Tuesday, June 18, 2024

How To Detect Mold In Your Basement

Keeping A Lookout For Mold

A FREE DIY Mold test to confirm a Moldy Basement

When you check for mold, the first thing to know is where its most likely to be. The basement is the number one place to look at, as moldy basements are quite common.

In general, though, any damp, dark places can be prime real estate for mold to grow. This can include under sinks, or in bathrooms that stay damp after showers.

Once you know where to look, the question is, what do you look for? Mold can be identified by its appearance, as well as by its smell.

Mold often appears as a collection of black or green spots. Of course, it often looks a lot like dirt, so just finding dark spots doesnt mean you necessarily have mold on basement walls or anywhere else.

Then again, if you find the spots in a damp area thats often dark, thats a clue that the spots are more likely to be mold than dirt.

Mold also has a distinct smell. If you ever smelled it growing up, you can probably remember it and find mold by smell. If you dont know what mold smells like, just keep a nose out for any unusual smells.

Once again, if you find that the strange smell is coming from a dark, wet place that could easily grow mold, thats your hint that the smell is caused by mold.

There Has Been A Wet Smell In Our Newly Purchased Home Since We Got Here The Previous Owners Did Not Heat The Home In The Winter Months And There Is Very Poor Ventilation In The Basement We Removed Some Gyproc Todaydoes It Look Like We Will Have To Remove It All

Yes, the sheet rock should be removed. This is necessary not only to clean up the existing mold, but to implement the prevention measures.

First, you need to identify the source of the moisture. Three possibilities exist. 1.) Condensation from the warm interior air hitting the cold concrete wall. This typically does not happen behind a well sealed wall , but its possible.

2.) Vapor emissions through the concrete. This occurs when moisture moves through the concrete in vapor form, creating high humidity and saturation on the surface. In an uncovered wall, the water would simply evaporate into the air without causing an issue. The installation of the sheet rock traps the moisture, leading to mold growth. There are two solutions either keep the concrete exposed or install dimple board with a interior footing drain.

3.) Liquid water intrusion. Its possible youre having liquid water enter through the cold joint at the bottom of the wall. If this is the case, youll see more damage at the bottom plate/framing than higher up the studs. In most cases, the solution is an interior footing drain.

Extent Of Mould Growth

It is important to determine the extent of the mould problem in your home to help you decide on the clean-up procedure. An area of mould is considered small if it covers one square metre or less. There should be no more than three patches of mould, with the total area staying within one square metre. Many small patches of mould in one area or throughout your home are a sign of moisture problems that need to be investigated and corrected right away.

If ignored, small mould areas may become larger over time, so it is important to clean them up before the problem gets bigger. A small amount of mould may be cleaned up using proper procedures and protective equipment.

The area of mould is considered medium if there are more than three patches of mould , but the total area is less than three square metres. In this case, assessment by a qualified professional is recommended but in most cases a medium amount of mould may be cleaned up using proper procedures and protective equipment .

An area of mould is considered large if a single patch of mould is larger than three square metres. Health Canada does not recommend that an unqualified person clean up large areas of mould. You may need a professional assessment to determine why the mould is there in the first place and how to clean it up.

You May Like: How To Remove Mold From Shower Ceiling

For More Information Or Assistance

If you need more information on how to detect mold in your home, we recommend contacting a licensed professional. Licensed professionals know how to test for mold on surfaces and in the air, and they know all the places where mold can hide in a home. Professionals will also have more sophisticated testing equipment, which will give more accurate results.

Not only can professionals locate all the mold in your home, they can also tell you what strain or strains of mold are present there. If you are experiencing symptoms of exposure to mold, knowing what strain or strains of mold youre dealing with may help your doctor prescribe the most effective treatment for you.

To locate a licensed professional to test for mold in your home, simply follow this link.

How To Test The Walls For Moisture

How to Detect Household Mold

You cant address damp basement walls until you know where the moisture is coming from. To determine if youre dealing with an exterior or interior problem, try this simple test .

1. Secure a 12-inch square of plastic to the basement wall with water-proof tape tightly sealing all four edges.

2. Leave your test patch in place for at least 24 hours or preferably several days.

3. Check the plastic periodically to see if moisture forms on its surface. If it becomes wet, then youre dealing with high indoor humidity.

4. If you find a damp, dark spot under the plastic when you remove it, this means that moisture is wicking through basement walls from the outside.

If the moisture is from outside, you can try a DIY approach with the same techniques that help prevent basement flooding. If moisture is from the inside, youre usually in luck. You can reduce indoor humidity downstairs by running fans to increase air circulation and installing a dehumidifier. Dont store belongings against walls, and make sure that the furnace and clothes dryer are properly vented.

You May Like: How To Remove Mildew From Ceilings In Bathrooms

Fuzzy White Powered Like Substance Growing In Basement Concrete

That white fuzzy substance growing in the basement is efflorescence not mold. while it smells like mildew and most often confused with mold, efflorescence is the cause of water damage drying and evaporation will push minerals, salt and calcium to the concrete surface, peeling paint and exposing the aggregate in concrete or block foundations. Special attention is needed and often the problem can be visually observed from the opposite side.

