Types Of Basement Mold
Various types of mold will infest your basement. While they are all hideous, not all of them are toxic to humans.
Molds can be divided into two categories:
Allergenic molds usually pose no health risk unless you are extremely sensitive to molds or asthmatic. Black molds, on the other hand, produce a toxic chemical called mycotoxins and are particularly harmful to humans and pets.
Here are the common types of molds that can infest your basement.
Aspergillus is one of the most common household mold species. There are different types of Aspergillus, and most of them thrive well indoors. Some of the Aspergillus molds are allergenic, but some are mycotoxin and should be removed by a specialist, especially if it is something like black mold.
This fungus is dark green and found on damp walls, ceilings, and even furniture. It flourishes in humid environments, but can also grow in areas that are dry with high levels of humidity or condensation.
How To Remove Mold From Drywall
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.
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.
How To Clean Mold From Concrete Basement Walls With Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a versatile and effective cleaner thats a fungicide, virucide, and bactericide. There are dozens of peroxide uses for around the home, both inside and out.
Disinfecting with hydrogen peroxide will kill virtually anything thats growing on your basement walls, including mold! Its also ideal to clean concrete basement floors, too.
- Bristle brush
To kill mold on concrete basement walls or for an ideal DIY mildew remover, pour 3% hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle. Saturate the walls with the peroxide, then let it sit for up to 30 minutes. Clean mold off walls by scrubbing the area thoroughly with a bristle brush after about ten minutes to help to lift any residual mold out of the pores in the concrete.
If you can, hose off the walls or scrub them down with warm water to remove any cling-on spores when you finish and leave the walls clean and shiny. Dry with a clean towel to eliminate water spots that could encourage more mold to grow.
Peroxide is an excellent option not only for mold removal but to get rid of other types of stains, as well, especially for how to clean white walls that may have mold or mildew.
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Know Your Mold And Mildew
Mold can grow in your home wherever theres an abundance of moisture, especially when its allowed to remain for extended periods of time. Mold usually appears on walls, ceilings and floors of homes where moisture management is not at its best. In particular, basements, shower walls and windowsills are areas where mold commonly likes to live. Mold and mildew, for all intents and purposes, are essentially the same thing mildew is generically used to describe many minor mold problems in the home, such as on shower tile grout. However, some molds can become highly toxic to people if left to prosper. Mold can cause allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complications, and is especially a risk for small children, the elderly and those with existing respiratory illnesses or weakened immune systems. Mold can appear in many shapes and colors, none of which accurately determines the actual species of mold. However, it does commonly present itself in various tints of black, white, green or blue, and in many combinations of these and other colors.
How To Remove Mold From Your Basement
ByHelen Alexanderpublished 18 October 21
Damp, water leaks and excess moisture in the air can all cause mold to grow. Heres how to remove mold from your basement.
If you want to know how to remove mold from your basement, this article takes you through the tools you need to get rid of it. According to the Environmental Protection Agency , it only takes a little moisture to cause mold spores to grow and this can result in damage to your property and to your health.
We explore the mold-removing solutions that can protect your home in the long term, as well as the preventative measures designed to reduce the risk of mold starting its rapid growth.
Having successfully removed mold from your basement, its important to consider long-term solutions such as purchasing a dehumidifier that will ensure it doesnt reoccur. For more information on air quality issues relating to mold check out our features on what causes dampness in a house and is condensation on windows bad?
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How To Identify And Treat Mold In Your Basement
- Working Time: 3 – 4 hrs
- Total Time: 3 – 4 days
- Yield: 80 square feet of basement wall
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $30 to $60
If any place in the house will grow mold, it’s the basement. Basements collect and trap moisture, and moisture is one factor that leads to mold growth. And because basements have less natural light and airflow than other parts of the home, that mold will not die off on its own.
Some strains of black mold can be a health hazard. Plus, mold can quickly decay organic materials such as wood, leading to structural failure. This means that identifying and treating mold in the basement should be a priority as soon as you believe that you have it.
The Health Risks Of Mold
Along with being pretty unsightly, certain molds can pose major health risks. Some people are sensitive to mold as an allergen, and it can cause anything from eye and throat irritation to asthma or more serious illnesses in those with compromised immune systems.
In fact, indoor mold issues pose such a widespread problem, that the World Health Organization released an extensive report on air quality guidelines concerning mold. In the report, they noted that it doesnt take a flood event to lead to mold in a building or home, but in fact the majority of mold spores come inside via the regular airflow. These spores, when they find a moist spot to multiply, create issues of health-impacting poor air quality in these spaces where we all spend the majority of our time: inside.
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Get Rid Of Basement Mold With Vinegar
Vinegar is a well-known household cleaner that does an excellent job of removing visible mold. The best type of vinegar to use for natural mold removal is white vinegar.
White vinegar in a spray bottle doesnt have to be diluted with anything you can simply pour it right over the mold. You can also add a bit of baking soda to the mix.
And, the vinegar should have anywhere from two-five minutes to sit on the mold or mildew, at which point it can be wiped off with a cloth or sponge.
In our experience, chlorine bleach is not a safe solution, many professionals do use it, but we couldnt recommend it as a DIY solution.
Mold Removal From Fabric
Its easier than you might think for clothes to attract mold and mildew. A forgotten load of laundry in the washing machine, the pile of clothes at the bottom of a closet, or even the armchair in a humid room can all quickly become overrun with mold. However as long as you catch the problem early, your fabrics can still be saved.
If you can apply bleach to a fabric without worrying about discoloration, do it. Thats the fastest and most effective way of getting rid of mold. Many laundry bleaches can be used on white and colorfast fabrics, although you should always check the instructions, and never use bleach on wool or silk. Simply apply a solution of one part bleach to three parts water and let it absorb into the fabric for a few minutes before laundering as usual.
