How To Identify And Treat Mold In Your Basement
yavdat / Getty Images
- Working Time: 3 – 4 hrs
- Total Time: 3 – 4 days
- Yield: 80 square feet of basement wall
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $30 to $60
If any place in the house will grow mold, it’s the basement. Basements collect and trap moisture, and moisture is one factor that leads to mold growth. And because basements have less natural light and airflow than other parts of the home, that mold will not die off on its own. Some strains of black mold can be a health hazard. Plus, mold can quickly decay organic materials such as wood, leading to structural failure. This means that identifying and treating mold in the basement should be a priority as soon as you believe that you have it.
Find The Moisture Source
Black mold removal is important. But first, one must identify that it is black mold. First, look at the color, followed by the smell. Black mold is black or even dark grey in color, and often smells wet and musty, as it usually grows in areas with a lot of moisture. Black mold is also usually noticeable in the home if you experience a burning or scratching sensation in your throat or lungs. Black mold is dangerous, and can greatly affect your health if left untreated, so it’s important to remove it as soon as you’re aware of it.
Before you can begin any black mold treatment, youll need to perform a black mold test and find the source. Its often the result of excess moisture in a particular area. Youre most likely to find black mold in areas of your home that you dont visit as often like the basement, but it can pop up anywhere. Here are a few common moisture sources to look for:
- Faucets and fixtures. Sink, shower and bathtub faucets and fixtures that are leaking can lead to the growth of black mold over time.
- Exposed plumbing. Damaged or leaking pipes, especially in warmer temperatures, can often create black mold in areas like basements.
- Water heaters. A small leak can create black mold in your basement or water heater closet.
Killing Black Mold With Sanitizing Spray
If there is no rotted wood, then the first step is to kill the mold by spraying it with a bleach and water solution — however, if spraying a large area bleach can irritate your lungs. A 1 part bleach to 9 parts water solution is recommended .
For larger areas, you may want to purchase a specialized sanitizing spray made for killing mold.
Let the cleaning solution soak the mold for at least 15 minutes, then dry it off.
Don’t Miss: How To Paint Over Mold
How To Clean Black Mold In Your Basement
If youre determined to try getting rid of the mold yourself, there are several steps youll need to take to try controlling the presence of mold.
- If able, put a stop to the source of moisture thats enabling the mold. Depending on what the source of moisture is, you might be able to fix it yourself, or you may require the help of an expert.
- If the moldy material is removable, get rid of it and replace it.
- If the moldy material cannot be removed, thoroughly clean it with a bleach solution or with a mold-killing commercial cleaner.
While trying to put a stop to mold in your basement, it is important to wear protective gear such as a face mask, gloves, and disposable cleaning tools like sponges. If you have a dehumidifier, be sure to run that as well to remove as much moisture as possible from the basement. But if you dont feel confident about trying to take on the mold yourself, you can always call for a mold expert to help ensure that the job gets done right.
Is This A Diy Project
In most cases, getting rid of mold in your basement can be done on your own. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. If you have serious mold allergies or notice that the mold is extremely pervasive, you might need to have professional mold remediation done. Moreover, if the root cause of the mold is something that involves a leaky foundation or a sump that keeps flooding your basement, you might want to call a plumber.
The guide below is primarily focused on light mold problems. If you have serious mold issues that managed to penetrate sheetrock, or a major flood, do not use this guide. Call your homeowners insurance for flood insurance purposes, then get professional mold remediation. Its far better to get the major stuff done via professionals, rather than to try to do it on your own.
Don’t Miss: Can You Clean Mold Out Of Carpet
Getting Rid Of Mold Smell In Basement
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.
Basement Mold Removal Cost
If you desire to get rid of the mold by yourself, the cost, for the most part, will be based on the products you use. Bleach, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are cheap and effective to tackle small projects. If you have a small basement, around 10 square feet, the removal process can be done for around $50. A severe infestation within a large area may end up costing between $500 to $3000 and between $2100 to $6200 to seal the foundation and prevent future problems.
The removal of the fungus is not expensive and can be done by homeowners if the area is small. However, doing so does not guarantee that it wont come back, and in the case of black mold, it is likely that it will return unless all preventive measures have been taken. Failing to remove it may result in increased future costs. If you are not sure how to do it or the infestation is too large, always hire a professional.
Recommended Reading: Will Lysol Kill Mold Spores
Rinse The Concrete Walls
If possible and practical, rinse the solution off the walls using a water hose. Some household owners have even looked into using high-pressure washers to help remove mildew and get rid of mold from basement walls. Warm water from your sink will also do the trick. Rinsing helps remove any lingering spores that are clinging onto the wall.
Dry the rinsed surfaces with a towel to minimize the risk of further mold spores. You can also use a negative air pressure machine to filter the dirty air in your basement.
How To Get Rid Of Mold From A Basement
For a lot of families, the basement is one of those out-of-sight-out-of-mind places where seemingly tiny problems can fester up into a major issue. Especially if you are talking about an unfinished basement with low airflow and plenty of ambient moisture.
