Posted by: Chris | April 29, 2011

Not a Moldy Oldy

Announcing a new podcast, and it involves mold and other environmental hazards: The Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment (podcast download link) (entire podcast archive). It seems everyone is busy with jobs and kids, including Elyse saving the world and Jason Bilotta’s inspection business that deals with mold and other damage. Which is a perfect tie in to the interview with Jerome Paulson, MD of the The Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment.

It is a very informative hour. Give it a listen!

A funny coincidence is that this past month our household has been dealing with a plumbing leak, and a bit of mold. It all started with a leaky shower valve in the kid bathroom:

One leaky valve turns into a minor remodel!

The tub surround was just laminate, and it had to be removed to get to the valve, so we decided to replace it with a cultured marble solid surface. Of course if we do the tub surround, we have to replace the counter top. And while we are at it, we decided to replace the shower curtain with a sliding shower door. And we can’t get away without a new coat of paint! We are having contractors do most of the work, we are doing the painting.

Fortunately the drip was minor and there was no mold in the wall. We had an early warning system that alerted us to the leak. Look closely at the picture, the furnace cold air return is the large vertical rectangular thing behind the valve. The dripping could be heard echoing in the ducting behind the wall downstairs.

(A very minor point… the metal hose on the left is the hand shower, which is wonderful for little kids!  Or even for cleaning the shower.  Not so great when a five year old gets a hold of it and starts “cleaning” the rest of the bathroom.  But I’d still install it any future shower.)

But there was mold in the fan intake and some of the surfaces caused by boys taking long hot showers after hitting puberty and not turning on the fan (for those with young boys, you are in for an interesting olfactory experience around late middle school and early high school!). Then there was a bit of mold on the tile grout near the vanity caused by kids just getting water everywhere. I have been cleaning all of that up to prepare for painting.

We are almost done. Hubby needs to add a bit of trim, putty up nail holes and I need to paint the trim. Then he has to put up the towel bars. And it is all over. Except for paying the bill.

Give the podcast a listen, and remember to use good ventilation in high moisture areas. This is especially important when you have young boys turning into young men. And do not forget to teach kids about how to turn off water to the toilet. You have been warned.

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Responses

  1. I was disappointed that when it came to living near power lines, your guest went with (paraphrasing) “There’s no evidence they are dangerous, but they could be.” The “science-based” was a little lacking with him.

    • Okay, you are welcome to provide the evidence.

      • I meant saying it could be dangerous was disappointing. Anything “could” be dangerous. I’d just rather have evidence of the danger before I worry about it.

      • Ah, I see. I listened to it last week, so I’m fuzzy on the details. Unfortunately there is no certainty in anything.

        I used to have these round-about conversations with younger engineers who were frustrated that I could only give a three standard deviations probability that there would not be an abnormal high vibration. That is a pretty good certainty it would stay within the structural limits, but it is never 100%.


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