pressure, dual lance and common sense will equal $$$$$$$$$$. We Get a decent fee for this service. We also have passed on more projects than we have done.... Avoid the PITA basements

MY WEBSITE HAS SOME EXCELLENT LINKS TO ASSIST WITH CELLAR CLEANUP.

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The National Center For Disease Control published a MMWR paper (maortality morbidity weekly report) in June of this year outlining mold health hazards and cleanup... (The Link is on my webste). It clearly recommends bleach as the preferred detergent for clean-up. I have also spoken to two of The Infection Control Attnding Physicians at the hospital work at.... The reenforce the use of Bleach.

The EPA also has publications to address this issue as well

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Thanks for the help matt, I will check out your site. I dont have any recovery equipment yet so maybe i will definately pass. I will read up on the issue and talk to a remediation company to see if they can help with any liability issues. Thanks again matt.

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For anyone looking to get in to mold remedation. Please look into it very through. There is alot of particualrs that need to be meet to do this properly and legally. My father owns a Mold Remediation company and I've worked with him enough to know there is alot to know beofer jumping into this business. The insurance alone would shock most of us. As for using bleach on mold here is a link to some information about that. This is my fathers site so I hope it's ok to post.

http://www.absolutemoldtechnologies.com/howto.html

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To all of you out there thinking about mold removal, you are crazy to do this without proper training. Many times people think oh how hard can it be to pw, we see the DIY people and they have no clue. The same thing goes for mold testing and remediation. I have taken a course and became certified in mold testing and assessment. It entails more than using bleach, tsp or some other product. Mold remediation is a complex issue. 1st your liability insurance probably DOES NOT cover mold remediation, generally those policies start at about 5k per year with 1 million dollars worth of coverage. Improper cleaning can actually cause further harm and worsen the problem. Many times Tyvex suits, respirators, air scrubbers, encapsulating the area to be cleaned must be done. Pre clean up testing of the air, or surface through air sampling, tape lifting or settled dust sampling MUST be done prior and after to verify a proper clean up. You will need Relative humidity readings, moisture meters, video/pictures prior and after as well as an assortment of other tools. If you fail to do these things how do you know its been cleaned up. Why do they have mold in the first place? Was there a flood, pipe burst, just plain old elevated levels of humidity, and no dehumidifiers present and working? How many of you know how many types of mold there are and what is molds food source.How many of you know what humidity levels mold begins to grow flourish ect and what levels does it not grow at? Do the owners have a drainage problem on the outside of the house? If the problem is not taken care of first I would WALK.Plain and simple folks this is not a DIY job. What is your liability if the job is NOT done right. So before you go and accept a mold remediation job ask yourself some of these questions. I am not trying to burst any ones bubble, I am just trying to prevent a big headache. If you don't know the answer to these questions you should not be doing mold remediation.

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I would be careful using any home remedies when removing the mold. Some mold removal solutions can be very dangerous if they come in contact with your skin or inhaled. If there is serious mold damage I would recommend calling a remediation company. It is not very expensive and sometimes home insurance will pay for it.

 

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http://www.orange-restoration.com

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I had a friend whose father cleaned a basement like this without proper ventalation. He had a heart attack and died from the fumes of bleach and the pressure washer ( did not have it in the proper place).  Use caution when doing a job like this. This man was doing it as a favor to a friend.

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