Banish Mold Infestations With Professional Help
What gets rid of black mold? Most of the cleaners weve mentioned can snuff out black mold infestations, but we recommend getting professional help for significant black mold growth. This is because Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, can be harmful if breathed in large quantities.
If a basement mold problem is really severe, mold removal specialists might turn to fumigation to eradicate the infestation. Whichever method they choose to take care of your mold problem, you can rest assured that a professional will do a thorough job to prevent the black mold areas from returning.
If you dont eradicate the source of the moisture that caused the mold, you could see more mold, but a professional will eradicate all mold spores and roots from an infestation so that the same colony cannot grow back, particularly in the same area.
Dehumidifiers and waterproofing paint can be useful for helping to stave off future mold issues. Wet, moldy surfaces like carpeting and drywall are often too far gone to be salvaged and need a replacement instead.
Specific Health Concerns With Basement Mold Growth
Basement mold problems are significantly more likely to affect the indoor air quality, and subsequently the health of sensitive occupants, more than other areas of the home. There are a few reasons for this. As noted above, basements often have less ventilation than the rest of the home. Either the registers are closed to save money or in many cases, the hvac system simply wasnt designed to fully heat and ventilate the basement. Bathrooms in basements are also more likely to have an old or non-existent exhaust fan.
If the furnace isnt routinely exchanging the basement air, the furnace filter is less able to pull the mold spores from the air. And if bath fans are not present, humidity and pollutants will linger longer. Also, due to the stack effect , contaminated air from the basement will often infiltrate the upper portions of the home.
The potential for mold in the basement to cause health effects also depends much on the building materials used on the flooring and walls. For example, an unfinished basement with bare concrete walls and flooring, will provide far fewer food sources for the mold. However, a finished basement with insulation, sheet rock and carpeting provides dramatically more food sources.
Regardless of the source, mold testing is a great way to get quantitative data about the mold levels in the basement.
How To Prevent Mold On Concrete
Preventing black mold from entering your home is fairly straightforward, although it requires staying on top of the situation. Because fungus loves to flourish on damp areas, make sure rooms with regular water exposure like the kitchen and bathroom are well-ventilated. Dehumidifiers are helpful is small rooms with high humidity levels. Always check for leaking pipes as well, which are a major cause of household mold. Preventing mold in the basement is a bit trickier. Youll need to make sure ground water runs away from your home to prevent it from collecting near the basement. Check that sprinklers and downspouts arent depositing water near the basement walls or windows. Prevent condensation on basement water pipes by wrapping them. Use an exhaust fan in the bathrooms of your home after showering. Finally, keep the humidity in your basement below 60%. Running a dehumidifier downstairs may be your only option if you live in an area with high humidity.
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Kill Mold Naturally With Tea Tree Oil
Believe it or not, one of the uses for tea tree oil is a fungicide thats surprisingly effective at killing molds and mildews on many different surfaces, from clothes to walls to shower stalls. If youre looking for a healthy, holistic, pleasant-smelling way to kill mold in your home, tea tree oil might be just the ticket.
- Scrub brush, sponge, or rag
If youre cleaning mold in a shower or other well-traveled area, you may be able to spray the area with the tea tree oil solution and leave it. Since youre only using one part tea tree oil for every 48 parts water, theres no need to rinse!
If the area is visibly moldy, you may want to scrub the mold away with a sponge or rag soaked in the tea tree solution instead. In both scenarios, leave the cleaner on the surface without rinsing to help discourage future mold growth. Watch tea tree oil use around pets, as it can be harmful to them if ingested.
Fix Any Fixtures Damaged By Mold
With that said, there are some occasions where you might be able to save and restore items affected by mold. Some items that are considered to be prime restoration options include:
- Furniture. Wooden furniture can be restored if you are willing to sand away the portion eaten away by mold. You will need wood filler and a wood stain, but its still possible.
- Ceramic. Soaking ceramic in white vinegar will remove the mold and the stains.
