Friday, May 24, 2024

How To Deal With Mold In The Basement

Specific Health Concerns With Basement Mold Growth

Q& A: Dealing With Basement Mold and Insulation

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.

Diy Mold In Basement Removal

If you want to do a DIY cleanup of the mold you see, follow some basic principles so you dont end up making things worse. Typically, the cleanup process increases the number of spores that are released into the air by disturbing the mold growth colony. Thats why professionals are trained in techniques to seal work areas and use high powered air filtration units when they do a cleanup job.

  • Try to remove the mold from the surface using a HEPA fitted vacuum first, then scrub the area clean with a disinfecting cleaning agent, then seal the surface with a sealer with an anti-microbial agent added to the product.
  • If the material is porous like carpeting, drywall, wood, etc., or of little to no value, then bag or wrap the material tightly and remove from the basement. Then clean as described above.
  • Use a respirator fitted to your face and rated as a N-100 or higher filtration unit. If you are determined to attempt a large project on your own, then goggles, gloves and a Tyvek type protective suit should be worn.
  • Ventilate the area to flush out the spore heavy air with fresh air .
  • Consider your health, physical condition, other occupants of the home, the neighbors, and the amount of mold you think you have before deciding to tackle it on your own.

    Insulate Your Walls Basement Pipes And Windows

    Do not give mold reasons to grow check every pipe for leaks and insulate them to prevent condensation due to the difference in air and pipe temperature. As soon as you notice drops of water on the pipes, ensure that they are properly changed and sealed. Use pipe sleeves, fiberglass, or other insulation materials to wrap the pipes, or cover your windows to prevent condensation during winter.

    Research dew point, as it is a big cause of indoor mold, especially in basements. Ineffective insulation can cause dew point/condensation issues behind walls, malfunctioning sump pumps, water tank corrosion and inadequate basement underpadding .

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    Preventing Mold Caused By Basement Condensation Issues

    There are two methods to prevent mold growth in your basement caused by moisture and condensation.

    Try anti-mildew paint in your basement

    Re-paint your concrete foundation where youre experiencing surface mold growth with an antifungal paint such as KILZ . These types of paints advertise that they prevent mold growth on the surface of the paint. In my experience, they dont always work, though.

    Insulate your foundation to prevent condensation

    The second thing you can do would be to insulate your concrete foundation walls. There are many different options: Styrofoam, spray-foam, or finishing the basement. Insulated walls would prevent that difference in temperature that causes condensation and mold growth.

    Getting Rid Of Mold Smell In Basement

    Simple Preventative Tips to Keep Mold and Mildew Out of ...

    Mold in basement can often leave behind a moldy, musty smell in your basement that can be difficult to get rid. Below are a few methods that may help get rid of any unwanted mold odors.

  • The first step to getting rid of a musty smell in your basement is to first remove any mold and ensure that you have no leaks.
  • Improving the ventilation in your basement and reducing the humidity through the use of a dehumidifier may also help improve the musty smell in your basement.
  • If after removing mold and improving ventilation you find that your basement is smelling no better, you may want to enlist the help of a product. There are a large variety of air fresheners that can help make your basement smell better.
  • Resources:

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    Basement Mold Removal Cost

    If you decide to take a do-it-yourself approach to removing the mold problem in your basement, the cost will depend on the products you use for mold removal.

    While getting rid of mold infestation in basement may seem daunting at first, below are a few steps to take to ensure that youre successful.

    Your first step to removing mold in your basement is to figure out what kind of mold youre dealing with and identify it correctly. Mold inspections is of utter importance.

    And, depending on the type of mold in your basement, youll need to take special precautions such as wearing a mask or respirator to ensure that you dont breath in harmful toxins.

    Ensure that any air vents are sealed off so that mold spores dont spread to other areas of your home. Also be sure to check all crawl space in your basement.

    Once youve removed the mold, you may want to consider taking extra precautions such as a negative air pressure system or HEPA vacuum.

    Take steps to make sure the area has good ventilation. You may want to set up a dehumidifier to try to keep the area non-humid and well ventilated to prevent future mold growth.

    Costs of do-it-yourself mold removal can range anywhere from $25 and upwards. The potential costs of your basement mold removal plan will also depend on the type of mold youre attempting to eradicate.

    And, there is a mold removal cost directly dependent upon what kind of equipment is required to remove the fungus.

