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.
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.
Vapor Diffusion Through Foundation Walls
Vapor diffusion is the movement of moisture in the vapor state through a material. It’s dependent on the permeability of the material and the driving force of vapor pressure differential. In a basement, vapor can diffuse from the wetter ground through concrete walls and floors toward the dryer basement interior. Vapor retarders such as foundation waterproofing and polyethylene slow down this process.
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Should You Paint Over Mold On Concrete
Painting over mold is never a good idea on any surface. You will spread mold spores while introducing more moisture into the colony, providing further growth. It will look as if it was covered for a few days, and afterward, it will return to an area bigger than before it was painted. Remediation is the correct way to get rid of mold on concrete.
Common Causes Of Mold In The Basement
As mentioned above, the main cause of mold in the basement is excess moisture, which is not a rare situation in a basement. Whether that moisture comes from the outside or from the inside, it is very important to get to the root of the problem in order to deal with it and prevent any further complications .
So, where does the moisture, or water in a basement come from? Lets dig deeper.
There are two main sources of water in basements:
Basements are below grade spaces in your home, which means that they are prone to water seeping in from the foundation walls, and window wells. Since these are the lowest parts of the home, gravity dictates that if water is present, it will flow towards the lowest area to settle.
Two frequent causes of water in basements are rain and floods. Without proper grading, gutters and downspouts, rain often flows into the basement creating excess moisture for mold to thrive in. Flooding caused by heavy rains or rivers, provides the right environment for mold growth.
When it comes to sources of moisture inside, we can talk about various causes, from ineffective insulation to excess steam that evaporates and raises the level of humidity . A high level of humidity and condensation creates the perfect conditions for both mold and mildew to spread in your basement.
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Cleaning The Mold With Hydrogen Peroxide
A 3% hydrogen peroxide is a versatile cleaning solution for households. It can kill mold and mildews, too.
Pour hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and spritz it over moldy spots. Let it sit for ten minutes and scrub the area to remove dead mold spores. However, if the mold problem is severe, you can repeat the process several times until you are completely satisfied with the results.
Dehumidification Is Not A Permanent Solution
Dehumidification can be used as a means of reducing the symptoms of humidity and odor in a basement, but it is not a permanent or complete solution. In fact, if a dehumidifier is used in a basement with moisture problems, it may cause greater damage. By drying out the basement air, moisture is drawn into the basement more rapidly causing efflorescence and spalling of concrete and further damage to interior finishes.
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Mold On Concrete Walls
Black fungi on concrete walls mostly comes from moisture hitting and being absorbed into the wall. Before attempting to clean the walls, first resolve the moisture issue by redirecting downspouts and swamps from the wall. You could also try installing an interior footing drain to keep the water from the wall. Fix all water seepage from hose spots and taps. Also raising relative humidity in the house by improving ventilation would do the trick. You will then proceed to clean the molded concrete walls after fixing the moisture issue.
Signs Of Mold On Concrete
To know if you have mold growth on your concrete, you can first see what the growth looks like. Sometimes, a reaction with water and concrete creates the mineral growth called efflorescence. This can look like a white mold type growth coming out of your concrete structures.
If you see any growth happening on your concrete, contact Mold Busters to have a professional inspector visit your location and test the affected area to see if you have mold or not.
If the growth is brown, green, or black, the chances are that it is some mold colony growing on your concrete surfaces. At this point, you should not touch the affected area as mold spores are highly transportable via air currents. If you even walk by a mold colony, you could spread it to other areas of your home.
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Identifying The Source Of The Mold
After you clean away any visible mold, its critical that you backtrack and find the source. Without correcting the cause of the mold, its guaranteed to come back.
The best way to fight mold is to prevent it from growing in the first place. In addition to full basement waterproofing options, you have a few options to help protect your home from invasive mold. Instead of constantly cleaning mold off your walls, consider these solutions for preventing mold in the first place.
Best Concrete Mold Cleaner
Complete Mold Killer & Remover DIY Bundle Kill, Clean and Prevent Fungi & Mildew This product comes a two in one package. The first product, cleaner RMR-141 RTU is a certified fungicide that kills and prevents re-growth of black fungi. The second product, cleaner RMR-86 black fungi stain remover clears all fungi stains. When paired together, the two products will wash all your fungi worries away.
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Products And Tools Youll Need To Get Rid Of Mold In Basement Areas
- Dusk mask or respirator: You dont need a medical-grade mask or a professional reusable respirator, but some sort of mask will protect you from the damaging effects of mold while working around it.
- Eye protection: When disturbing mold spores during cleaning or simply using harsh chemicals like bleach, youll want to keep your eyes protected.
- Disposable gloves: Handling mold and moldy material is reason enough to wear gloves, but it can also protect your skin from irritation when using cleaning products.
- Stiff-bristled brush: To effectively remove mold stains on porous or rough surfaces, you will need a brush that can scrub away mold without the bristles collapsing.
- Sponge: On softer or smoother surfaces, a disposable sponge may be all thats needed to stop mold spots from becoming more significant problems.
- Mold stain remover: Though not essential for actually removing mold, youll likely find a dark stain on the material that the mold was growing on and youll want a product to remove it. Plus, removing the old stains can make sure that you recognize new mold growth later.
- Bleach: A solution of 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water is enough to kill mold on surfaces, according to the CDC.
- Cleaning bucket with measuring marks: Ensure the right measurements for your bleach solution with a good cleaning bucket.
- Spray bottles: Whether for bleach or one of the more natural solutions discussed below, a spray bottle will help you treat mold spots.
