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Old 30.04.2011, 17:17
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Moulded Cellar - and clothing!

Our cellar flooded while we were in the US over the holidays, and I just discovered the problem last month. Needless to say, everything was covered in mould. My out-of-season clothes were stored in Ikea bags on clothing racks. Some items have visible mould on them while others appear to be mould-free.

I'm going to dispose of the obviously moulded clothing but am wondering if I should toss everything, to be on the safe side. In some cases, an OK item is hanging next to one with mould. I have small children and do not want do bring mould into our home. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any insight is greatly appreciated. Especially as I gear up to battle it out with our insurance company!

Thanks!
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Old 30.04.2011, 17:43
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Re: Moulded Cellar - and clothing!

I've lived a few places where mold is a huge problem and recall that existence of mold on fabric isn't necessarily a "death sentence" to the item in question.

There are products which can kill the mold but sometimes mold stains so that will be the ultimate combination of questions to ask yourself: which clothes can be safely washed in ways which will kill the mold AND which clothes can truly be rescued without stains.

Just with casual search I came up with this blog, perhaps it will help.
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Old 03.05.2011, 08:56
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Re: Moulded Cellar - and clothing!

If your cellar was flooded, did you contact your insurance agent?

Our cellar & garage was flooded back in 2003 and we had to threw everything out (wine, clothes, sporting equipment, christmas stuff, odds and ends). Before throwing everything out we had to take inventory & pictures with the insurance agent, price the contents to current rates (ex: jeans bought in the US for $30- to replace here would cost us 130 CHF). About a month later we recieved a payment from the insurance for our losses.
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Old 03.05.2011, 09:34
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Re: Moulded Cellar - and clothing!

I would pitch it all, mold is mostly invisible, the bit we see is just a fraction. It's like with fruits, you don't cut out the little affected bit but trash it all. I second the previous poster, take pics, price is, deal with insurer.

When you deal with mold toxins, they do cause allergies and asthma, are cancerogenic in the long span. Plus fungicides are health risk too, so even if you hardcore clean it, the chance the chemicals won't wash out of the fibers is high. I would maybe deal with it, as an adult, but wouldn't expose my child to it.

Even if you wash it and clean it, residues might stay, and you risk mildew anytime it gets a little wet or you sweat in it, it smells.

It's the same with laundry that some guys keep forgetting in the washer for a day. You do it once, wash it with vinegar, it might be ok, but if you do it more times, the mold/mildew reek stays. The fibers are too dense to deal with mold infestation.
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