I own a 1,800-square-foot rental house with four bedrooms. One of the two bathrooms has signs of serious mold down by the baseboards. The renters didn't say anything and when they moved out, we found the mold. I don't want to just cosmetically fix the problem. I've heard that if you don't kill it off early, black mold can invade the whole house. What's the cost of treating an entire home for it? I don't want to rent it again until we solve the problem.
Perry T. ~ Detroit, Michigan
Perry, black mold can be a serious problem in some homes, and you are wise to look for a comprehensive fix to this issue before you rent the house to new tenants. Most mold problems begin with moisture problems, so you should look for obvious signs of water damage in your house, which may lead you to the source of the mold problem. Leaky plumbing pipes which are buried within a home's interior walls are a common source of unwanted moisture, but damaged roofing shingles, poorly installed widows, and improper site drainage are all ways that water can find its way into your house.
Once the source of the water if found and fixed, you will need to assess the extent of the mold problem. This may require removing some of the moldy sheet rock or removing the baseboard trim and lifting up the floor coverings, as mold may have spread into your house's wall cavities or sub-floor. You may want to hire a mold mitigation specialist who works in the Detroit area to inspect the mold in your house and offer some cost estimates on removing it.