Testing For Mold In Your Home

If you hire a professional mold inspector to come to your home, theyll take samples from three areasthe air, the surface, and surrounding dust. They send these samples to a third-party laboratory to find out the concentration and kinds of mold in those particular areas.

However, this procedure takes time and isnt cheap. Fortunately, testing for mold in your home is a relatively easy task that can give you faster results and save you money. If youve done everything you can to prevent mold but still have reason to think the air you breathe is compromised with mold spores, check strategic locations for visible signs of mold.

Common areas of mold growth include:

  • Areas around plumbing lines, even behind the drywall
  • Below sinks
  • Coils of HVAC air handlers or ductwork
  • Between the furniture and exterior walls, particularly in basements or concrete block houses

Don’t Miss: How To Remove Black Mold From Ceiling

A Professional Mold Removal Service Can Clean Mold Safely And Effectively

If you have medical problems, anything other than a small area of mold, or simply want some help to get it done right the first time, contact a professional. Furthermore, if the outbreak is due to contaminated water, is located within your HVAC system, has seeped into your foundation, or keeps reappearing after you clean it, then it really is most prudent to call the pros. Theres nothing wrong with hiring an expert to look at the problem and let you know what you are truly dealing with.

PuroClean has earned the reputation as The Paramedics of Property Damage. Call us 24/7 at 1-800-775-7876, or contact your local office if you find mold growing in your basement or otherwise on your property. Do not expose yourself to the potential health risks of trying to kill mold alone. Our knowledge, experience, and techniques are proven to get rid of mold outbreaks and safely mitigate the risks associated with them.

Can You Get Sick From Mold In Your House

Basement Mold Check and Assessment

Yes. Those will allergies, compromised immune systems, asthma, or other such issues are at a higher risk as even minor, non-toxic molds could cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Mold in your house is rarely life-threatening. However, prolonged exposure is far from ideal for a number of reasons.

Don’t Miss: Removing Mold From Canvas

Condensation On Windows Window Frames And Sills

  • Promptly repair any leaks.
  • Lower the indoor moisture levels.
  • Use exhaust bathroom fans and a kitchen range hood.
  • Keep window coverings open to move the warm air over the windows .
  • Keep baseboards or heating vents clear of furniture to make sure the heat flows.
  • Dry your window frames and sills daily to keep water from dripping and causing mould to grow.
  • Leave interior doors open for good air and heat flow.
  • Unplug and remove humidifiers.

Mold Poisoning Symptoms In Humans

Mold poisoning can cause a number of different symptoms, depending on the age of the affected individual, the strength of their immune system, and whether or not they have a pre-existing mold allergy. Here are a few of the most common signs and symptoms of mold poisoning in humans.

  • A stuffy or runny nose
  • Sinus issues or infections
  • Worsening or development of asthma
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Skin itchiness, redness, or discomfort
  • Fever and shortness of breath
  • Rashes

You May Like: How To Get Mold Off Ceiling In Bathroom

How To Detect And Inspect Mold In A Basement

Visible mold is easy to detect since most people know what it looks like similar to mold found in food.

If is not visible but you have a musty damp earthy smell, then the only way to detect it, is by air quality testing for mold. Air is withdrawn through a special cassette where all fungals that exist inside are impacted and collected on the cassette for laboratory analysis.

You Feel Like You Have A Cold That Just Wont Go Away

6 Ways to Prevent Mold in Your Basement

Symptoms of a mold reaction can be as subtle as a perpetually runny nose and sneezing fits. That cold that you just cant seem to shake could actually be a sneaky sign of a mold problem.

Try to notice if your symptoms seem to worsen after spending time in a particular room or immediately after you finish doing laundry in the basement, for example.

Recommended Reading: Ceiling Mold In Bathroom

How To Check For Mold In Basement

  • Final Words
  • How to check for mold in basement? If you notice a musty odor permeating throughout your home, theres a high chance its mold. There are several ways to confirm this, which include smelling or inspecting it. Mold can become a health hazard when left alone, and that means identifying mold in the basement should be your priority as soon as you think you have it.

    Below, I discussed the best ways to check for mold in your basement and how to remove them.

    Cleaning Up Small And Medium Mould Problems

    Bleach is not necessary to clean up mould.

    You can clean up small areas of mould if you follow the proper procedures and use the right protective equipment. Unless the mould growth is on smooth surfaces such as bathroom tiles, surface cleaning will not eliminate the problem.

    In most cases you can clean up medium areas of mould if you follow the proper procedures and use the right protective equipment. Materials damaged by mould must be physically removed and disposed of under safe conditions. However, it is important to seek professional assistance if there is a large mould problem or if mould comes back after cleaning.

    Susceptible individuals such as pregnant women, infants, children, the elderly, and occupants with asthma, allergies or other health problems should not be in or near the area where the mould is being cleaned up.

    Minimum protective gear needed:

    • a disposable N95 mask and
    • household disposable gloves.

