Spray Polyurethane Foam :
When SPUF works out, it can be one of the better performing products in basement applications. Being sprayed directly onto concrete walls, it ensures an even and total protection. SPUF has a high R value per inch, acts as an air barrier and a vapour barrier. However, it has been known to shrink after application, leaving air gaps and a lack of thermal protection.
Another downside to the original SPUF is that some blowing agents have a high global warming potential . For this reason, we like to explore less harmful alternatives whenever possible – though *January 2018 update: new blowing agents for spray foam virtually eliminate green house gases, read more here.
Probably the most worrisome problem is that there is a great temptation for installation contractors to tinker with the chemical mix a bit, giving it more volume with less material, which is more profitable for the installers. There are not a lot of reported cases of this, but when it goes wrong it goes very wrong. Personally, I wouldn’t let someone spray foam in my house without some pretty good references that I followed up.
All that said, here’s how to proceed if you plan to insulate a basement with SPUF:
There have been a few nightmare cases reported where a SPUF installation went very wrong and apparently made homes uninhabitable. Given the fact that application involves a wet spray that hardens on surfaces, it is very difficult to remove.
What Does Mold On Concrete Look Like
Mold on concrete can look like any number of different things. It depends on what classification of mold is growing on the surface of your concrete. It could be white, black or green.
Mold can be harmless or harmful regardless of color, so you should have a professional from Mold Busters visit your property for an expert inspection.
If you mistake black mold for mildew and try to clean it off, you could spread it to the rest of your home. Certain black molds grow in circular formations and are easy to spot however, this is not always the case.
This mold should be treated in the same way as any mold colony growing inside your home.
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.
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Lower And Monitor The Rooms Humidity
Moisture provides an ideal growing environment for mold. Therefore, reducing your basements humidity is a great way to preempt its formation.
The best way to achieve this is by using a dehumidifier. This device helps to keep a rooms humidity within acceptable levels. To measure humidity levels, all you need is a hygrometer.
Tips For Preventing Mold Growth
The biggest threat that contributes to mold growth is an excess of moisture. To prevent mold from growing in your basement take these steps to maintain your space.
If you can, leave the dehumidifier in your basement or crawl space to consistently maintain the air and climate quality. These are especially useful and recommended if your space does not have any windows or means of proper ventilation.
Insulate your pipes. Hire a plumber or contract a professional to properly insulate your pipes that were leaking or sustained damage. Its also a good idea to insulate the walls and around windows if your basement has any. This will help minimize condensation from occurring.
Keep the space maintained. Make a habit of checking out the basement a little more often to inspect for any potential problems such as leaks. Inspect appliances periodically and have them maintenance once or twice a year for best results.
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Opt For Mold Resistant Paint
Mold-resistant paints wont completely eradicate the possibility of mold growing in your basement, but used in conjunction with some of these other mold prevention methods, you can help lessen the risk of mold growing in your basement. If you arent sure what brand is going to be best for your basement, check with your mold inspector when theyre performing your mold inspection services. They will have recommendations that can help you with your mold prevention measures.
Instructions On Mold Prevention In The Basement
To prevent the recurrence or growth of mold, you can take the following steps:
- Use a vacuum device to filter and purify the air in your home and basement. The machine filters all the air from the room using a process called air ducts. This process filters out all mold spores that can cause mold growth under the right conditions.
- Eliminate the moisture problem by removing leaks and cracks in the base. If your sump is out of order, make sure it is set up and working again.
- In rooms with high humidity, install a dehumidifier and a humidity sensor to monitor the humidity level. Always make sure that the humidity always remains below 60%.
- Cover the base with materials such as plasterboard and primer. In this way, any rise in surface water levels due to flash floods will not penetrate your base, and therefore your home.
- Buy a mold inhibitor and mix it with the paint you will use to paint the walls of your home and basement.
- Make sure the gutters are not clogged, and all water collects away from the house. Also, ask your gardener to keep the space around your basement off the base of your home.
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How To Prevent Mold From Growing In Your Basement
Mold has the ability to grow in your home year-round. However, damp, dark conditions make it even easier for mold to root itself in your basement, where it can then travel throughout your home. Once mold spores begin to appear, its very difficult to remove them. Plus, not only is mold smelly and unsightly, but it can also affect your belongings, your property value, and even your health. Thats why we decided to create a comprehensive guide that explains how to prevent mold from growing in your basement.
First Can I Remove Mold Myself
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You can, but mold spores can travel in the air when cleaning, so youll want to limit your exposure by wearing protective gear. Wear long rubber gloves to protect your hands and forearms. Its also best to wear eye protection, like goggles, to prevent bleach or other cleaners from splashing in your eyes, especially when removing mold from ceilings or overhead areas.
If the mold problem is severe and more than a few spots, it could be a sign of a bigger moisture problem. If the area is widespread and larger than approximately a 2 x 2 foot area, youâll want to call in a pro to have it removed safely.
