Attic mold
November 17, 2004 5:43 PM   Subscribe

MoldFilter: We noticed a bit of mold in our attic insulation. Testing revealed the presence of aspergillus/penicillin spores. We're trying to figure out how much of the attic contents we need to throw out. [MI]

The “Air-O-Cell Cassette Analysis of Fungal Spores … by Optical Microscopy” for a 75-liter sample came back with a count/M*3 of 50,000. A bit of Googling suggests that’s quite a bit. Nobody’s gotten sick from being in the attic, as far as we can tell, and we’re in there frequently. But my wife does have allergies, and this can’t help.

The mold sites are in the fiberglass ceiling insulation. We’re going to get rid of that, insulate the floor instead. Get rid of the carpet and vent well to prevent the repeated condensation that caused the mold in the first place. Install an airtight door.

But what about the stuff in there? Is a bleach or other antibacterial solution enough? There were totes of clothes that sometimes had the tops of for weeks. Launder them? Just vacuum the tops, treating spores like dust? Chuck it all? Googled answers mostly address severe, visible mold contamination. What we have seems a bit more subtle. Shame to discard all those clothes if it’s unneeded.

Answers? Suggestions? Resources?

As ever, thank you one and all.
posted by sacre_bleu to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
I'd see if you could talk to your county's public health infectious disease guy or girl.

Spores are very resilient, and aspergillus can be quite nasty, especially with allergies or previous TB infections.

Chlorine might work (I don't know), but antibacterials certainly won't.

I'd stay out of the attic as much as you can, and don't disrupt the spores into the air.
posted by gramcracker at 5:50 PM on November 17, 2004

Mold is not the big bugaboo that many people would like to make it. Unless your wife's allergies are incredibly severe, they are not likely to be worsened by the presence of mold spores on surfaces (as opposed to, say, pitchforking through a moldy pile of hay in a loft).

Wiping hard surfaces with one part chlorine bleach/ 10 parts water will kill the mold spores. This is a good resource:
posted by tizzie at 10:59 AM on November 18, 2004

And just launder the clothes as usual - make sure they're nice and dry before you return them to storage.
posted by tizzie at 11:00 AM on November 18, 2004

« Older Where can I park for three days in Toronto?   |   How to use gmail to manage all my accounts? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.