    You can purchase an N95 mask from a hardware store. Make sure that the label says “N95”. Other masks are designed to provide limited protection against dust and are not suitable for protecting against mould exposure. Make sure that the mask is properly fitted and you can breathe through the mask.

    Don’t Miss: Get Rid Of Mold On Bathroom Ceiling

    Problems Caused By Mold

    Mold can be as dangerous as it is destructive. Make sure to have it removed as soon as you find it.

    Mold growth is particularly concerning because the mold will continue to eat away at affected building materials and increase the damage as it spreads. Mold will also compromise the air quality of your home and pose as a health hazard to any and all occupants. Among some of the health concerns that mold presents are eye irritation, coughing, nasal issues, and throat irritation.

    Knowing the amount of damage mold can cause, it is important for you to know how to detect mold in your home. However, it can sometimes be difficult to spot mold because it can be hidden. One case of this is mold growth behind your homes walls.

    How To Test For Mold In Basements

    Mold Free Finished Basement – 4 Ways To Prevent Mold

    No homeowner wants to deal with mold in their basement. Its gross, inconvenient, and poses serious health risks to you and your family. It often leads to headaches, sinus congestion, and severe respiratory issues. When left unchecked, it can cause irreversible damage to your property as well.

    However, the only way to get rid of mold is to deal with it head-on once its growing in the basement. Weve compiled this expert guide to help you get rid of your basement mold. Well explain how to find and test for mold in your basement, either through an at-home test or professional visit.

    Recommended Reading: Black Mold On Ceiling In Bathroom

    How To Treat & Eliminate Mold

    A variety of methods exist for cleaning and eliminating mold in your house, but its wise to try more natural treatments before moving on to heavy duty sanitation methods:

    • Essential Oils: a number of different essential oils have antimicrobial properties. Try one or a combination of the following to start, mixing the oil extract with equal parts water to dilute it. Before you begin, spray the mixture onto affected surfaces using a water bottle let it sit for at least five minutes and then scrub the area with a washcloth or heavy duty sponge.
    • Grapefruit Seed Extract
    • Lavender Oil
    • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Vinegar: White vinegar is another natural multi-purpose cleanser that can be used to treat mold outbreaks. Try pouring vinegar onto affected surfaces and waiting at least five minutes before scrubbing the area and wiping it away.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Another low-toxicity cleanser, hydrogen peroxide can be mixed with equal parts water and sprayed onto the area with a mold outbreak. Allow it to sit for at least ten minutes before using a scrub brush to clean the mold from affected surfaces.
  • Borax: Mix one cup of Borax with one gallon of water. Apply the Borax mixture to areas affected by mold and then scrub using a sponge or a scrub brush. Borax also deodorizes, helping to eliminate musty odors.
  • High-Efficiency Particle Absolute Vacuums: HEPA vacuums can be used to remove mold, as well as mold spores, from walls. HEPA machines also work well to prevent mold growth in high-humidity areas.
  • How Can I Spot And Identify Basement Mold And Mildew

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mold can cause young children to develop asthma and other health difficulties. They carry some of those afflictions wherever they go, even when mold is no longer in their environment. At the same time, people of all ages can suffer from living in a home with mold inside of it.

    Its important for all responsible homeowners to familiarize themselves with the basics of mold care at some point in their lives. Learning about the dangers of basement mold, as well as how to detect and prevent it, can help keep you and your family safe.

    Read on to learn everything you need to know about keeping your home free of mold!

    Don’t Miss: Clean Mold Off Basement Walls

    How Mold And Mildew Form

    Mold and mildew need the right conditions for growth. To begin, they need mold spores as a type of seed. Spores grow with three factors: food , water, and oxygen. Increasing or decreasing any of these factors will cause mold and mildew to grow or die.

    Spores land on the surface, germinate, and grow. Mold and mildew may start as early as 24 to 48 hours after the surface has been dampened. Mildew’s white-gray spots spread outward, not upward, remaining on the surface. Mold, though, eats into its baseâwhich makes it harder to removeâand sometimes grows upward.

    My Basement Wall Has Developed This In Recent Months This Is A Shared Wall Of A Twin Home But This Part Of The Wall Extends Past The Neighbor’s House And I Believe There Is Water Sitting On The Side Of The House Is This Mold

    Pin by Doug Whitehead on POsts from Website

    This is likely a combination of mold and efflorescence. Efflorescence occurs when moisture migrates through the concrete, picking up minerals along the way. Once the moisture reaches the surface, the water evaporates, leaving behind the mineral deposits. Because this is a product of water movement, often a small amount of mold growth is present as well. If the concrete wall is unfinished/uncovered, it will typically dry out on its own. However, youll need to fix the issue if you plan on finishing out this wall with framing, insulation, etc. The wall will inhibit dry out and lead to mold and rot damage to the framing.

    Preventing moisture migration through a concrete foundation wall is accomplished by a combination of the following. 1.) redirecting downspouts away from the home. 2.) Installing a waterproof membrane on the interior side of the foundation wall. 3.) Installing an interior footing drain and sump pump at the base of the foundation wall.

    Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Mold On The Bathroom Ceiling

    Popular Articles
    Related news