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Black Mold

Bourbon Fest is now in our rearview mirror but, for us Natives, bourbon is a year-round presence. Now, I enjoy a glass of good bourbon as much as the next man, but I could surely do without the black mold its production spawns on my house! For those of you fortunate enough not to know what I’m referring to, here is the situation: When distilled spirits are aged, a certain amount of ethanol is released into the atmosphere. Distillers refer to this as the Angels’ Share. Unfortunately, God’s great helpers don’t actually consume this evaporated alcohol. Instead, it lands on houses, cars, street signs, and absolutely *everything* within a certain radius of the distilleries’ storage facilities. A mold called Baudoinia then feeds on this ethanol condensation and covers everything with its black presence.

I was recently grumbling to myself about having to wash my entire house, again. My brand new siding already looked ten years old due to the mold. Keeping it clean requires a twice-yearly washing with a bleach solution. Having learned, in the course of writing this article, that our black mold is completely preventable (if distilleries outfitted their storage units with the necessary thermal oxidizers, the ethanol could be broken down before it reached the atmosphere), I do wish that the powers-that-be would put an end to this nuisance. But the fact of the moment is: The mold continues, and we must clean it.

As I was grumbling and bleaching my house, I realized that, if my 2-year-old son were able to operate a backpack-sprayer and pressure-washer, this would be a dream job for him! Putting myself in the mindset of a young boy playing with squirt guns (even, in the case of the pressure-washer, *gas-powered* squirt guns!!) quickly put a smile on my face and made the task proceed very pleasantly indeed.

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