- Plastic. Most plastics will be easy to wipe down. Just make sure its not porous!
- Sheetrock/Walls. If you have mold-damaged walls, you will need to call professional mold remediation crews to fix this. Either way, you will need to address this to prevent mold from re-entering your room.
Note: You still need to remove the restorable items from the room and treat them to continue your clean-up. When theyre mold-free, you can re-introduce them to the room.
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The Bottom Line On Getting Rid Of Mold In Your Basement
Mold can be scary, especially if you or a loved one have allergies or sensitivities. However, you can get rid of mold in your basement by fixing the moisture issue, removing unsalvageable material, and putting a little elbow grease into cleaning the affected area. Just remember to be safe, watch for cross-contamination, and never hesitate to call a professional if the problem becomes more than you can handle.
Black Mold On Concrete In Basement
For black mold on concrete in a basement, start by ventilating the area well. Because youll be using bleach indoors, open a window and escape the fumes when possible. Create a cleaning solution thats one part bleach to four parts water and apply it to the concrete. Allow this solution to sit for fifteen minutes before using a wire scrub brush to clean the mold off the surface. Make sure you leave the area while the bleach is soaking to prevent breathing in fumes. Its important to wear protective gear during this process, including rubber gloves and a respirator. After youve scrubbed the area, soak up the cleaning solution and apply clean water. Scrub once more and remove all surface water. Allow the area to dry completely. If your basement area is relatively damp, use a fan to dry the floor quickly.
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First Dry Out The Basement Asap
Before you can do anything else, you need to remove the source of water thats been causing the moisture to build up. This means you will need to do the following:
How To Remove Mold From Concrete Patio
The three steps you can follow when removing mold from your concrete patio are: clean the patio, scrub and clean with a mold-killing detergent. Rinse with hot water and let the wind dry your patio. Voilà, all mold removed. Follow our detailed 3 steps removal guide below for the best result and lasting effect.
- Step 1: Clean your patioThe first step is to clean your concrete patio. You can use a vacuum cleaner and a feather duster to clean your patio. The cleaning process will help you get rid of the visible mold.
- Step 2: ScrubThe second step is to scrub your patio to get rid of any traces of mold. You can use the ordinary home cleaning detergents with warm water to clean your patio. If there are stubborn stains, consider using a wire brush to clean them.
- Step 3: Use vinegar/bleachOnce you have scrubbed the surface, use a bleach solution or vinegar to spray your concrete patio. The mixing ratio of your bleach with water should be one cup of bleach to a gallon of warm water. When cleaning, make sure to wear personal protective gear to protect yourself from the effects of the vinegar or bleach.
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Basement Mold Removal Methods
Basement Mold Removal through Negative Air Pressure: A negative air pressure machine can be used to prevent the spread of mold to other areas in your home.
Negative air pressures use a process called ducting to suck the air out of a room and filter it outside of the area with mold.
Negative air pressure machines are a good way to ensure that an area is free of mold spores.
Removing Basement Mold with HEPA Vacuuming: HEPA vacuums can be used for mold removal and are often a great way to ensure that all mold spores and particles have been removed from your basement.
Furthermore, if an area of your basement is highly susceptible to mold, vacuuming with a HEPA vacuum on a semi-regular basis can also help prevent future mold growth.
How To Remove Mold From Basement Walls
You might think that the musty smell in your basement is completely normal. All basements smell like that, after all, dont they? The truth is, many times that smell is a sure sign that mold is growing unchecked in the space below your home. To really get rid of a musty smell in your basement, youll need to remove the mold and the moisture contributing to its growth.
In many cases, you will be able to see mold growing on the walls in a basement. It might be black, green, brown or very pale in color, depending on what species have colonized the space. Identifying the exact type of mold you have will help you better understand the problem and find a solution. Mold in a home can significantly impact indoor air quality and contribute to respiratory symptoms or other health problems. So, no matter what type you find, you should definitely take steps to safely remove it and discourage further growth.