    Tips For Preventing Basement Mold

    Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent mold from growing in your basement. Here are five tips to keep this dark space mold-free:

  • Clean FrequentlyOne surefire way to keep mold from growing in your basement is to clean and vacuum the area regularly, as it will eliminate possible sources of mold growth. Its best to use a vacuum with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter, as it will also get rid of existing mold spores. Make sure to clean areas exposed to moisture more thoroughly, especially in tight and small spots.
  • Reduce MoistureIts essential to keep moisture levels in your basement down to a minimum, which is possible by investing in a heavy-duty dehumidifier. If your basement gets flooded because of a storm, ensure that it dries entirely within two days. You can also damp-proof your walls by applying a waterproof coating.
  • Repair Water Issues ImmediatelyWhen left untreated, water issues can lead to a widespread mold problem that will cause many health problems in your household. Inspect your pipes and walls regularly to make sure theyre in good shape. Its also a good idea to check on your tubs, sinks, and other water fixtures to ensure that the plumbing is sealed correctly.
  • Keep Damp Items Away From the BasementObjects like clothes, papers, books, or carpets are hotspots for mold growth, so youll want to keep them away from your basement. However, if you have to store them in this space, put them in plastic containers.
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    What Can You Do To Prevent Mold In A Basement

    To prevent mold from reoccurring or growing at all, you can take the following steps:

  • Use a negative air pressure machine to filter and clean the air in your home and basement. The machine filters all the air out of the room using a process called ducting. During this process, it filters all mold spores that can engender mold growth in the right conditions.
  • Correct the moisture problem by fixing any leaks and cracks in the foundation. If your sump machine has failed, ensure it is set and running again.
  • In areas with high humidity, install a dehumidifier and a humidity gauge to monitor the humidity levels. Always ensure that moisture stays below the 60% range at all times.
  • Seal your foundation using materials such as dry gypsum wall and a primer. That way, any rise in surface water due to flash floods doesnt find its way into your foundations and, subsequently, your home.
  • Purchase a mold inhibitor and mix with the paint, which you will use to paint the walls of your home and basement.
  • Check to ensure that your gutters arent clogged, and all water is deposited far away from your home. Also, get your gardener to ensure that the area surrounding your basement slopes away from the foundations of your home.
  • Different Types Of Basement Mold

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    Though mold growth on your concrete walls causes a variety of harmful symptoms no matter the strain, its important to know what kind of spores are developing in your home. An essential part of mold remediation is identification. If you know what the growth is, you can tailor the solution accordingly.

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    How To Get Rid Of Mold In Basement

    Mold can grow anywhere. But they specifically love damp, humid, and dark environments. Yes, that means of all the parts of your home, the basement is a perfect spot for mold. For them, your basement is their little heaven. And even if your basement seems dry, mold and mildew can still be lurking behind the walls and carpets, and underneath your furniture. There could be mold on drywall in basements too. Mold in basement is a real problem.

    Add the fact that a freshly poured foundation takes five years to completely dry. This means even if there are no leaks or water problems in your basement, the likelihood of mold buildup is incredibly high. And before you know it these nasty fungi have already invaded your home!

    The presence of black, green, yellow, or white mold in basements should be dealt with immediately before they get worse.

    The problem with mold is that aside from the fact that they look disgusting, they can be highly toxic. If youre like most homeowners and you are using your basement as your kitchen, living room, or entertainment area, you could be exposing yourself and your family to so many health problems associated with molds, such as allergy, asthma, and respiratory diseases.

    Basement mold removal is something that is better left in the hands of professionals especially if there is already an infestation. It is common to see mold on basement walls, floors, and ceilings. If these surfaces are infested, mold under houses is very likely too.

    Ventilation With Humid Outside Air

    In the summertime, basement windows may be opened for fresh air. If the outside air is warm and humid, it will condense on the cool basement wall and floor surfaces. Many homeowners see this moisture and believe they are experiencing basement wall leakage, when in fact the accumulated moisture is from condensation.

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    An Overview Of Solutions To Basement Moisture Problems

    The best way to approach any building problem is to first do the things that are easy and low cost. Then proceed in a logical order doing the next least costly technique with the most positive likely result. With moisture problems, the best approach is almost always to remove or control the source of the moisture, not to try to stop it at the last line of defense.

  • First, the simplest and least costly techniques are to remove excessive internal moisture sources in the basement and ventilate other sources .

