Cause of mildew may be inside the wall

Q. We have an acute mold problem on the lower part of a north wall in the master bedroom. No trees are nearby. There is no visible moisture mildew problem in the cellar. We removed bushes outside the wall thinking this would help but it didn't.

Periodically we have washed the walls with a mildew remover, but this is making a mess of the painted walls. What will permanently eliminate mold? Mrs. Edith Bral Foxboro, Mass.

A. Removal of mold is contingent on extinction of causative moisture. The moisture may originate from a leaking pipe in the wall. Possible? A little plumbing detective work may disclose a water pipe running from source to nearby bath right there in the lower part of that bedroom wall. If that be so, the clandestine cause of the visible mildew may be disclosed.

When repaired, the pipe should emit no more water and the mildew should be thwarted. After repairing or replacing the interior finish bedroom wall material , repaint using a mildewcide additive to the paint.

Remember, mold spores are tenacious. A homemade remedy to control mildew is this:

Brush on a mixture of one cup household bleach and 1/2 cup of trisodium phosphate (TSP) in one gallon of warm water. Allow to stand 15 minutes. Rinse with clear water.

If a water pipe is not extant check for a leaky downspout in a stud cavity in that bedroom wall. It may be the culprit. Open the wall and repair the leaky spot.

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