Thursday, June 20, 2024

How Do I Clean Up Mold In My Basement

How To Remove Mold From Drywall

How to Clean up Mold

Removing mold from drywall can be tricky because if drywall gets too wet, it is ruined. In fact, its often easier to cut out the infected section of drywall and replace it, rather than trying to treat the mold directly. If the drywall feels soft, its beyond saving. However if you do want to clean the drywall without removing it, heres what to do.

Youll need:


Step 1: Brush the mold off the drywall using the scrubbing brush. Try to remove as much as possible without getting the wall wet.

Step 2: Make a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Spray it onto the area until it is damp, but not soaked.

Step 3: Wait 10 minutes then use a medium-bristled brush to clean the wall using circular motions. Dont scrub too hard or youll damage the drywall.

Step 4: Wipe down the wall using household disinfectant wipes.

Step 5: Allow the wall to dry. In high-humidity environments, set up a box fan directed toward the wall to dry it as quickly as possible.

If the drywall is stained when dry, use a primer or stain block before repainting. Consider a mold-resistant paint to provide extra protection, and reduce humidity in the room to stop mold from returning.

Pro Tip: Learn How To Remove Humidity from Your Furniture and Textiles for Proper Moisture Control

How To Get Rid Of Mold

Small amounts of mold can be cleaned up with soap and water or a bleach and water solution and a thorough scrubbing to get rid of dead mold spores.

But if you have extensive water damage or mold growth, you should seek professional help in the form of a trained mold remediation specialist. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you call in a professional if the mold is widespread, or is more than 10 square feet in size.

How to reduce the chances of getting mold in your basement:

How To Remove Black Mold In A Basement

In addition to addressing the causes of moisture in a basement, if you have black mold, it is important to begin the mold removal process.

If the mold is extensive, hiring an experienced contractor is strongly recommended. With a large mold contamination, full hazmat suits, face masks, air blowers, and other equipment may be used to remove and contain the mold.

My recommendations for mold removal are for small areas of mold growth only such as less than 10 square feet.

Also Check: How To Test For Mold Air Quality

Get Your Solution Ready

There are three ways to get rid of mold:

The first and least damaging way is to use vinegar. Mix white vinegar and water to treat the affected area. This will also help you kill weeds, but wont harm the grass on your lawn or flower beds. Spray the vinegar mixture on the mold, and after a few minutes, you can start scrubbing.

The second and most common way of treating mold is with bleach. Fill a one-gallon bucket with warm water and 3/4 cup of liquid bleach. Make sure you ventilate the area where youre working. Then start scrubbing with the liquid bleach mixture.

The third way to treat mold is the most extreme. You can add trisodium phosphate to your bleach water. You should only add one-half cup to every two gallons of water and bleach. Trisodium phosphate will work on tougher mold. But because of the solutions strength, you should handle it with care.

While youre treating the mold, using whatever mixture you have, make sure to keep it as dry as possible. You can use a vacuum to suck away any extra water or sponge it up yourself.

What Does Mold Look Like

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We like mold for making a tasty cheese, but we dont want it downstairs. To find it, you might have to dive deep and get behind surfaces. Indoor mold doesnt necessarily look very menacing.

It comes in all colors from white to green to black. You might have heard about black mold , but in truth that type of mold isnt the most common one found in homes. Four other types are much more common, according to the Centers for Disease Control , and they include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. The type that creates black mold is technically Stachybotrys chartarum .

One thing they all have in common is their favorite types of places to grow, which the CDC notes can include wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, as well as dust, paints, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.

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What Is Black Mold

Black mold is often found inside houses with excessive moisture damage to wallboard and other surfaces. Much is made of this type of molds toxicity but the mold itself isnt harmful. It does however have the potential to produce mycotoxins that can cause harm to people and pets, depending on the particular species of mold. A rule of thumb should be use caution when removing all molds, especially when in abundance.

Ventilate The Area While Cleaning

It’s important to realize that mold removal may release spores throughout the home if it is done in a haphazard way. It’s a good idea to ventilate the home as much as possible during the mold remediation process such as opening windows.

Be careful in using the HVAC system to ventilate the home because it may blow mold spores throughout the home .

Some equipment you may want to use when removing mold include face masks, gloves, high quality trash bags, goggles , and a spray bottle.

Read Also: What Are The Signs of Black Mold in Air Vents?