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Remove Moldy Material If Possible
If the mold has damaged a small area of soft or fibrous material like carpet, ceiling tiles, or wall material thats not load-bearing , you can remove the material yourself and replace it. Just be sure to wear protective eyewear and disposable dust masks, gloves, and possibly protective clothing so you can ensure youre not bringing the mold into your living spaces.
Common Types Of Basement Mold
Unfortunately, there isnt just one type of mold that can be found in your basement. While all mold is unsightly, certain types of mold can also be toxic for humans.
Furthermore, different breeds of mold will appear in different colors and specific types of mold grow on certain surfaces better than others.
Below are some of the most common types of mold that may be found in your basement area.
Also, please keep in mind that there are two different kinds of molds: Allergenic and mycotoxin molds or black molds that produce mycotoxins .
Allergenic molds are molds that arent typically a health risk unless youre either highly sensitive to mold or have asthma.
And, in contrast, mycotoxin molds are toxic for humans and pets and should be handled and removed with extreme care.
If you are unsure of what type of mold that you suspect is in your home or basement, it is recommended to call your local professional to identify the mold or mildew growth and take it from there.
- Aspergillus: There are several different types of aspergillus mold, but the majority of the different types thrive in indoor environments. In fact, aspergillus is one of the most common household molds.
While some types of aspergillus molds are allergenic, others are mycotoxin and should be handled by a mold removal specialist.
Aspergillus mold thrives in damp, warm environments. It has also been found to grow in areas that are relatively dry, but simply have higher levels of humidity and or condensation.
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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.
How To Detect & Test Basement Mold
If youve ever had a leak in your basement, or your basement contains humid air and condensation, checking for mold may be a good idea.
Even if you cant immediately see evidence of mold, it could still be growing in places not easily visible to the naked eye.
There are a variety of ways to test for mold ranging from professional to do-it-yourself testing.
When it comes to deciding whether you want to use a do-it-yourself kit or a better off with getting a professional to test your basement, there are several important factors to take into consideration.
While very affordable, do-it-yourself tests are often considered less reliable. Most do-it-yourself tests require you to set a plate out from one to four days.
The idea is that the plate will collect mold spores and yield positive or negative tests results.
The downside to this method is that its not nearly as accurate as professional testing. In contrast, professional testing is more expensive, but is often more accurate and may do a better job of knowing how to get rid of the mold in your basement.
A good do-it-yourself home test kit for mold will range from $10 to $100 while the cost of a professional testing for mold can be anywhere from $200 to $1000 depending on the size of the space you want to test.
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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.
White Fuzzy Mold On Plants
In the outdoor, white mold is a common name of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, a type of parasitic fungi that attack plants. This mold has been known to attack more than 360 species of plants, including vegetables and garden flowers.
White mold can appear on various parts of the plants, such as leaves, stalks, pods, or blossoms.
The first sign of white mold infection is often hard to see with naked eyes. The plants may look alright, but the stalks may look a little like soaked .
There are also wilted parts on stems, and you may also see a little discoloration or tan lesions on them. Finally, fiber-like mold will grow from these dark discolorations.
White mold on plants requires hard work to remove. Farmers or garden owners must remove the infected plants and replace the soil.
Sometimes, the infected soil may have to be covered or separated to prevent further infestation, such as with mulch or plastic.
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Inspect Your Basement For Leaks
Finding the mold or mildew source is crucial if you want to remove that unpleasant smell from your basement. Leaks tend to be the primary suspect of any foul smells in your home, so its vital to fix them as soon as possible. Not only will it make your home smell better, but it can also protect your property from water damage further down the line.
If your basement has exposed pipes running on the ceiling, you can start by covering them with foam insulation. You can find the foam covers at any general home improvement store, and theyre usually affordable. The insulation will absorb any sweating pipes and prevent the moisture from spreading throughout your basement.
However, you should call a plumber if the pipes are leaking heavily.