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Dont Ignore The Problem
Molds are not just unsightly they can cause structural damage and might make you sick. Black molds may be Stachybotrys, possibly S. chartarum or S. chlorohalonata. Many molds can take up residence in your home. Not all are black they might be yellow, white or some other color. Its important to understand and identify molds. Prevent them, if you can, and take steps to get rid of them quickly.
How Can Sheffield Homes Help
Sorry, we wont clean out your refrigerator, but we will help assess possible causes of mold and check for trouble spots in your basement. Well walk you through the process of prepping your basement for a finish, and help you decide what works best in your space. At Sheffield Homes, we have more than 40 years of experience to help guide you through the home-building and remodel process. Call us today at to start planning your basement finish in the Denver metro area or in northern Colorado!
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Figure A: Mold And Mildew Love Moist And Damp Places
Mold and mildew need only a damp, moist environment and organic material to establish themselves and thrive. Roof and foundation leaks, high interior humidity, overflowing washing machines and more severe forms of flooding are common sources of moisture and are what causes mold in a house. Drywall backing, wallpaper, carpet backing, household dust and wood products are commonly attacked organic materials.
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Thereare 4 Primary Reasons For The Increase In Basement Mold
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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.
Did you know?
How To Measure Humidity
A hygrometer is a tool people use to identify the levels of humidity in rooms. There are different models on the market, and most of them are quite affordable and available in stores and online.
Condensation is a visual sign that the humidity in your basement is high, but a hygrometer is the only way to get precise measurements.
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So Why Are Basements Moldy & Damp
1) The National Building Code now insists on basement insulation , and it needs to be done before delivery to homeowners, which will be years before the concrete in the basement walls has fully dried.
2) Decisions on wall assemblies and the materials that will be used are most often made based on initial building costs, not future repair costs, energy performance or protecting the health of occupants by mitigating mold formation. They most certainly are not based on the laws of physics,that is the one thing we know for sure.
3) The cheapest way to insulate a basement is on the inside, and using finishing materials that are moisture and therefore mold formation sensitive. This is a big problem, given the potential for mold problems building like in 1 and 2 above.
With wet or humid soil on the exterior, concrete cannot dry to the outside. With the inclusion of a polyethylene vapour barrier on the inside, concrete is prevented from drying inwards as well. That leaves a sealed waterproof cavity containing untold thousands of litres of water along with moisture-sensitive and organic materials that are the perfect breeding ground for fungus and mold. Does this sound like a good idea to you?
What Building Science Corporation has to say about this type of basement wall assembly –
For a basement to have any chance at doing what you want it to do without growing black stinky and unhealthy mold, it should be finished with respect to the regarding moisture movement namely
Check To See Where The Mold Growth Is
You want to take a close look at the following factors when you start your mold remediation:
- Mold Type. If its caked on, youll have an easier time. If its powdery, you will have to re-wet it while youre scrubbing. Well get into that later.
- Location. Mold growth on sheetrock is going to be different than mold growth underneath laminate flooring or furniture.
- Quantity. If you let the mold grow until its seriously impacted the quality of air in your basement or if a large portion of your home is ruined, call a professional.
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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.
Where To Check For Mold
There are many places where mold can grow, and a lot of these places can be hidden away since mold often likes closed-off, dark, and damp environments. Anywhere that organic material is stored is a possible growth spot for mold. Things like furniture, clothing, cardboard, wood, drywall, and carpet are potential growth spots for mold.
If your basement smells musty, theres a high chance that mold is already growing. The only way to be absolutely sure about whether or not theres mold growing in your basement is to get it checked out by professionals. This is where mold inspection services come in the experts will be able to ensure that you know about any and all mold in your basement so that you can get it properly treated.
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How To Prevent Basement Mold
These 13 ways to prevent basement mold are all critical to a healthy, mold free basement. My guess is that there are quite a few mold prevention tips here that you are overlooking. Never fear know better, do better. Lets get to it shall we?
Healthy Home Myths Debunked
Basement mold is often the result of a source of moisture leaky foundations or condensation from appliances are typical culprits. One of the first steps in the prevention of basement mold is to ensure that your basement is free of any moisture and doesn’t support a damp, humid environment where mold can thrive.
If mold in the basement is already a problem in your home, there are many options for the control and removal basement mold. Depending on the extent and severity of the problem, and the type of mold, you may need to explore options for professional mold removal. In particular, cases of severe toxic black mold growth may require professional care.
For nontoxic species of mold and less severe mold growth, there are many DIY solutions for the prevention and control of mold in the basement. After removing any mold-covered debris, such as dry wall, insulation, carpet or sub-flooring, hard surfaces can be treated with commercial products containing ammonia and bleach. Basement mold removal on tile or linoleum can also be performed with vinegar or a borax and water solution.
Mold in the basement is a common problem, but by understanding how to identify problem areas and prevent and control mold growth, you can avoid the potentially costly and unhealthy spread of basement mold.
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