Recommended Reading: How Much Mold Can Kill You

Causes Of Basement Mold

Mold grows in areas with moisture, organic materials, moderate temperatures, and low light levels. Because basements are built underground, they are a prime breeding ground for mold. Mold growth is likely to affect common building materials that are soft and porous because they absorb natural water quickly. Mold growth can also happen if the mason did not apply the brick correctly, causing the mortar to leak and allowing the mortar and cement to absorb more water than usual. In many cases, the initial construction plan was not carefully calculated waterproofing methods such as waterproofing materials misting of moisture were not applied.

Besides, an erratic climate often causes the floor to sweat. When there is no sunlight, the water vapor cannot evaporate, leading to water stagnation for a long time which can lead to mold. Moisture can seep through foundation walls, especially after heavy rains, saturating the wood beams and drywall. Once these materials have absorbed water, they dry out very slowly, giving mold spores a chance to establish their colony. Basement mold can spread to the rest of your house if you do not remove it, so it is best to be proactive about eliminating existing mold and preventing new mold colonies from forming.

Remove Drywall And Carpet

How to get rid of mold in basement | crossxpollination

If you have black mold growing on drywall or carpet, and you can’t just wipe it off , then you really should just cut it out.

Mildew is usually powdery and just surface coats drywall and carpet which can be easily wiped off. Mold however will grow deeper into drywall and you can’t just clean it or paint it over.

Also Check: What Kills Mold On Sheetrock

How To Clean Mold In A Basement

This article was co-authored by Mike Kapur. Mike Kapur is a home inspector and the owner of Sonic Home Inspections, a home inspection company in Westchester, New York. With over 15 years of experience in pre-inspecting properties, Mike specializes in mold, radon, asbestos, lead, water, and air quality testing as well as hazardous materials, pest, infrared, and general home inspections. Prior to founding Sonic Home Inspections, Mike worked pre-inspecting apartments. Mike holds a BS in Accounting from Queens College and is a Certified Mold Assessor in the state of New York.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 85,566 times.

Put on protective gear before inspecting or cleaning mold. Find out the size of the affected area, then decide if you prefer to hire a professional. To clean it yourself, apply a mold-killing cleaning agent such as diluted bleach, undiluted vinegar, or 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let the solution sit briefly, then scrub and rinse the area. Eliminate any leaks, condensation and excess humidity, since reducing moisture is the most important way to combat basement mold.

Dealing With Outdoor Causes Of Mold

Since there are two main causes of mold , we are going to take the same approach to mold prevention. Lets dig deeper into outdoor moisture causes and what you can do to prevent moisture inside your basement.

First of all, you should be aware of rains and floods as they are a direct source of water. Following the flow path of rainwater or the access part of flood will give you enough information to start with.

Pay attention to where the rainwater flows after it falls on your roof. If the ground surrounding your home is on the same level as your home or higher, it is very likely that rainwater is going to get into your basement. Talk to your contractor to have the outside ground slope away from your home or heap soil onto the ground against your home.

Rain can cause a problem without even touching the ground. The windows on your home may be a problem too. Inspect your windows and check window wells for signs of insulation problems or potential build-up issues.

Additionally, do not forget to clean the gutter to ensure proper water flow. Ensure that all downspouts extend far away from the home, especially if the grading is not optimal. That way you will ensure that rainwater flows away from your home, not into it.

Another outdoor cause of excess moisture, although not a frequent one, is flooding. Its almost impossible to prevent floodwater from coming into the basement but it is crucial to act the minute it happens, in order to prevent mold from growing.

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Mold Growth In Your Home

Of particular concern should be your basement, as its walls, carpets and floors provide mold with a perfect environment to grow. Mold loves dark, cool and moist environments and if left alone and allowed to grow and thrive, it can be expensive and difficult to remove completely.

But the price tag and effort needed to remove mold shouldnt be your only motivation. Once mold starts to grow in your basement, its not hard for it to make its way upstairs and around the rest of your home. Thats why its so important to inspect regularly and take action at the first sign of mold.

What Does Mold On Concrete Look Like

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Mold on concrete can look like any number of different things. It depends on what classification of mold is growing on the surface of your concrete. It could be white, black or green.

Mold can be harmless or harmful regardless of color, so you should have a professional from Mold Busters visit your property for an expert inspection.

If you mistake black mold for mildew and try to clean it off, you could spread it to the rest of your home. Certain black molds grow in circular formations and are easy to spot however, this is not always the case.

This mold should be treated in the same way as any mold colony growing inside your home.

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Clean Moldy Material That Cant Be Replaced

For walls, floors, and other hard surfaces, use a bleach solution and/or commercial cleaners to wash and kill the mold while wearing the same protective gear mentioned in step two. Use disposable sponges and other cleaning materials so you can throw them away and keep them from spreading spores to other places in the house.

