How To Remove Mold From Walls
Mold on your interior walls doesnt just look unpleasant it can be a health hazard for your family. Depending on the amount and location, its presence also suggests a larger problem in your housewater infiltration.
For this project, we will focus on solving the mold problem. The remedy is two-fold: 1. Control moisture and 2. Kill the mold. While the former may take a more involved approach, depending on the situation, the latter often can be done with some bleach, water and a bit of elbow grease.
Dealing With Outdoor Causes Of Mold
Since there are two main causes of mold , we are going to take the same approach to mold prevention. Lets dig deeper into outdoor moisture causes and what you can do to prevent moisture inside your basement.
First of all, you should be aware of rains and floods as they are a direct source of water. Following the flow path of rainwater or the access part of flood will give you enough information to start with.
Pay attention to where the rainwater flows after it falls on your roof. If the ground surrounding your home is on the same level as your home or higher, it is very likely that rainwater is going to get into your basement. Talk to your contractor to have the outside ground slope away from your home or heap soil onto the ground against your home.
Rain can cause a problem without even touching the ground. The windows on your home may be a problem too. Inspect your windows and check window wells for signs of insulation problems or potential build-up issues.
Additionally, do not forget to clean the gutter to ensure proper water flow. Ensure that all downspouts extend far away from the home, especially if the grading is not optimal. That way you will ensure that rainwater flows away from your home, not into it.
Another outdoor cause of excess moisture, although not a frequent one, is flooding. Its almost impossible to prevent floodwater from coming into the basement but it is crucial to act the minute it happens, in order to prevent mold from growing.
Identify Areas Known To Harbor Mold
When you believe you smell mold, go on the hunt to find it. Look near water supply pipes, around water drainage lines and sewage pipes, anywhere near dryer vents and in laundry rooms, under sinks, in the ceiling above a finished basement, near bathroom exhaust vents, around sump pumps, and inside wall cavities.
Don’t Miss: Can Black Mold Make You Sick
Mold Remediation Cost By Location
Mold can technically take root and begin growing anywhere, requiring immediate remediation for an average cost ranging between $100 and $30,000. The cost of mold remediation is directly influenced by the location. The chart below illustrates some of the most common locations of mold growth and respective costs for removal, followed by a description in the subsections below.
|$10,000 – $30,000|
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Eliminate Mold On Drywall
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.
Natural Ways To Remove Basement Mold
There are numerous different ways to get rid of mold, but some chemicals used in the process have the potential to be harmful. Below are a few steps to remove mold naturally.
Make sure the area in which the mold is growing is dry. Mold thrives on moisture, so fixing any leaks, cleaning up water, and ensuring that theres no humidity in the area should be your first step in removing mold.
After ensuring that the area in which the mold was growing is dry and has plenty of air, your next step should be cleaning the air.
Mold spores can be transported through your HVAC system or air ducts in your home. Because of this, it may be best to use an air purifier to ensure that no mold spores end up in other areas of your basement or anywhere else in your home.
Create a mold cleaning solution to remove and clean the area the mold was on and around.
Fortunately, theres a wide variety of natural solutions that will successfully remove mold.
Below are several solutions that will remove mold while not spreading harmful chemicals in your home.
Don’t Miss: How To Remove Mold And Mildew Stains From Fabric
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.
Prepare The Area For Cleaning
Be sure to cover door openings and air conditioning vents near the affected area with the plastic sheets to prevent the spread of mold spores throughout your house, for ventilation and access to fresh air, open a window too. Place a fan near or in the window and face it either outside or towards the ceiling to help the air to circulate better and to eliminate moisture. Lastly, always wear gloves and eye protection when dealing with the mold and keep a dehumidifier running to help dry out your basement.
Once these steps are done, choose one of the following solutions to quickly remove mold in your basement.
Don’t Miss: How To Install Vinyl Stair Nose Molding
What Causes That Musty Odor In The First Place
If you want to get rid of that musty odor in your basement successfully, youll first need to find the source of the smell. In most cases, the cause of that unpleasant smell is either mold or mildew.
Since basements are dark and moist, theyre the perfect breeding ground for mold. Sometimes, it can be difficult to spot mold spores early in their growth stages. However, they can quickly infiltrate the rest of your home if left untreated. Whats more, fungus can cause many health problems such as respiratory infections, itchy eyes, and irritated skin.
Here are some areas where moisture can get into your basement and cause the musty-smelling mold and mildew to grow:
- Cracks in the windows or walls
- Leaks from cracks in the foundation, walls, or the roof above
- Plumbing issues
Groundwater can also be the cause of mold or mildew growing in the lower levels of your home. Water that collects on your lawn can eventually work its way into your basement, which can lead to several problems for the houses foundation and the health of its inhabitants.
Ventilate The Area While Cleaning
It’s important to realize that mold removal may release spores throughout the home if it is done in a haphazard way. It’s a good idea to ventilate the home as much as possible during the mold remediation process such as opening windows.
Be careful in using the HVAC system to ventilate the home because it may blow mold spores throughout the home .
Some equipment you may want to use when removing mold include face masks, gloves, high quality trash bags, goggles , and a spray bottle.