For fabrics that cant be bleached, use white vinegar instead. Either apply white vinegar to a cotton pad and place it on top of the stain for five minutes before laundering, or briefly soak in a solution of ¼ cup vinegar to one gallon water. Rinse through to remove the vinegar and launder as normal.
Related: All about cleaning fabrics
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Seal Off The Crawl Space
Some basements have crawl spaces in them. These are small areas that may appear as a hole in the wall, leading into the dirt under a particular part of the home.
Since they usually are not sealed off, any moisture that comes from frost melting during the spring or gutter leaks permeates through the layers of soil and down into this space.
You have a couple of options if your crawl space is part of the problem leading to the musty smell. You may waterproof the crawl space to keep moisture from collecting right next to the basement walls.
Consider sealing off the crawl space as well. Depending on the entrance size, this is quite simple as long as the walls are waterproofed around the entryway.
Sealing off the crawl space doesnt mean restricting access to the space. It might be as simple as putting a smaller door into the area. Doing this stops moisture in the air from raising the humidity levels in the basement, becoming a harbor for mold.
How To Remove Mold On Drywall
If you notice mold on a drywall surface in your home, try not to panic. The truth is that mold can happen anywhere and in any home. All it needs to grow is a source of moisture and an organic food source, and drywall can be an all-you-can-eat buffet. Read these steps on how to safely remove mold from your drywall.
Mold spores are everywhere. They float through the air and can settle on any surface. If that surface is damp and theres a food source present, mold will grow.
The paper face on a damp sheet of drywall can be the perfect food source for a spore to dig into. Before long, the mold can multiply and spread across the entire wall and into the wall cavity, feeding on wood framing and flooring.
While its hard not to panic at the thought of a mold problem, you can handle most drywall mold scenarios on your own. According to the EPA, homeowners can remove mold on drywall under 10 square feet. Larger infestations might require a pro.
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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.
Here is an article I wrote on my best picks for HVAC UV lights to kill mold.
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 To Clean Mold From Concrete Basement Floor
Quoted as being “the only indoor waterproofing device which totally seals some basement floor forever, no matter how deteriorated” or wet seems a good, simple strategy that costs a couple of 100 bucks instead of thousands for extensive manual labor, pipes and pumps. With some sort of carpeting, you could very well turn a basement into a great movie theater room.
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Mold In The Basement: Identifying And Treating It
Homes that have basements often have mold. Due to basements’ proximity to groundwater, water can wick up through concrete floors and continue wicking up through floor sleepers and wall studs. Homes without a robust water diversion system may accumulate water in the soil that can crack the foundation, which results in water leakage.
Identifying and treating basement mold is a multi-stage process. You must find the mold, then test it to make sure of what you’re dealing with. You’ll remove structural elements to permit access to the mold, as needed, and go through the process of killing the mold. Then you’ll mechanically remove or encapsulate the dead mold spores, depending upon which is best for your situation. Finally, you’ll turn your attention to fixing the problem that allowed the mold to grow in the first place.
Basement Mold Growth Inhibitors
Mold Fogging Products: There are numerous mold removing foggers on the market. Foggers are designed to remove mold, reduce mold odors, and prevent mold from growing in the future.
Foggers kill most types of mold including aspergillus, Cladosporium, and fusarium. Foggers can also be used in a variety of different locations, and are especially useful in hard to get to areas such as crawl spaces, basements, and attics.
Here is a short video using Conrobium and Fogging Techniques to Remove Basement Mold
When compared to other commercial mold removing products, mold foggers can be an excellent choice for mold treatment of a large area at one time.
They can also be more cost-efficient and labor proficient in terms of dollars and time saved in handling large mold infested areas.
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How To Prevent Black Mold In Basement
Once you have it in your basement, it is very hard to get rid of, and it creates problems that may cost you a lot. Your best course is to prevent the problem. Controlling moisture and the humidity level of your basement is most important.If you notice a musty smell, check for moisture. Is water seeping in through the cinder blocks? Do you have a leaky pipe? Is your drywall damp? Are there dark splotches on the walls or ceiling? Fungi grow fast in moist, humid conditions, so do regular checks of your basement if its a space you dont often visit.You may want to invest in a dehumidifier. The cost will be minimal compared to the expense of clean-up and removal. Airflow is necessary, so dont stack items to the ceiling or very close to walls. Use an exhaust fan or open doors or windows when weather permits. Fungi are attracted to organic material, so dont grow plants or store firewood in your basement.
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:
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What Causes Mold To Grow In Basements
Mold loves temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees F, a little bit of moisture, some tasty surfaces to feed on, and plenty of room to growall of which the average basement supplies readily.
You can have issues with mold after a small leak, say, from a water heater or bathroom, rain coming in a basement window after a big storm, a major flood event, an overwatered plant pot, or even just due to an excess of indoor humidity.
Black Mold Can Form In Dark Damp Corners Of Your Basement Without You Ever Knowing It
Worse, it spreads very quickly. Not only does mold rot drywall, but it can also lead to serious health issues. If you have asthma or allergies, mold can cause eye irritation, cough, congestion, and skin irritation. More serious health issues from mold exposure include fever, coughing up blood, nose bleeds, vomiting, and even liver damage. If you spot mold spores, you need to act quickly while taking proper safety precautions. Here well cover 5 steps for removing black mold in your basement.
Before you get to work in the basement, strap on a face mask and gloves to protect yourself. Without touching it, inspect the damaged area. Black mold will look like soot and may be dusty. If the job is too big, or you have health issues that could be exacerbated from addressing the mold issue, contact a professional cleaning service or mold remediation company, such as Woodard, and stay as far away from the area as possible.
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