Tips For Preventing Basement Mold Growth
If youre lucky enough to not find any mold in your basement, that doesnt mean that there isnt anything growing behind your walls, or that you will never be affected by this. The following tips will be helpful whether youre seeking to keep your basement mold-free or as steps after youve removed the mold and are seeking to prevent future mold growth.
Cleaning and vacuuming regularly will help remove possible sources of mold growth. Using a vacuum with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter will effectively remove existing mold spores. Pay special attention to areas which are exposed to moisture, as well as to nooks and crannies.
Wipe down any leaks and spills as soon as possible. In case your basement got flooded or suffered from any type of water damage, make sure its completely dried within two days. A heavy duty dehumidifier should do the trick for you. You can also consider damp-proofing your walls with a waterproof coating .
As much as possible, dont store clothes, books, papers, and carpets in your basement. If this cant be avoided, dont store these items in cardboard boxes use plastic containers instead.
Regularly check your pipes and walls to make sure they are in good condition. Your basement walls may also leak if they arent waterproofed.
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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.
Remove Mold From Drywall/painted Walls
Mold can often grow on drywall and painted interior walls, especially in areas where moisture and humidity are a factor, such as kitchens and bathrooms. Walls can also be affected if your roof or exterior walls are infiltrated by water. If the drywall remains wet, mold can begin to grow and penetrate the drywall throughout. When this happens, the drywall must be removed and replaced, as you will not be able to get rid of all mold under these circumstances.
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Causes Of Mold Growth In Your Basement
As mentioned earlier, a basement can be a breeding ground for mold because it can be damp and humid, with no exposure to sunlight. The usual cause of mold growth in basements is a water problem, such as flooding or leaky pipes. Condensation resulting from cold temperatures and high humidity is also another common cause of mold.
The best way to deal with mold is to nip it in the bud and prevent it from spreading. The following section will discuss how to detect mold.
How To Prevent Mold In The Basement + 13 Basement Mold Tips
Basement mold is a widespread issue. In fact, mold inspectors and remediation companies see more extensive problems with basement mold than in any other part of the house.
Becausebasements are built below ground level, moisture will always be permeating thebuilding either through the walls or the foundation or through window wells. Thisis a function of the moisture in the soil surrounding the basement. Since theseare the lowest parts of the home, gravity dictates that if water is present, itwill flow towards the lowest area to settle.
If you have a basement you need to take extra precautions to not only look for signs of mold but also to prevent mold in the basement.
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Health Risk Of Basement Mold
Mold can cause health issues, especially to children, the elderly, and people with the compromised immune system. The most common health problems caused by mold are respiratory issues, including coughing, wheezing and sore throat.
Further, prolonged mold exposure can lead to headaches, nausea, eye irritation, skin rash, and in severe cases heart, and neurological problems.
How To Get Rid Of Basement Mold
There are numerous ways to get rid of mold in your home and basement. However, before you start clearing out the mold, make sure you fix the real problem as the mold growth is only a symptom of an underlying problem. This could mean fixing a leak, ensuring that the basement has proper ventilation, and checking that any standing water has dried.
Here are several methods you can use to remove mold from your home and basement.
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Painting Basement Brick Walls The Finished Basement
Exposed brick walls in a finished basement can be very modern and stylish. It can help add to the personality of the space, like a unique artistic touch that doesnt take much effort. On the other hand, a brick wall can be just that an immovable block or obstruction. Maybe the color of the brick just doesnt match the mood you are hoping to achieve. Are you going for serene and calm, but feeling overcome by blaring red bricks? To achieve the perfect look you have been dreaming of in your basement, you may need to add a coat of paint.
Your finished basement is a tranquil retreat. Earth tones are your direction. Youve used beiges, browns, white, greys, blues, and a touch of green. To complete the look on your brick walls, you may choose to go with a white or off-white color. If you have already gone with a lot of white in the space, you may want to add a touch more color to the brick. A beige or grey tone would be the perfect backdrop to this wonderland.
The Unique Requirements Of Basement Walls
Some peoples basement masonry walls are a little moist. Some peoples are downright wet. If youre among either category, consider yourself Mr. or Mrs. Average. Basement walls are notorious for seeping water, and unfortunately, theres precious little you can do to stop the problem at its root cause . There are, however, plenty of options to consider when it comes to minimizing its effect, starting with ensuring proper drainage and treating any cracks in the walls. Choosing an appropriate paint is also essential. And when we say appropriate, we mean waterproof.
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Know Your Mold And Mildew
Mold can grow in your home wherever theres an abundance of moisture, especially when its allowed to remain for extended periods of time. Mold usually appears on walls, ceilings and floors of homes where moisture management is not at its best. In particular, basements, shower walls and windowsills are areas where mold commonly likes to live. Mold and mildew, for all intents and purposes, are essentially the same thing mildew is generically used to describe many minor mold problems in the home, such as on shower tile grout. However, some molds can become highly toxic to people if left to prosper. Mold can cause allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complications, and is especially a risk for small children, the elderly and those with existing respiratory illnesses or weakened immune systems. Mold can appear in many shapes and colors, none of which accurately determines the actual species of mold. However, it does commonly present itself in various tints of black, white, green or blue, and in many combinations of these and other colors.
Interior Membrane Or Coating Is A Temporary Solution
It is appealing to solve a basement moisture problem with a membrane or coating on the inside. It’s less expensive than a drainage system and seems to work for a time in some cases. The water is still there, however, and eventually these systems deteriorate or simply move the water to another pathway into the basement.
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