How To Get Rid Of Mold In Your Basement

If there is one single room in every home that tends to be prone to mold, its the basement. Basements are dark, cold, and often have leaks from the outside. This leads to a lot of issues, primarily mold. Weve all been in basements that had that telltale musty, moldy smell. Sometimes, you might even see the mold growing up a wall. Did you ever wonder what you can do to get rid of that mold?

Getting rid of mold in your basement requires a thorough cleaning, as well as a way to keep mold from growing. To do this, follow the steps below:

  • Dry out the area.
  • Check to see the mold growth.
  • Spray a mold-killing spray on the mold, and start scrubbing.
  • Remove any items damaged by the mold.
  • Fix any fixtures that have been damaged by mold.
  • Address the problem that caused the mold in the first place.

Theres no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Mold is a serious issue that can eat away at your home, not to mention the health of people living inside of it. This guide will help you save your family from the dangers of mold.

Read Also: How To Clean Mold Between Pavers

Find The Moisture Source

Black mold removal is important. But first, one must identify that it is black mold. First, look at the color, followed by the smell. Black mold is black or even dark grey in color, and often smells wet and musty, as it usually grows in areas with a lot of moisture. Black mold is also usually noticeable in the home if you experience a burning or scratching sensation in your throat or lungs. Black mold is dangerous, and can greatly affect your health if left untreated, so it’s important to remove it as soon as you’re aware of it.

Before you can begin any black mold treatment, youll need to perform a black mold test and find the source. Its often the result of excess moisture in a particular area. Youre most likely to find black mold in areas of your home that you dont visit as often like the basement, but it can pop up anywhere. Here are a few common moisture sources to look for:

  • Faucets and fixtures. Sink, shower and bathtub faucets and fixtures that are leaking can lead to the growth of black mold over time.
  • Exposed plumbing. Damaged or leaking pipes, especially in warmer temperatures, can often create black mold in areas like basements.
  • Water heaters. A small leak can create black mold in your basement or water heater closet.

Dont Ignore The Problem

How To Kill Mold In Your Basement With Borax And Warm Water

Molds are not just unsightly they can cause structural damage and might make you sick. Black molds may be Stachybotrys, possibly S. chartarum or S. chlorohalonata. Many molds can take up residence in your home. Not all are black they might be yellow, white or some other color. Its important to understand and identify molds. Prevent them, if you can, and take steps to get rid of them quickly.

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Install An Hvac Ultraviolet Light

When the entire black mold removal process is finished , then installing an HVAC UV light is highly advisable.

An HVAC UV light is a special type of light bulb that is installed inside your furnace, and it shines 24-hours to kill and prevent mold growth. The UV light shines a special light frequency known as UV-C that has been proven to kill mold organisms.

It actually disrupts their cellular DNA. Hospitals have been using UV lights for years to sanitize operating rooms.

How Do You Get Mold In Your Basement

Mold is a natural way that the environment breaks down organic debris, and tiny mold spores are present everywhere. When mold spores come into contact with a damp surface, they either begin to grow or try to break down the item that theyre growing on, such as natural fibers and untreated wood.

There are different types of mold, but its easy to identify each type once you know their characteristics. Knowing where to look makes it easy to find. Mold will usually grow when there is moisture from HVAC condensation, pipe leaks, or unsealed basement walls. By checking around your HVAC units, under overhead pipes, and along where basement walls meet the floor, you can usually find where mold has settled and started to grow.

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Tips For Mold Prevention

After you learn how to remove mold, focus on preventing it in the future. Controlling dampness is the key to stopping most mold. The worst infestations usually occur in damp crawl spaces, attics, walls where water leaked in from the outside, and in basements with poor foundation drainage. Stopping leaks, ensuring good ventilation in attics, keeping crawl spaces dry and routing water away from the foundation are the best defenses against mold.

Mildewcide in paint is usually effective for controlling surface mold in damp rooms like bathrooms, and outside in shady areas. Many paints already have mildewcide in them. Check with your paint dealer about mold removal products.

Mold On Basement Floor

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Black mold can also take over the basement floor. It can be caused by leaking pipes, poor drainage or lack of ventilation. To eliminate it, fill a spray bottle with water and spray the floor, then scrub the floor with a stick scrub brush as much as possible. Then, mix water with ammonia in a bucket, and use a scrub brush to clean the floor. Once done, use water to remove all the remaining soapy water from it. Next, prepare a mix of bleach with water and scrub again. Leave the bleach for several minutes and then clean again with plain water to remove the bleach. Dry the floor ensuring to remove all moisture from it. Finally, use a dehumidifier to keep the area moisture free.

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