House #19: Mold Remediation

October 25, 2010 · 10 comments

After making great progress on The Flood House last week, we ran into a small snag this week…

Part of our conditions for receiving a Certificate of Occupancy from the County when the rehab is complete is getting a letter from a mold testing company indicating that there is no mold in the house. Last week, the testing company came out to take samples; unfortunately, before they came out, one of the employees of the company gave us bad advice about how to prepare for the test, and the results came back inconclusive. They acknowledged it was their fault, and offered to retest for free, but were not able to get back out until Sunday afternoon.

We just received the results today, and it turns out that we have very low levels of mold in a couple areas of the house. Nothing too terrible, but the testing company suggested some minor steps we’d need to take to remediate the issue and ensure that the mold didn’t come back; unfortunately, given the few days we lost waiting for the test results, and the couple days it will take to have our mold remediation company do the work, we’re now a couple days behind schedule.

Our mold remediation company will be out tomorrow (Tuesday) morning to spray the studs with an anti-microbial that will kill the remaining mold spores, and then will come out again on Wednesday to spray a sealer on all the studs. This should ultimately ensure that there are no further mold issues with the house.

Assuming they complete their work on Wednesday, we’ll have the mold testing company take samples on Thursday morning, have our sheetrock guys install the insulation on Thursday afternoon, and then have the inspector back on Friday morning to sign off on the insulation — the last thing we need before we can start sheet-rocking the house.

Assuming all that goes as planned, sheet-rocking can start Friday, and assuming the guys work at least part of the weekend, we should finish the sheet-rock by next Tuesday. Technically, that’s still on-schedule, as we closed last Tuesday and I wanted to have the sheet-rock down by the end of week two…but given our progress last week, I was hoping to keep ahead of schedule in case we needed the extra days later in the project.

10 responses to “House #19: Mold Remediation”

  1. ezra says:

    What was the bad advice?

  2. J Scott says:

    Ez –

    They told us to keep the windows open with a fan on to circulate some air through the house (that was the bad advice).

    The mold spore count outside is always much higher than it should be on the inside (they test both inside and outside to get a baseline), so opening the windows and circulating air just equalized the spore count between the exterior and interior of the house, invalidating the air test. When they came back, they had to take samples directly off the surfaces, which is a more accurate reading, but more expensive to test (because it involves many more samples).

  3. Tim says:

    what is the square footage of this house and how much will the anti-microbial and stud sealing cost? Thanks for sharing all that you do.

  4. J Scott says:

    Hey Tim –

    House is about 1400-1500 square feet, and our mold company is charging $1000 for the anti-microbial spray and then the encapsulation. They’re doing the work over 2 days (spray day one and encapsulate day two).

  5. ezra says:


    I figured that was the bad advice. When I had mold testing done, the guy explained to me that they took air samples from inside and outside the house and compared the levels to determine if I had a problem. I was thinking of spreading a whole bunch of mold outside to alter the ratios in my favor. Ultimately I was just too lazy… as usual:)

  6. Mark in Fl says:

    For those wanting to do this yourself, here’s what we did based on some recommendations from someone in the business:

    We set up several fans inside the house on an angle to the walls to get a vortex of air circulation. At the same time, we ran an industrial dehumidifier because mold can not survive below a certain relative humidity level. These can be rented for a week for about $100.

    One can get a moisture meter at a home center for about $30 to measure the moisture in the studs.

    The studs can be sprayed with moldstat with a pump up sprayer to kill the mold. When dry, the studs can be encapsulated with “Perma-White” paint that is mildew proof (not mildew resistant).

    For what it’s worth.

  7. J Scott says:

    Mark –

    Thanks for the tip! I appreciate it and am sure my readers do too!

  8. Sarah White says:

    Hey J.

    Would you mind sharing the name of your mold company? We’re having trouble finding someone we trust to do the work. Any info is greatly appreciated.

  9. J Scott says:

    Hi Sarah –

    Shoot me an email and I’ll send you details…

  10. Jarred S. says:


    How much risk is involved in a home that has a mold problem? I am looking at a property right now that has been overtaken by mold. Its really bad. The whole thing needs to be gutted to the studs. Now, the cost of this will obviously affect my offer, so I know I will need to go real low. Is mold something that can be fixed and forgotten? With a full interior rebuild this house will be like brand new, but is there ever a problem with resale value because of doing something like this? Or any concerns of mold coming back later? It is my understanding that after remediation and a rebuild things will be good as new, but I wanted to ask someone with more experience here before I dive into this potentially great deal. The house is beautiful outside, in a great neighborhood, and a place I would live in myself.

    Thanks in advance!

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