Avoid Using Bleach For Clean Up
As stated by Michael Pinto, CEO of Wonder Makers Environmental:
Perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of bleach when proposed as a cleaner or sanitizing agent is that its effectiveness is greatly reduced in the presence of organic material. To be a successful sanitizer, bleach must be used on clean materials and surfaces. This is why bleach products are used in the laundry after the wash cycle or in a commercial kitchen as a component in the third sink after the dishes have been washed and rinsed. The efficacy of bleach as a sanitizer is also compromised by heat and light. Despite the fact that the chlorine odor may linger for some time after use, bleach loses strength so quickly that it is not considered to have a residual effect that would prevent future bacterial or fungal growth.
How To Prevent And Remove Basement Mold
Mold surrounds us everywhere in nature. It is a naturally occuring organism that plays an important role in our environment. These tiny spores are small enough and light enough to float. Eventually, these mold spores will make their way into our homes, where they settle and sometimes begin to reproduce and grow if the conditions are right.
For the most part, mold spores have no negative affects when they enter our homes. However, if they find a damp or wet spot, like our basements, or other areas of moisture intrusion, the spores can begin to grow and reproduce. Now, you are faced with some uninvited guests that dont want to leave and can be quite a nuisance to get rid of. Unfortunately, the presence of these unwanted guests can cause severe health problems when inside our home. Often, molds can produce allergens, irritants, and with certain molds, even produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins.
For those with asthma, mold contaminations can even trigger severe asthmatic attacks and impact our everyday functioning. In addition to the many potential health hazards that presence of mold can cause, their visit can also do damage to surfaces such as wood, drywall and many household fabrics, and can even start to fill your home with unwanted and uncomfortable odours. So, its always beneficial to know how to prevent and remove basement mold, as well as other areas of your home.
Waterproof Below Grade Concrete
Moisture problems and mold growth go hand in hand so eliminating the source is the key to successful mold prevention. Seepage normally occurs in basements when the ground water level rises around foundations after a heavy rain. But most moisture is drawn in as invisible water vapor through the porous concrete floor and walls.
Mold and mildew, fungi, bacteria, and dust mites flourish in high humidity . Your basement or foundation slab is by far the single largest source of humidity in your home. The average basement lets in over 15 gallons of water each day – several times more than showering and cooking combined.
The best way to reduce high humidity and condensation in basements is to deep-seal your concrete against moisture. Sealing the basement slab against water vapor transmission and possible water seepage is the key to preventing molds and mildew. What you use to seal the concrete will make all the difference.
RadonSeal® Penetrating Concrete Sealer will seal your concrete internally and permanently against water and water vapor. Moreover, it is strong enough to seal even against radon, which is a single-atom gas. Since 1997, RadonSeal has been successfully used for sealing concrete in thousands of residential and commercial basements, foundation slabs, as well as outdoor concrete areas.
Read about the technology behind RadonSeal.
You May Like: Ceiling Mold In Bathroom
Insulate Your Water Pipes
Insulating water pipes is another tactic Ortiz recommends to reduce humidity levels, reducing moisture for mold growth.
Plumber Thompson agrees, adding that its especially important during winter when basement pipes can freeze, then burst if uninsulated. The water damage that is caused by a burst pipe can quickly lead to mold if not dealt with right away, he says. Clean the pipe thoroughly and allow to dry completely before insulating, Thompson says, to help ensure it stays put.
I Have A Major Moisture Issue Along One Wall In Basement Particularly Behind Furnace Duct
The white, fluffy substance is efflorescence and the black spotting on the wall is mold growth. Efflorescence occurs when moisture moves through the concrete and deposits minerals/salts on the surface. In a basement, this can be a complex issue. First, I recommend looking at your downspouts and ensure they are moving the water far away from your home. Your goal is to reduce the moisture load in the soil near your home.
If this doesnt solve the problem, youll likely need a sump pump and possibly an interior footing drain. While expensive, they are often the only way to completely solve the problem. In most cases this will involved removing the wall in the problem area so the footing drain can be installed at the very edge of the concrete slab.
