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Question DetailsAsked on 8/18/2013

Removing mold

Removing mold around the base board of the house

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1 Answer


Assuming you mean outside trim - if not, basically same procedure, just don't need the caulk at the top of the strip.

When you reside or repaint you should get rid of outside baseboard unless it conceals a gap in the siding, as it traps water running down the siding and promotes rot - the water should be able to run freely off the siding onto the ground.

Check first if it is rotted - if so, scrap and replace.

If just surficial mold on the trim paint and the paint looks OK when you scrub through, then wet and let sit for about 5 minutes with 50% chlorine bleach and water solution followed by scrub with a non-metallic scrub pad and TSP solution and then rinse for light mold. Of course, a top coat of paint with mildewcide would help xxxx mold recurrence - you can get packets of mildewcide that you mix with the paint - be sure to check instructions if using white or light beige, as some mildewcide additives discolor light colors. Also, if you can tolerate the look, the glossier the finish the longer it will take for mold to accumulate - if gloss is too much for you, try semi-gloss or stain, at least.

For heavier mold that affects the paint significantly then sand down to clean deglossed paint or bare wood (feather the paint edges well to avoid sharp breaks between bare wood and paint), the 5 minute soak with 50% chlorine solution, let dry a full day then prime with Kilz, then after a day drying follow with two coats of your trim paint.

Depending on the trim location and ease of access, it is usually easier to remove it (usually only a small nail every 2-3 feet holding it on) and work on it on a convenient height surface - just remember the TSP and bleach will kill or stain any vegetation or slab or flooring or patio or deck or drive underneath, so do somewhere where it will not hurt underlying items. Removing it also lets you make sure there are no bug or mouse openings behind it that should be sealed up, and to look for rot.

If you are talking inside trim, then unless the "mold" you see is actually just dirt scuffed or swabbed onto it from vacuuming or mopping, then you need to find the source of the water causing the mold, as you likely have moisture seeping through the wall or wall/slab junction, or you have grossly excessive humidity in the area.

If, after you take it off, the wood itself is pattern cracked, discard if not punky yet - that is dry rot getting started.

On repainting, do NOT paint the back - leave it bare so any moisture that gets in through the paint has a surface to evaporate to, otherwise any water that gets inside will cause blistering of the paint and eventually rot.

When reinstalling, get nails the same length but next larger diameter for a tight fit in the pre-existing holes - that avoids having to putty all the holes. Do NOT go longer - might hit electrical or pipes. For exterior trim, run caulk bead all along the top only - including filling any voids at channels in the siding like on T-111, for instance, so water cannot get behind the base board.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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