  • Second, if condensation in the summer is the problem, do not ventilate the basement directly with warm, humid air. Ventilation through an air conditioning system or with a dessicant-type heat exchanger is recommended.

  • Inspect Your Gutter System

    Mold Problems

    Clogged gutters can result in water flowing over the side, settling by your homes foundation. Gutters that are clean will route the water a safe distance away from your home. Clean your gutters at least twice a year to prevent water pooling around the exterior of your basement. Gutter cleaning is recommended in the spring and fall. You can make it a DIY project or hire a professional if youre not ready to climb up the ladder yourself.

    Contact B-Dry Boston today to learn more about preventing mold in your basement. From prevention tips to mold removal services, our team has got you covered! Dont attempt to remove mold in your basement without the help of a professional. Improper cleaning techniques could put you and your family at risk of harmful mold exposure.

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    Can Mold Cause Health Problems

    Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens , irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances . Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash .

    Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.

    This provides a brief overview it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more detailed information consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.

    Step : Clean Out The Mold Site

    You have your cleaning solution and are ready to get started. Follow the steps below

    1- Apply the solution over the affected area either by pouring it over or spraying the area. For premade solutions such as phenolic detergents or mold cleaners, follow the manufacturers directions.

    2- Wipe off the mold pieces using paper towels. Then clean off excess moisture with paper towels.

    3- Repeat the two steps above: Do this several times.

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    Dry Out The Damp Space

    Fungus grows in places with a lot of moisture. Now is where your dehumidifier comes into the picture. The device will help to pull the excess liquid out of the air, making it harder for new spores to grow. If you can, open up the windows in the space and run the exhaust fan to help get a good air flow.

    Avoid Overloading Your Basement

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    Both an organic food source and moisture are important for mold to grow. Thats why its very important to cut the food source, along with lowering the humidity level in your basement. There is no better food for mold than the things you keep in your basement such as clothes, books, carpets and even the cardboard boxes in which you store all of those things.

    Try eliminating everything that you dont need and avoid overstuffing your basement at all costs. Air must be able to flow and it cannot do so if every inch of your basement is covered. If you must use your basement for storage, and you are worried about mold, ensure that everything is properly dried and moved away from the walls. If there is a leak or a flood, take out everything that may have been in touch with water, dry it well and then put it back.

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    Getting Rid Of Basement Mold

    Mold in the basement can be persistent, given the nature of basements they tend to be much more humid than above-ground levels and typically have poor ventilation and little air flow, a combination that can cause mold to flourish. And of course, basements can be prone to flooding, due to extreme weather or undetected leaks in the pipes or sump pump. In addition, once mold develops, cinder blocks or concrete walls can be difficult to clean due to their rough texture.

    To get rid of mold in the basement, scrub the walls using a large brush, and keep in mind that porous surfaces such as ceiling tiles or drywall might need to be removed and replaced. If basement carpet has become moldy, sweep it to loosen the mold and let it dry in the sun if you can move it, or use high-powered fans to remove moisture if its affixed to the floor.

    To prevent mold in the basement, you need to alter the conditions that can cause it to grow. First, remove dampness by installing a dehumidifier and making sure the dryer vent exhausts externally, if you use your basement for laundry. Then turn your attention outside: Shore up cracks and other foundation issues, and make sure that your soil is properly graded so that rainwater or melting snow goes away from the house, rather than collecting near your foundation.

    Basement Mold How Could This Happen

    Mold spores thrive in damp, dark places. For mold to develop and spread on your basement walls, it will require proper breeding conditions are necessary. The following situations may cause mold to develop:

  • Excess Moisture When there is too much moisture in the air, it provides the ideal combination of oxygen and moisture for mold growth. Electrical equipment may also produce condensation through a lack of ventilation. The built-up condensation eventually creates an environment of high-enough humidity that encourages mold development.
  • Water Leaks Water leaks can happen for a variety of reasons, including:
    • Burst pipes or faulty foundations. This is sometimes due to age and lack of maintenance.
    • Soil water table rise causes hydrostatic pressure, which also can lead to basement leaks.
    • Water heaters may leak from time to time. When the functionality of a whole water heater fails, there might be significant flooding, causing excess dampness in your basement.
  • Flooding Flooding is one of the most common causes of mold development in the basement. Floods create significant amounts of water, resulting in hydrostatic pressure. Leaks, dampness, and subsequent mold growth result as a consequence.
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