Read Also: Clean Mold Bathroom Ceiling
Where Do I Start
The first and most important thing to know is that mold most commonly affects peoples health through the inhalation of the spores. Even if the mold you see is limited to your basement, the spores from that colony can move throughout your entire house and stay airborne for a very long time. Even if you dont smell a moldy odor upstairs, heavy concentrations of mold spores can be floating in the air your breathing right now.
Mold is everywhere in nature, it is vital to the ecosystem and plays an important role in the breaking down plants into soil. The outdoors is a big place, and mold has plenty of room to blow around, disperse, and dilute in all that space. The problem starts when it becomes concentrated in an enclosed space, like your basement. Many mold spores contain mycotoxins, small amounts of toxic compounds that help them survive in nature. Its these mycotoxins that create the health effects people suffer when exposed to elevated levels of mold spores in the air.
Its important to understand that finding mold in your basement is a consequence of some type of water damage to that area. The water damage may be from liquid water, or from extended periods of high humidity . The water caused conditions in your basement to be favorable to mold growth. Mold needs four things to survive and grow:
Other Ways To Reduce Mold
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Mold Out Of A Blanket
What Causes Mold In The Basement
There are reasons for which mold in basement can occur, but the most common causes are given below:
- Leaks in the basement: Sometimes, the pressure of water rises more than the normal, which affects the basements foundation. Besides, some basements have windows where the waters are stored and responsible for the leaking of walls in the basement. On the other hand, if the foundation of the house is inferior and damaged, then there is a very high possibility of having mold in the basement.
- Damaged ventilation: Poor and damaged ventilation can play a crucial role as moisture and airflow limitation is considered the key component of having mold on the basement. If the air in the basement cant circulate properly, it condensates moisture, which is the main reason for having mold.
- Leaks in the foundation: If the buildings foundation is not structured properly, it can lead to leaks on piping in the basement. Sometimes, the basement has windows where water can be stored because of the rain or any other reason and can increase the moisture.
If any of the reasons which are mentioned above are present in your basement, then there is very much possibility of having any mold in the basement of your building.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Remove Mildew From Ceilings In Bathrooms
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.
Repair Leaks And Cracks
One of the first things you should do is eliminate any seepage or leaking in your basement walls. If you notice cracks in the walls, repair them promptly. You can use certain sealants to fill cracks in your basement walls, says Miguel Martinez, a masonry contractor in Milwaukee, Wis. He recommends epoxy and hydraulic cement as popular sealant options.
But wall leaks arent the only things to worry about, according to Ryan Thompson, a residential plumber from Florida who runs PlumberInformer. Leaky pipes are a very common problem, which occurs when pipes werent installed correctly, or they simply expanded over time and no longer connect tightly, Thompson says. It can be difficult at times to catch a plumbing leak before it leads to mold. Avoid this issue by regularly inspecting your pipes for leaks or bad connections. If you find any pipes that arent tightly connected, you can add plumbers tape and pipe joint compound to tighten them.
Read Also: How To Remove Mold From The Ceiling
Concrobium 27400 Mold Control Aerosol
The best part is that this aerosol is entirely safe to use. The formula avoids toxic ammonia, bleach, or any other volatile organic compounds . It also works on a wide array of surfaces, from drywall and wood to stone and tile.
The cleaner is ideal for basements and any other room of your home. You could even use this aerosol in your car.
Use Alcohol Or Vodka For Fragile Materials
Rubbing alcohol or vodka are also mold killers. Using either ingredient is ideal if youre cleaning mold from fragile materials. Spray the alcohol directly onto the surface or use a clean cloth to apply the alcohol and scrub the surface. Rubbing alcohol kills the mold. However, it does not prevent future growth.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Mold In The Bathroom Ceiling
Causes Of Mold In The Basement
Understanding how and why mold found its way into your basement is vital. You dont want to waste time getting rid of it only for it to reoccur.
Lets briefly delve into the science behind mold. Your unwanted home invader is the result of fungi species that generate spores to reproduce.
When these teeny-tiny spores, invisible to the naked eye, land on something wet, they start to grow. Theres no way for mold to thrive and survive without moisture .
