Blessings come in small forms & construction mold – part 2

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Blessings come in small forms….Craig was standing at a big box store and looking at saw horses. Ugh – $60.  Then a sales associate passes by and said, “I’ve got these over on the other aisle for half price.”  Looks like they were returned but still new. Perfect! $30 and makes cutting boards so much easier!

That was only one small part of our week.  Here’s an overview of our research and decision for the mold on the lumber…

Borax – linked to affect male reproduction hormones and respiratory system – might be only on contact but it’s not a chance for us to take

Fumigation – not an option for us

Bleach – it appears to be the standard norm but our son can’t be around it and even after it airs out we didn’t know if it would give us a long term peace of mind

Considered ozonators but don’t want to risk an unknown reaction with any formaldehyde which might be in the plywood interacting with the high level ozone blast

Considered dehumidifying or a high heat dryers, but with the house still having openings through the garage and front door, we took a step back and reminded ourselves that this is still a very mild situation and we are being proactive for the future

Our solution after much research was as follows: some of the boards, we steam cleaned with a rented industrial steam cleaner.  It felt cleaner and ready to use the option we chose…Caliwell Industrial.  Caliwell Industrial penetrates the wood and the lime lowers the Ph level of the wood. This kills the mold and prevents it from regrowing. The website states the product is virtually odorless and has no VOC’s. After using the product, there is very little odor to the product (more when it is sprayed vs. rolled) but use caution if it gets on your skin as it is an alkaline product.

So, the next step was renting a paint sprayer.  On Friday, Craig compared costs online for renting a paint sprayer.  Found a small rental company for $69 per day (which is $20 cheaper than a big box store) and when he went to rent it….the guy said if he came after 3 p.m. then he could keep it until Monday for the $69. Another money saving blessing this week!  It all adds up!

The weekend began with the task at hand to cover the lumber with the Caliwell.  Very quickly it became evident that spraying would waste way to much product.  Mini paint rollers and poles were the best option for the framing and spraying for the trusses.  As we sit here on Saturday night, we wish that we could say it’s all done, but we ran out of the Caliwell.  This is less than ideal as it has to be ordered online so we will finish this project in a few days.

As with many things in life, there are two sides to things.  We don’t want to sugar coat it and make it sound like no big deal.  This has been hard, frustrating, very hot and humid working conditions (August in Florida), time consuming, an unwelcome expense and emotionally taxing!!!  It’s a reminder that blessings are not always easy and beautiful.  This is one of those hard blessings to count but we know that it is a blessing in disguise…..the moldy lumber has been a big set back and the good thing is that we know moving forward we will have peace of mind that our home is not going to have a mold issue.


We are excited to share with you a website and person, Andy Pace, who we came across a month ago.  We were able to order the Caliwell Industrial product from his site. This past week we learned a lot from him through a phone consult.  He is very knowledgeable and could be a good resource to you no matter the age of your house.  He has a lot of information, including his podcast titled “7 Ways to Make Your Home Healthy” (bottom of the website, under “useful links”).


Over the upcoming weeks, we look forward to sharing with you about our insulation (why we chose Greenstar panels and NOT spray foam), ways we are attempting to reduce the likelihood of formaldehyde in our home, what we are doing to reduce the Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) and dirty electricity in our new home (and our rental house in the meantime), the drywall and mudding we chose (this was not taken lightly as we still cringe when we think of our toxic chinese drywall nightmare), what we learned about kitchen counter tops and our decision, which paint we use, plus a lot more…!!!  You can learn from our research and make your home a healthy house, too!

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