Don’t Miss: Can You Remove Mold With Bleach
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.
Window In The Basement
Take a look at the window sill. Do you see any puddles? If yes, your window may leak when it rains.
How to fix this
Condensation if there is condensation on the windows, it can be due to lack of insulation. You can call a professional to fix this.
Missing or cracked sealant If there is missing or cracked sealant on the windows, then fill in the sealant or re-caulk.
Overhangs divert the overhangs on the outside of the house away from the home. This will help keep water out of the windows.
Fascia the fascia is the board above the window. Make sure it is angled away from the house.
Gutters- unclog the gutters so the water flows through and doesnt back up into the home.
Flashing missing or improperly installed if the flashing is missing or improperly installed, then contact a professional to fix it.
Siding, Chimney, and Roof- Check the siding, chimney, and roof and make sure there are no gaps. Then, seal the areas you find are loose or open.
Weep hole If the weep hole is clogged, clean it out so it doesnt backtrack into the window.
Recommended Reading: What To Clean Mold Off Wood
Step : Peruse The Situation
You must first observe if the scale of the growth is something you can deal with and also how toxic it has become.
If the growth has only covered about 10 square feet, you should be fine in handling it by yourself. If the growth has covered over 10 square feet, you should get a professional for the job.
Also, check what kind of surface it is. The more porous the surface is, the harder it will be to clean.
Dry Your Clothes Outside As Much As Possible
Basements are often turned into laundry rooms for drying clothes. In case you use your basement for drying clothes, ensure that humidity is properly controlled in order to prevent an increase in the overall humidity level. You can do this either by opening doors/turning on air ventilators, or by installing dehumidifiers to help the process.
The best way to prevent mold caused by drying clothes in the basement is to simply dry everything outside for as long as the weather allows it.
Don’t Miss: Is It Dangerous To Clean Black Mold
What Is White Mold
White mold is often found in cool, damp environments such as in basements on walls and other structures. It is often confused with efflorescence, which is a mineral deposit that forms on foundation walls and other masonry surfaces due to water seepage. You can test to see if its mold by spraying it with water. If it dissolves, it is a mineral deposit if it does not, then its most likely white mold.
Health Risks Associated With White Mold In Basement Environments
All types of mold can cause health problems, though some types are associated with more serious health risks than others. Health problems commonly associated with exposure to white mold include difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, migraine headaches, chronic sore throats, skin rashes, hives, exhaustion, and general malaise.
Read Also: Can The Health Department Check For Mold
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.
What You Need To Know About Mold From Basement Flooding
The first thing you need to check for after a flooded basement is mold and fungus growth. Not only can mold cause serious health issues for you and your entire family, but if you let it get out of control and invade your home it can be incredibly difficult to get rid of.
The best way to prevent mold is to avoid leaks, floods and humid and musty air.
Its important to educate yourself about what mold and mildew is, where it grows, why it grows and how you can prevent it from growing in your home and basement.
If you do however find mold in your home you also need to know how to get rid of it effectively, how to sanitize your home properly and protect your home from future growth.
Weve put together a comprehensive guide to help you understand mold and mildew and how you can prevent it from invading your home.
You May Like: How To Clean Up Mold On Carpet
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.
Home Diy: Guide To Removing Mold And Mildew Smells In Your Home
Have you successfully treated the mold or mildew in your home, only to discover that the smell still lingers? Musty mold and mildew odors are hard to get rid ofeven after the mold and mildew is gone!
Areas of our home that are more vulnerable to moisture such as our bathroom, laundry and basement or crawl space are usually the ones that retain musty mold and mildew smells the longest.
Trust us, we know removing these odors is easier said than done. Which is why we want to help you eliminate these smells around your home for good!
Below, we have steps and helpful tips to help you remove musty mold and mildew smells in your bathroom, laundry and basement on your own. With any luck, this guide will help you get your home smelling fresh and clean once again!
Don’t Miss: How To Get Rid Of Yard Mold
Mold Removal On Concrete Block Walls
Mold on concrete block walls is commonly caused by leaking or sweating pipes allowing moisture and condensation to build up. This type of remediation includes removing any impacted drywall or insulation, cleaning the affected areas, and making repairs to the pipes that may be leaking or sweating before fixing the walls. This type of remediation can be expensive, costing $1,500 and up to $4,000 for large areas.
How To Get Rid Of Mold In The Basement
Mold is unpleasant to look at and can be unhealthy, no matter where it grows. We dont think much about it when we see it outside on plants or in the wild. However, we do pay more attention when we find it in our home, especially the basement.
In fact, when you add a little moisture, low airflow, humidity, and darkness, the spores find places to land and grow. How do you get rid of mold in the basement?
You need to find the source and fix it, whether it is a leaky window or pipe, and then try to clean the areas that have the mold such as carpet and furnishings with vinegar and baking soda. Lastly, dry the surfaces. As always, you can call in a professional.
Lets take a look at what mold is, preparing to search for the mold, types of mold, areas to check in the basement, how to get rid of the mold, and when to call in a professional.
Read Also: How To Remove Mold From Linoleum Floors