Mold Prevention & Removal Tips
A wet basement is guaranteed to invite mold into your home. Preventing mold requires removing its source: moisture. Without waterproofing your basement, simply removing mold will only be a temporary solution. Its important to take mold seriously, as exposure to mold can be very hazardous to your health.
mold cannot grow without access to moisture. The most effective way to treat mold is to immediately correct the underlying water damage and clean the affected area.
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Removing Mold From Different Rooms
Some rooms are more prone to mold than others. Bathrooms are notorious for mold growth because they harbor damp, humid environments that mold loves. Less frequented rooms such as basements and attics can also suffer from mold, which can go unchecked for a long time before being noticed. Heres how to prevent mold from taking hold in each room of your property.
What Kills Mold Instantly
In such cases, a solution of diluted bleach provides the fastest way to kill mold on walls or flooring. Prepare the solution by adding one cup of bleach into a bucket that contains about a gallon of warm water. Then proceed to scrub the mold vigorously with a stiff-bristled brush youve dipped in the bleach solution.
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How To Get Rid Of The Mold In The Basement
Mold can cause allergic reactions. If you notice a bad smell or if its hard to breathe, you should call a professional cleaner. Some ways of getting rid of the mold in your basement include:
- Using bleach and water: Mix one part bleach with three parts water. Spray the mixture on the walls and let sit for an hour before scrubbing it clean with a scrub brush. Do this twice before disinfecting with either vinegar or rubbing alcohol
- Hydrogen peroxide mixed with water is a cheap way that can help you remove the mold
- Covering the area with plastic sheeting or tarping off affected areas until they are dry enough to clean up
Here we leave links to some helpful videos on How to remove mold from the basement :
Mold On Basement Ceiling Removal & Prevention
Having problems with mold growing on your basement ceiling?
Not sure how to take care of mold inside your ceiling joists and insulation?
In this guide you will learn:
- How to determine if you have a mold infestation on your basement ceiling,
- Types of Mold Found on Basement Ceilings & Dangers of it,
- How to remove mold from basement ceiling & Prevent it from returning.
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White Fuzzy Mold On Plants
In the outdoor, white mold is a common name of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, a type of parasitic fungi that attack plants. This mold has been known to attack more than 360 species of plants, including vegetables and garden flowers.
White mold can appear on various parts of the plants, such as leaves, stalks, pods, or blossoms.
The first sign of white mold infection is often hard to see with naked eyes. The plants may look alright, but the stalks may look a little like soaked .
There are also wilted parts on stems, and you may also see a little discoloration or tan lesions on them. Finally, fiber-like mold will grow from these dark discolorations.
White mold on plants requires hard work to remove. Farmers or garden owners must remove the infected plants and replace the soil.
Sometimes, the infected soil may have to be covered or separated to prevent further infestation, such as with mulch or plastic.
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White Mold In Basement
If youve spotted white mold in basement, or any type of basement mold, you may be wondering what it is and what to do about it. Any type of mold, regardless of color, is cause for concern because inhaling the microscopic mold spores can cause health problems, including respiratory problems and allergic reactions. Some types of mold are of more concern than others, though, because they produce harmful substances called mycotoxins that can cause a number of medical problems, some quite serious.
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Clean The Area And Remove The Moldy Items
After you stop the source of the mold in the basement, then mix ½ white distilled vinegar and ½ baking soda together. Then use a scrub brush and brush the mold that is on the floor, carpet, walls, etc. If you are having a hard time with this, then call in a professional.
Moldy items can be put into the washing machine if you have tried scrubbing them and the mold doesnt come off. Also, sometimes it is better to throw away the moldy item and just replace it.
Fix Any Fixtures Damaged By Mold
With that said, there are some occasions where you might be able to save and restore items affected by mold. Some items that are considered to be prime restoration options include:
- Furniture. Wooden furniture can be restored if you are willing to sand away the portion eaten away by mold. You will need wood filler and a wood stain, but its still possible.
- Ceramic. Soaking ceramic in white vinegar will remove the mold and the stains.
- Plastic. Most plastics will be easy to wipe down. Just make sure its not porous!
- Sheetrock/Walls. If you have mold-damaged walls, you will need to call professional mold remediation crews to fix this. Either way, you will need to address this to prevent mold from re-entering your room.
Note: You still need to remove the restorable items from the room and treat them to continue your clean-up. When theyre mold-free, you can re-introduce them to the room.
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White Mold Mildew Or Efflorescence
With basements being cool, damp, and dark spaces, mold can thrive. There does come the confusion though. Is it white mold? Maybe mildew? Have you ever heard of efflorescence?
All three are commonly found in basements. Mold and mildew are commonly mistaken for each other due to their appearance and odor being similar.
Both can be a problem causing allergy symptoms to those who may be sensitive to mold and mildew. But then there is efflorescence. While it can look like mold and mildew, it is neither.
Efflorescence is salt and mineral deposits left behind when water evaporates. This can be found in bricks and concrete when water has seeped in and evaporated.
Causing no damage to the materials, and leaving no risk to home integrity, it does warrant an investigation into possible water issues.
In an unfinished basement, the cinder block walls may have wavy white lines going through the blocks. This is the efflorescence, and it means there is moisture in the bricks.
Efflorescence can only be found in the cinder blocks or bricks, so if you see something like this on wood or drywall, it is likely mold or mildew.
