Face and Odor

How to Knock Out Serious Mold and Mildew Problems

Dear Mary: Here’s the short version of a long story: Due to an undetected slowly leaking pipe in our home, the basement got very wet over a period of time. The leak has now been fixed and the basement has mostly dried out. But I’m detecting mold and mildew. The smell is awful.

Face and Odor

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We called the pros to get a price on treating this smelly situation. They are estimating between $1,800 and $2,000 to kill the mold and mildew. Do you think we could do this ourselves for less using the product you recommend for smelly situations? Thanks, Hank

Dear Hank: Before I answer your question, I want to make sure that all of my readers know that mold is a serious situation, and can have adverse health ramifications for humans and animals alike. Mold is not something you want to live with.

Now to your question: Yes, I believe you can do this yourself.

Most people—myself included until I did more research—assume that household bleach will kill mold completely. We assume that because it bleaches the dark color. Not necessarily so.

Even freshly manufactured household bleach is unable to kill mold. Bleach that sits around store shelves or in your home continually gets weaker over time. Even the manufacturers’ usage directions do not recommend using it to kill mold. If you want an effective odor kill, I absolutely recommend that you use Nok-Out. And not to get too technical, Nok-Out is guaranteed to maintain its efficacy within two-year shelf life, when used according to the manufacturer’s directions. It is effective against mold spores because it structurally disassembles the cell so that it cannot revive to re-infest. Nok-Out does indeed kill spores. 

The professionals you brought in to assess the problem would likely use a machine called a “fogger” to treat the air (and thus kill the spores). As you have discovered, that is an expensive proposition.

A much cheaper alternative is to use a common household vaporizer to treat the air with Nok-Out, which will kill the spores on surfaces and in the air, overnight. A vaporizer is MUCH slower, but is quiet and can be done overnight while you sleep. Nok-Out is very easy to use and absolutely effective. Nok-Out is not harmful to humans, animals, and the environment yet specifically engineered to target the threats that do plague our indoor environments.

I am going to predict that for no more than $50 you can do this job yourself—with confidence that it has been done right. Your home will not be subjected to chemicals or toxins and you will not have to go to a hotel while the work is being done. Yes, I’m talking cheaper, better and faster!

I want to encourage you to go to NokOut.com to read up on the product. It is not available in stores, but you can order it directly from this site. There you will also find numerous articles (here, here, here, and here) on this specific challenge of treating visible mold and mildew, the areas you cannot reach, and the spores in the air that you cannot see.

Good luck and be sure to let us know how this DIY project works out for you.

One last thing. Sometime in the near future, Nok-Out disinfectant is going to be rebranded under a new name— “Sniper.” Only the name will change but the product itself will not have changed in the least. Nothing “New and Improved”—same great formulation. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

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10 replies
  1. Caleb Hart says:

    I would hate to find out I have mold in my house. I have little children living under my roof, and their health is really important to me. Maybe I should take some of your advice on here. How long should I go before hiring a professional though?

  2. Regina Peterson says:

    I am actually really sensitive to mold, so whenever I come across it I react very badly. I have always used bleach to get rid of mold, but I wasn’t aware there was an actual product to get rid of it. I’m hoping in the future they invent some type of pad or spray that prevents mold from ever growing in your carpet or your home in general. http://www.rockymountaininspection.ca/mold_inspection.html

  3. Global Prevention says:

    Sorry, but any serious mold colony growth requires professional participation. Killing everything in place is a failed approach that can lead to larger and worse conditions for occupants in homes, work spaces, schools, etc. Dead, decaying mold left in place may seem acceptable because you likely will not ‘see’ anything, but it’s there. It is a food source for other molds and microbials and you have also just entered the world of ‘mycotoxins’, one you truly want to avoid.
    Bleach has been a ‘wives tale’ that has lasted more than 100 years – it does NOT work. On this critical educational issue, Mary is absolutely right and I applaud her for helping to dispel this longstanding, dangerous myth.
    You want to ‘remove’ the mold, not necessarily kill what you can reach. It needs to be dealt with universally – from inside the walls, under the flooring, within any air conditioning/heating ducts, etc. This takes talent, training, professional equipment and more. You MUST contain the mold spores, use engineering controls to protect unaffected spaces (and occupants) and manage the effort with the importance it deserves. There are very talented and educated people who can do this in a DIY mode, but for most it is simply too much to tackle, at least if they expect to remove the issue completely.

  4. Ron 'n Loni Oliver says:

    What a timely article for me. We have had water issues and mold that is integral to the structure of our home. I may have CIRS (Sick Building Syndrome) and have been advised that we need to move, which seems like an impossibility. Whether we stay or sell, the mold issue must be cleared up. Is there a way to kill the mold in studs and floor joists so gutting the area would not be needed? I’m thinking wall board would not be salvageable, so must be removed and replaced. Help! –Loni

  5. Juanita Marquez says:

    I understood that ammonia would kill the mold spores, then when the surface has dried, to apply bleach to clean the surface.


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