Now that youre versed in mold 101, you can likely anticipate what the causes would be. These are the reasons why your basement could have been affected:
- After flooding: A flooded basement is an optimal environment for mold. Standing water and damp items such as furniture and carpets can serve as breeding grounds.
- Water leaks: As with post-flood moisture, leaky pipes, appliances or drains in your basement will increase your risk of finding a moldy surprise.
- High humidity: If the old stereotype of your basement as a damp and dank place applies, your chances of mold will be higher. Humidifiers, air vents and similar steamy gadgets or mechanisms can all encourage mold.
Control Water & Moisture
All of the above will be futile if you do not take steps to control excess moisture in your basement and around your home. Mold needs about 70-percent relative humidity to be active and produce spores. Reducing moisture begins with preventing water infiltration. If, for example, puddles form along basement walls after a heavy rain, examine your gutter and downspouts for clogs and disconnects. Install splash blocks and downspout extenders, if necessary. Take a level to concrete walkways that run along the perimeter of your home. If they have settled so that they now slope toward your foundation instead of away from it, call a contractor to make repairs. Slab-jacking companies can use polyurethane-injection methods to lift concrete structures, including patios and pool decks. If your walkways are built with pavers or bricks, regrading and rebuilding the path may be necessary.
Also Check: Removing Mould From Bathroom Ceiling
Make Sure You Dont Store Wood Downstairs
Similar to carpeting, mold can also live on organic materialsparticularly wood. Firewood, wood floors, and wood furniture provide the nourishment mildew and mold needs to grow. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, any time moisture levels in wood beams exceed about 20%, wood decay is taking place.Any time moisture levels exceed about 28%, mold colonies are probably growing.If you can, store wood in an airy, open environment and away from your foundation.
Eps Xps Mineral Wool:
SPUF is quite expensive so rigid insulation panels and a 2×4 wall with batt insulation can be a much more affordable option – but you need to know the right techniques for a succesful and mold-free wall assembly for a basement application – read on!
Rigid insulation board against concrete adds R value, breaks the thermal bridge and raises the temperature of the stud wall, which helps prevent moist air from condensing. The stud wall allows for the installation of wiring, additional insulation and drywall.
Drywall should be attached directly to studs, latex paint will act as a vapour retarder slowing any outward moisture migration while also allowing walls to dry inwards.
You may hear that EPS is somewhat moisture permeable this is true, but only slightly so and not enough to be a problem. According to Professor Straube, two inches of EPS has a perm rating in the range of 60-75 ng, or 1-1.25 US perms, which is right on the cusp of what is defined by building code as a suitable vapour barrier .
At that level of moisture permeability, an almost immeasurably small amount of moisture will be able to migrate into the wall, but with no interior vapour barrier it will pass through harmlessly. EPS, XPS and mineral wool are unharmed by moisture, and perhaps most importantly, EPS and XPS are unlikely to provide a breeding ground for mold.
Don’t Miss: Installing Vinyl Stair Nose
White Mold In Basement:
It is a very common type of mold, which is considered as the early stage of black mold. Many people think white mold is not as dangerous as black mold, but it is completely wrong. Some of the white molds can cause serious health issues and can turn into harmful species like Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Penicillium. Some of the people mix up the white mod with the Efflorescence, but they are two different things.
The most common places where white mold grows are furniture, clothes, wood root, and basement. Now, you might be thinking about how you can get rid of the white mold problem. If it is a normal type of growth, then a detergent solution can be enough. But for the serious type, below we are going to discuss the step by step process for getting rid of all kinds of mold in your basement.
How To Prevent Mold And Mildew In A Basement
Having a basement in your home has many advantages. Not only can it serve as extra storage space, but you can also remodel it into a whole new room. Not to mention that a finished basement can increase the value of your home if you decide to sell it someday. However, every basement fights a constant battle with its enemies mold and mildew. Do you know that musty smell often associated with basements? Its probably caused by mold and mildew that grow and develop in warm, damp places. Apart from presenting a potential health risk, they can also cause damage to your home and belongings. In this article, weve prepared useful tips on how to prevent mold and mildew in a basement and create a functional and pleasant extra space in your home.
You May Like: How To Treat Mold On Bathroom Ceiling