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Old 10-08-2012, 06:18 AM   #1
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Unhappy Killing mold in an old house?

We have two houses. One is an old farm house on my in laws farm that we were staying at on the weekends. We stopped staying there in the spring because Ds had too much trouble sleeping away from home. Dh wants to start staying there again this winter on the weekends he has off and during hunting season. I do not want to for the following reasons...

Despite my efforts at cleaning the house on the weekends, the house seems to be infested majorly with spiders (big recluse and other big brown/black spiders along with the small ones), other bugs, mice, and now mold...I absolutely HATE the idea of using pesticides as we use as natural "green" products as possible but I think that some weekend we go visit I am going to set off bug bombs before we leave. We have poison out for the mice. So I'm not so much worried about the spiders/bugs and mice. I am extremely worried, however, about the mold I found growing about a week ago. We store stuff there because our current home is too small.

Well, I took Ds's old car seat that he outgrew to the farmhouse, about a month ago, to store it until we have #2. I went to grab something out of the house last weekend and noticed that the car seat straps (which are normally black) were green and white moldy. The floor in the one part of the living room is moldy. The side of the fridge, some of the cupboard doors, the bathroom (in various spots) have this mold growing. How can I safely kill the mold in the house?! I REFUSE to take Ds there to stay for a few nights with a moldy house. Is there anyway I can safely and completely kill the mold on the old carseat and make it usable again? Unless I am certain that it's dead and will not harm my next child I also REFUSE to use the carseat again. I am terrified to go through Ds's old clothes and my "skinny" clothes I have stored there for after I finish losing weight b/c I'm scared they will also have mold in them. What would you do??

ETA: Dh thinks that the wood stove we use there in the winter will kill off the mold...?? I'm not so sure.

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Old 10-08-2012, 06:27 AM   #2
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Re: Killing mold in an old house?

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Old 10-08-2012, 06:28 AM   #3
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Re: Killing mold in an old house?

If the mold is everywhere I personally would just consult a professional and get their opinion as the extent of the mold and as far as preventing them could be very costly. The house sounds really damp...I know spiders can be killed and fended off with natural sprayers but then again I'm no professional.

Your story reminds me of the infestation show where people buy homes out in the country but keep having problems with spider infestation and other bugs. Ultimately they ended up moving out after spending thousands on pest control but sometimes there's only so much you could do before it's just too much.

Though I'm with you on not wanting to be there with your son though. I wouldn't go there either with that much problem. If not the mold getting you guys sick slowly, someone could be bitten by the spider or something else.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:31 AM   #4
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Re: Killing mold in an old house?

The dampness might also be bringing in the animals. I agree a little mold there are tricks, but that much I would think you need to start getting some help, or seeing why you have so much mold.

BTW for Black mold at least, in small areas, hydrogen peroxide kills it off great.

For the carseat, you can't use chemicals on the straps, so call the maker and just order new straps, they are completely replaceable, and for not too much money.

Just saw your ETA he is right it might help, but it won't help for good, the wood stove will help dry the air and kill some, but deeper in, it won't touch it, in the long run..

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Old 10-08-2012, 06:52 AM   #5
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Re: Killing mold in an old house?

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If the mold is everywhere I personally would just consult a professional and get their opinion as the extent of the mold and as far as preventing them could be very costly. The house sounds really damp...I know spiders can be killed and fended off with natural sprayers but then again I'm no professional.

Your story reminds me of the infestation show where people buy homes out in the country but keep having problems with spider infestation and other bugs. Ultimately they ended up moving out after spending thousands on pest control but sometimes there's only so much you could do before it's just too much.

Though I'm with you on not wanting to be there with your son though. I wouldn't go there either with that much problem. If not the mold getting you guys sick slowly, someone could be bitten by the spider or something else.
My Dh's family lived there for years until his grandparents died...then his parents moved into the big farm house and our house sat empty for a few years and then we moved in when we got married and lived there for a little over a year. Right before we moved out, we started having some minor mold in the bathroom (toward the end of summer). FIL isn't worried and says the house gets like that toward the end of summer with the extra humidity and rain and usually goes away by the time they start using the wood heat.

