Profile photo of


Very sorry to hear about the situation. It’s always frustrating to have a place you love living in, but have something go considerably wrong. Wish I was nearby to come over and help with the bleach (be careful with your mucous membranes, especially your lungs – but it needs to be done). It may be a good idea to go to a medical supply house, or some other outlet that sells them, and get some of the much better masks that actually take care of chemicals. We were issued them in the military hospital where I used to work in case of some sort of CBRN incident. They used to test them on us by squirting a small amount of something that smelled like ether. If we could smell it, there was a problem with the fit. My sense of smell is far more sensitive than most people, and I could not even smell ether right in front of my nose, literally. (The official procedure is to use a saccharine spray, according to the CDC guidelines, but whatever….)

I consider these an essential prep item, by the way. What we got is available on Amazon for under $18 for 20 masks, at:


This is the “normal” size which fits most people. There is also a small size (the 1860S model) for roughly the same price (better for kids and some women in order to get a good seal). Though designed as a particulate filter that will even take care of viruses such as TB (and therefore will also obviously take care of protecting you against inhaling mold spores which can be a huge health issue), they also seem to significantly reduce odors as well. Just to check it with bleach before posting this, I went and put one on and then tried to smell chlorine from a gallon jug of bleach, squeezing the sides to force the chlorine smell out directly into the mask. It was there, but rather faint. These should just about eliminate mold spore intake altogether, and significantly help your lungs, nose, and sinuses with the bleach.

I HIGHLY recommend these, over the cheap white things sold in home improvement stores. Take care of yourselves!

Oh – and I fully agree with 74 on a fan. You need to be circulating the air from all floors in order to maintain reasonable humidity and keep mold down. Plus, you’ve got the natural air conditioning from the basement if you can safely bring it up (good air filter designed for allergens).