Basement Mold Removal Methods
Basement Mold Removal through Negative Air Pressure: A negative air pressure machine can be used to prevent the spread of mold to other areas in your home.
Negative air pressures use a process called ducting to suck the air out of a room and filter it outside of the area with mold.
Negative air pressure machines are a good way to ensure that an area is free of mold spores.
Removing Basement Mold with HEPA Vacuuming: HEPA vacuums can be used for mold removal and are often a great way to ensure that all mold spores and particles have been removed from your basement.
Furthermore, if an area of your basement is highly susceptible to mold, vacuuming with a HEPA vacuum on a semi-regular basis can also help prevent future mold growth.
Basement Mold And Mildew Removal: A Guide
- Written by Rina Magallanes on Oct 19, 2010To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by Lindani Chirambadare on Mar 18, 2020
Mold and mildew removal can greatly improve the atmosphere inside a home. These organisms are highly hazardous to health if left to flourish in any part of the house. Moreover, they may contribute to the deterioration of building structures and materials. These organisms can grow anywhere in your household and your basement is one of their most probable breeding grounds.
There are several contractors that offer services on mold and mildew removal. These professionals use proven techniques and methods to ensure that infected areas are thoroughly cleaned. However, you may find that they also ask exorbitant amounts in exchange for their services. Fortunately, you may not need the help of these professionals to remove the mold and mildew that are accumulating in your basement. You can do the task yourself.
Scrub the Basement Floor and Walls
Getting rid of mold and mildew may require scrubbing the infected areas with a heavy duty brush. You may also need to purchase certain types of mold and mildew removal products. There are many commercial products out there that you can use in cleaning and disinfecting your basement walls and floors.
Get Rid of Moisture
Regulate the Basement Temperature
What Are The Signs Of Mildew Growth
Like mold, a sure sign of mildew growth is the smell. In rarely-ventilated areas like the basement, the smell is bound to be stronger.
Another sign of mildew growth is the powdery or downy growth on surfaces. As mentioned above, mildew has two types: powdery or downy.
Having either powder or downy growth on your surfaces is a sure sign of mildew growth. However, we do not recommend touching contaminated areas.
Despite having less serious health problems like mold, mildew can still cause an allergic reaction. Hence, touching it with your bare hands is a no-no.
Also, when you remove mildew from your basement, make sure you have protective gear. Avoid mildew exposure by wearing gloves and long sleeves.
Lastly, wear a mask to avoid inhaling its spores. After putting on protective gear, you are now prepared to tackle the mildew problem in your basement.
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How Mold And Mildew Affect Your Home
Mold needs to consume something to survive, and its perfectly happy eating your house if you let it. Some molds and mildews are fond of the cellulose in the paper backing on drywall, insulation and wallpaper. Others have a ravenous appetite for the glues used to bond carpet to its backing. Left unchecked, mold eventually destroys the parts of the drywall, wallpaper and carpet it attacks.
But many molds just like to feast on the every day dust and dirt that gather in the perpetually moist regions of your house. They wont destroy your house, but they can sure make it look, feel and smell bad. Mold can mar your walls with white spider weblike growths or clusters of small black specks. It creates the smell we often refer to as musty. This white mold in a basement can be slippery and dangerous when it grows on damp basement stairs. Molds rarely go so far as to rot wood or do structural damagetheyll leave that to their fungal cousinsbut they can wreak plenty of havoc. We cant overemphasize that mold needs moisture to get established, grow and reproduce. Mold problems and longstanding moisture or high humidity conditions go hand in hand. To conquer mold, you must also conquer moisture problems. Fig. B shows common hangouts for mold and some steps you can take to minimize its growth and the damage it inflicts.
There Has Been A Wet Smell In Our Newly Purchased Home Since We Got Here The Previous Owners Did Not Heat The Home In The Winter Months And There Is Very Poor Ventilation In The Basement We Removed Some Gyproc Todaydoes It Look Like We Will Have To Remove It All
Yes, the sheet rock should be removed. This is necessary not only to clean up the existing mold, but to implement the prevention measures.