A pro is out. FIL says we don't need one and Dh says we aren't spending money on one when it just a little mold that will go away as we start using the wood heat. I might be over-reacting and there might be just a simple solution but when we went back to mold on the carseat too...I about screamed. MIL offered to go clean the house for me through the week just to keep it up once we get the pests and mold under control. I have a dehumidifier there. I might start running it in the bathroom through the week and buy another bigger one for the rest of the house for next spring/summer. I'm just worried more about how to get rid of the mold we already have. The bedrooms seem fine...it's just the downstairs that I've found the mold on. Kitchen, living room, bathroom, and dining room.

I had the pests under control when we lived there...it's part of living in the country so a few I don't mind. I can't handle the cobwebs and small spiders in every corner and across every door way and turning every corner to find a big brown spider running away. Right before we moved in 2 years ago, I had to bomb the house. It helped a lot and the only time we had spiders after that was when it was wet or chilly outside. Now it seems that since no one has lived there for a year apart for weekends over the winter, they've taken over again. I'm not so worried about them...I am concerned about the mold. It may just be seasonal with all the wet weather we've been having...but I want to clear it up and make sure it's not a hazard to DS.

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The dampness might also be bringing in the animals. I agree a little mold there are tricks, but that much I would think you need to start getting some help, or seeing why you have so much mold.

BTW for Black mold at least, in small areas, hydrogen peroxide kills it off great.

For the carseat, you can't use chemicals on the straps, so call the maker and just order new straps, they are completely replaceable, and for not too much money.
Thanks!! I'm not sure it's black mold because I haven't seen signs of black mold yet but I might try this on the spots in the bathroom and floor. I wonder if a spray bottle with some in it would work...
I didn't know you can't use chemicals on the straps? I did it before when Ds had the flu and I washed them in a lingerie bag in a wash with a bit of clorox after he threw up on them and I've washed them in 7th generation dish soap before when he spit up on them. I let them air dry afterwards. I've also washed the cover and wiped out the other parts with clorox water and rinsed them well. Now I wonder if I should not have.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:00 AM   #6
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Re: Killing mold in an old house?

Our basement is very damp and during summer, tons of bugs that we ended up resorting to using chemicals but next year we'll probably use Dr. Bronner's and spray the crap out of the area aside from running a dehumidifier.

Old houses are pain to deal with in terms of humidity and controlling the climate. There's always something leaking allowing moisture to get in if not the the house gets cold or hot. But ya the mold would worry me a lot. Not an expert in natural disinfecting and cleaning mold but I hear peppermint works well for just about everything including disinfecting and preventing mold but also for spiders.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:03 AM   #7
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Personally I would treat the mold you see with a bleach solution, just to be sure you are killing all the spores. If MIL is willing to take care of the mold while y'all aren't living there I would let her. The dehumidifier would be a good place to start as far as trying to keep it at bay. MDS has severe allergies to mold ( as well as basically outside) so I wouldn't risk moving into a house known for having mold without having a pro check out the extent of the mold and dealing with it from the inside.
Hope you can get everything taken care of.

ETA: I have bleached all the fabric parts of my carseat before with no problems.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:04 AM   #8
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Re: Killing mold in an old house?

On the carseat, no you aren't supposed to submerge the straps in water, or use chemicals. You are only supposed to wipe them with a damp cloth. The cover you can wash. I would get new straps.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:06 AM   #9
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Mold can be VERY dangerous/deadly. I would get professional help with out a doubt especially since you have little ones.
Sounds like you also should put a dehumidifier in the house to prevent more mold growth before it ruins all of your things in storage too
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:09 AM   #10
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Re: Killing mold in an old house?

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Originally Posted by Dani_Phen View Post
I didn't know you can't use chemicals on the straps? I did it before when Ds had the flu and I washed them in a lingerie bag in a wash with a bit of clorox after he threw up on them and I've washed them in 7th generation dish soap before when he spit up on them. I let them air dry afterwards. I've also washed the cover and wiped out the other parts with clorox water and rinsed them well. Now I wonder if I should not have.
Actually you shouldn't even wash them in the wash. It degrades them and they are no longer safe. You can wash the cover, just not the straps.


I'd be worried about mold in the walls and where you can't see it. Mold can be very toxic to breath and cause a whole host of health issues.
http://www.handycanadian.com/articles-mold-removal.asp
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