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I am looking for someone that is good at treating mold and finding the cause.  I have a friend whose house has a problem with black mold and it smells damp in the house. Thanks for any advice.

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As a former Restoration Mason and resident of Puerto Vallarta, I have dealt with mould, moss and mildew many times. I would suggest an energy efficient dehumidifier. I checked briefly, they have really dropped in price.


To kill any mold or mildew, the best thing is dry steam, it cooks them right down into the roots. Bleach does not. This is not an elaborate setup. For your purposes, you just need a dry steam machine like you see advertised on late night T.V. I know they sell them on Mercadolibre.com.mx, just find the Spanish word. You will be amazed all the other things you can do with this machine and no chemicals or detergents.

Of course, you can try to identify the source, but there is nobody here with that type of equipment. It is most likely, like in 99% of the homes constructed here, the use of river sand or yellow sand in the concrete, mortar, and weak bricks makes the walls like a sponge. The water can travel through any time it likes. Do check out the obvious though, such as a tree which has grown too large, and is shading the house. The only danger, other than black mould/aspergillis, is a underground water or drain pipe has broken. This could cause subsidence, which is when a void is created and walls/foundations will begin to crack. I guess you could get a plumber in the pressurize the water system, and see if the pressure drops over a period of time. Then the problem of finding the leak, digging up a replacing the pipe - a plumber's pot of gold!


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Sorry but I have to say it.  Make sure any solution used everybody wears appropriate mask or respirator.  Also don't forget to clean up well when you are done.  You don't want to spread spores all over the place ok?  Some types of mold are very very bad indeed and different people react to mold differently.  You do not want to get mold in your body.  I like Chillin idea of steam but in Oregon which is horrible for mold we just use TSP and scrub the crap out of it. Sometimes I think over use of bleach is worse than the mild mold problem.  You can use a moldicide but I have no idea if this has any health problems.   Chillin do you know anything about Moldicides??


Be safe folks and especially don't let locals in your house without them being safe OK?  I about had a fit when I saw a local using Muriatic acid to clean ceiling without mask or eye protection or a welder squinting his eyes without eye protection when he welded.  Both ended up needing treatment.  Treat mold with respect. 

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My overseers, when working on historic, irreplaceable, buildings, or grave memorials, do not like me using chemicals. I do know that using steam over other methods I have to come back every three years, rather than every year. That is impressive, and always got me lots of work. The steam also destroys bedbugs and their eggs - never had to deal with that one though. The steam is also good in really cleaning kitchens and bathrooms, not just grease, but all those little channels on handles and taps which pickup muck over the years, and seem impossible to clean. The steam not only cleans them - it sterilizes them. With a custom made attachment (which I have never made), you can clean your sink and bathroom drains, blasting steam through them, killing any smell which may have developed. These small steamers originated in Italy, when a restaurant owner found that the steam from his expresso machine easily removed lipstick stains from glasses.

Hey, I am starting to sound like a vacuum cleaner salesman!

edit: here is a mercadolibre link. I had no idea how popular these units have become. They should be used in hospitals, clinics, dentists and carehomes, as the primary cleaning method. This is the case in Japan, where "vapor cleaning" has become very successful. Less disease spreading, less employee sick time, saves money on toxic chemicals.


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