In warm conditions, naturally-occurring mold spores that float around in the air around us can find a moist, warm place to germinate into an active mold colony. Once this starts the presence of mycotoxins and second-generation mold spores can start to make people sick. Especially those family members with respiratory health conditions, the elderly, and family members who are prone to inflammatory conditions. Not to mention, an unaddressed mold problem can even start to gradually damage the structure of your house.
Unfortunately, eliminating mold in a basement can be a challenging task. Many homeowners are unsure of when to call in the professional, or whether they can deal with a mold problem themselves. If youve discovered mold in your basement, and you arent sure how to handle it, the following article can help answer some important questions.
You May Like: How To Get Mold Off Wood Floor
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.
Reasons For Mold In Basement
Making matters worse, as soon as orange mold has actually started to grow in the basement it will most likely go undetected invest much time in their basements. Individuals hardly ever clean their basements too and its enjoys to grow on a few of the structure products in the basement. Some favorites are insulation and wood.
Also Check: Can Drinking Mold Make You Sick
How Do You Remove Black Mold From A Basement
If you notice black mold or any mold for that matter growing in your basement, the best thing to do is to act right away. If you want to take the do-it-yourself approach, always prioritize your safety, use the appropriate protective gear, and make sure your basement has enough ventilation.
Take note that cleaning the mold is only a realistic option for the surface of floors, walls, and ceilings. If drywall, ceiling tiles, or insulation has been affected by mold, then you need to replace those materials.
When you have safeguarded yourself, use these steps to remove the mold from your basement:
- Step 1: Dry the affected space if it isnt already. The mold will just return if there is still moisture.
- Step 2: Create a bleach solution that contains one part bleach and one part water.
- Step 3: Scrub the solution on the affected area, and allow the material to thoroughly soak up the solution.
The aforementioned home remedy is a cheap option that is ideal for small cases of mold growth no more than 10 square feet of damage. If you are dealing with a larger, more severe case of mold growth, you need to have a mold removal professional take care of the issue. Ideally, all cases of mold growth should be handled by a professional.
Professional help can be costly, but it ensures that the job is handled correctly. It also means you dont need to further expose yourself to the mold and increase the risk of health concerns.
Basement Mold Health Risks
Most types of mold arent overly harmful to humans, but that doesnt mean that they cant cause discomfort or minor health issues. Large growths of mold can trigger mold allergies, leading to coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath and various other discomforts.
Types of especially dangerous molds, like black mold, can seriously harm those who come in contact or live in homes with it. In cases where youve found black mold or a similarly dangerous mold that may cause health issues in your home, call a professional mold removal company right away.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Shower Tile Grout Mold
Common Basement Molds You Might Encounter
There are various molds that can appear in your basement, and a good number of them can appear as black mold, though they may come in different colors as well. Lets take a look at the five most common types
- Stachybotrys Chartarum
- Also called toxic black mold, this mold is the main concern when black mold is ever brought up. Its also one of the most common molds to appear in basements and tends to grow very fast, so getting rid of it as fast as possible is a priority. Toxic black mold loves to grow on drywall, wallpaper, wood, and gypsum board. This black mold can cause a variety of symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, headaches, rashes, fatigue, and it can trigger allergic reactions and other asthma symptoms.
Get Rid Of Black Mold In The Basement Safely And Call The Experts
For over 60 years, 58 Foundations has been in the business of keeping basements and crawlspaces dry with effective and long-lasting solutions! Damp basements are the perfect place for black mold to grow. But with our experts and quality products, well clear your basement of that nasty black mold, and make your basement a safe and dry place once again. Give us a call today to schedule for a free mold inspection and receive a detailed estimatewith our long-historied expertise, you can count on us to make your basement mold-free!
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Sick From Black Mold In Your House
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.
Christmas Tree And Raggedy Ann
We have an artificial Christmas tree thats still gorgeous but old. Putting it up always bothers my asthma and irritation from getting scratched is not pleasant. Last year I sprayed the tree and the old tree smell disappeared. I had purchased Sniper on Mary Hunts advice and it really took care of the basement smell! Great! My daughters vintage dolls with cloth bodies had spots of mold or mildew, these are dolls my grandchildren play with. Oh my goodness! Sprayed the dolls bodies and yarn hair, and the next day they all smelled great, moldy spots gone ! These dolls were over 30 years old and now look soooo good! Would recommend Sniper for other uses, too. Doggy rug smells gone! Smelly shoe odors gone. Grateful to Mary Hunts column for letting us know.
Recommended Reading: How Fast Does Mold Grow In Walls
What Does Mold Look Like
If you arent sure what mold looks like, think green, brown, or black spots growing along walls and window sills, around air vents, or on furnishings.
You can also look for signs of stains on walls, ceilings, or flooring. Bubbling or peeling in paint, wallpaper, or drywall could indicate the mold is growing unseen. Anywhere water damage has occurred or there are high levels of moisture in the air are key spots to investigate for mold. Kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and attics are other places in the house to check when looking for mold.
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.
Read Also: How To Remove Mold From Rough Cut Wood
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.
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.
How did you like our guide on how to remove mold from basement walls and other surfaces? If you liked these mold-killing tips, make sure to share this guide on how to remove mold from basement walls with all of your friends on Facebook and Pinterest!
Don’t Miss: How Do You Know You Have Mold In Your House