Mold and mildew are commonly found on organic materials like drywall, wood, and flooring, but can technically grow anywhere.
To know if you are dealing with white mold, mildew, or efflorescence, there are a few steps you can take to find out.
Both should be taken care of with a certified basement mold removal professional.
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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Basement Mold Is A Common Problem That Can Cost Thousands To Remove Avoid Getting Mold In The First Place With These Preventive Steps
While mold can grow almost anywhere, the basement is one of the most common places homeowners find it. The number one reason mold manifests itself there? Its high potential to accumulate excess moisture.
According to Andrew James, a mold remediation specialist from IndianapolisRestorationPros, outside moisture that seeps through the foundation and moisture originating from the inside contribute to high levels of humidity in the basement. Combine that with the basements high potential for hidden water leaks from faulty pipes and youre looking at a breeding ground for mold, James says.
We talked to a variety of experts, who gave us key steps you can take to prevent mold and potentially save a fortune in mold remediation costs down the road.
The Dangers Of Mold In Basement
When mold begins to infiltrate the basement of a home, it can spread through entire house. For example, if a pipe is leaking in the basement ceiling insulation, the water may seep through the insulation which creates the perfect breeding ground for mold growth. This mold may quickly spread, and begin to affect the floorboards between the main level and the basement of the home.
Mold spores are microscopic, and you usually dont know that they are spreading through your living area. Many times, one or more family members may begin to experience symptoms of mold exposure, but they dont realize that the cause of their health problems is mold in basement crevices and other inconspicuous places throughout the house.
Typically, the symptoms begin small and grow worse over time, especially because the exposure to mold spores will increase as the mold spreads. These health problems will continue until you learn how to remove mold from basement rooms and other areas in the home.
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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.
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How To Get Rid Of Mold
Small amounts of mold can be cleaned up with soap and water or a bleach and water solution and a thorough scrubbing to get rid of dead mold spores.
But if you have extensive water damage or mold growth, you should seek professional help in the form of a trained mold remediation specialist. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you call in a professional if the mold is widespread, or is more than 10 square feet in size.
How to reduce the chances of getting mold in your basement:
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Use Exhaust Fans In Bathrooms
As stated earlier, an improperly ventilated bathroom can become a potential growth spot for mold. If you have any bathrooms in your basement, especially one with a shower, you should make sure that you have a ventilation system that will reroute humid air outside so you dont have to worry about the humid air creating excess moisture in your basement.
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.
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Proper Ventilation Will Help Get Rid Of Mold In The Basement
The air in the basement becomes stagnant and doesnt move, thus allowing the spores to grow. A properly ventilated basement that doesnt have a lot of stuff stored in it allows air to flow through.
How to fix this
A portable air purifier will work to pull the spores out and circulate the air, allowing it to be clean to breathe in. Also, make sure the basement isnt congested with things that can stop the air flow.
What To Do If You Have Mold
Sometimes factors out of your control lead to the growth and spread of mold in your home. If you find yourself smelling something musty in your crawl space or basement, its a good idea to call about getting a mold inspection as soon as possible. An experienced mold inspector can tell you where you have mold and give you a course of action to follow to help you eradicate the mold as efficiently as possible. The quicker you take care of your mold problem the less time that the issue has to become bigger than it is.
If youre worried about mold growing in your basement, its a good idea to do your research about what the causes are of mold growth as well as preventative measures that you can take.
If you believe your basement has mold in it, call the experts at Guaranteed Property and Mold Inspection to provide a mold inspection and help you ensure that your home is mold-free. We are able to determine whether or not theres mold growing in your basement and guide you with the process of mold remediation. Call today for more information on our services, as well as to schedule your inspection today. We look forward to helping you with your mold inspection.
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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.
How To Test For Mold In Your Basement
There are several ways to find out if you have mold in your basement.
1- Use a Mold Test Kit: Mold test kits are available on the market, but they are not as cost-effective as professional mold testing companies.
2- Use a Duct Tape Impinger: Duct tape impinger is also a great way to see if you have mold in your basement. This device will allow air to enter your basement and trap any spores through the duct tape. Testing this device will help determine how much mold is growing in your basement.
3- Use a Blacklight: You can also use a black light to see mold in your basement by exposing the mold spores to ultraviolet light. If the spores glow, they are producing their black light, which means that they contain the pigment melanin and are likely mold spores.
4- Contact Mold inspection company: It is still best to hire a professional mold inspector if you think you have mold in your basement. They know what to look for and can find any hidden problems that may be present.
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Types Of Basement Mold
Various types of mold will infest your basement. While they are all hideous, not all of them are toxic to humans.
Molds can be divided into two categories:
Allergenic molds usually pose no health risk unless you are extremely sensitive to molds or asthmatic. Black molds, on the other hand, produce a toxic chemical called mycotoxins and are particularly harmful to humans and pets.
Here are the common types of molds that can infest your basement.
Aspergillus is one of the most common household mold species. There are different types of Aspergillus, and most of them thrive well indoors. Some of the Aspergillus molds are allergenic, but some are mycotoxin and should be removed by a specialist, especially if it is something like black mold.
This fungus is dark green and found on damp walls, ceilings, and even furniture. It flourishes in humid environments, but can also grow in areas that are dry with high levels of humidity or condensation.