First, you need to identify the source of the moisture. Three possibilities exist. 1.) Condensation from the warm interior air hitting the cold concrete wall. This typically does not happen behind a well sealed wall , but its possible.
2.) Vapor emissions through the concrete. This occurs when moisture moves through the concrete in vapor form, creating high humidity and saturation on the surface. In an uncovered wall, the water would simply evaporate into the air without causing an issue. The installation of the sheet rock traps the moisture, leading to mold growth. There are two solutions either keep the concrete exposed or install dimple board with a interior footing drain.
3.) Liquid water intrusion. Its possible youre having liquid water enter through the cold joint at the bottom of the wall. If this is the case, youll see more damage at the bottom plate/framing than higher up the studs. In most cases, the solution is an interior footing drain.
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Remove Mold In Basement With Tea Tree Oil
Tea-Tree Oil: Conveniently, tea-tree oil is a natural fungicide and is a fantastic solution for removing mold. One of the easiest ways to use tea-tree oil for mold removal is to mix the oil with water.
Shake well to help the oil and water mix together. The next step is to spray where the mold is growing and scrub the surface until the mold starts to disappear.
Causes Of Mold In The Basement
Understanding how and why mold found its way into your basement is vital. You dont want to waste time getting rid of it only for it to reoccur.
Lets briefly delve into the science behind mold. Your unwanted home invader is the result of fungi species that generate spores to reproduce.
When these teeny-tiny spores, invisible to the naked eye, land on something wet, they start to grow. Theres no way for mold to thrive and survive without moisture .
Now that youre versed in mold 101, you can likely anticipate what the causes would be. These are the reasons why your basement could have been affected:
- After flooding: A flooded basement is an optimal environment for mold. Standing water and damp items such as furniture and carpets can serve as breeding grounds.
- Water leaks: As with post-flood moisture, leaky pipes, appliances or drains in your basement will increase your risk of finding a moldy surprise.
- High humidity: If the old stereotype of your basement as a damp and dank place applies, your chances of mold will be higher. Humidifiers, air vents and similar steamy gadgets or mechanisms can all encourage mold.
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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.
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.
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Removing Mold From Basement Walls
If youve found mold on your basement walls, you may be wondering the best way to remove basement mold from concrete/basement wall.
Fortunately, there are numerous safe ways to remove mold from your basement walls.
- Clean your Basement Walls: The first step to removing mold from your basement wall especially if your wall is concrete is to clean the wall. Take warm water and soap and scrub any build up or dirt off of the walls.
- Proper Mold Cleaning Product: Once youve ensured that your basement walls are clean, its now time to use your product of choice for mold removal.
Many of the mold removal solutions mentioned thus far, would be suitable for removing mold from your walls.
And, while many of these mold killers are non-toxic, bleach should always be used with caution while using in non-ventilated areas.
It is also preferred to use a safety mask or other PPE when handling any type of toxic mold cleaning agents.
Whatever mold removal product you decide to use, applying it with a scrub brush to the mold may assist in ensuring that you remove all of the mold and the mold spores from the surface.
Dry your Basement Walls: Mold loves moisture, so after youve cleaned your walls and removed mold, your next step should be to dry your walls to ensure the mold doesnt return from the walls staying damp.
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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Have Air Ducts Cleaned
Both hot and cold air travel through your duct work constantly. This can be a prime place for moisture to condense and get trapped. Ensuring that they are cleaned regularly can eliminate mold spores that have already formed in your duct work and can prevent them from spreading into other areas of your home, like the basement. This can also provide your family with cleaner air to breathe in all areas of the home, not just the ones below grade.
Basement Mold Removal Cost
If you decide to take a do-it-yourself approach to removing the mold problem in your basement, the cost will depend on the products you use for mold removal.
While getting rid of mold infestation in basement may seem daunting at first, below are a few steps to take to ensure that youre successful.
Your first step to removing mold in your basement is to figure out what kind of mold youre dealing with and identify it correctly. Mold inspections is of utter importance.
And, depending on the type of mold in your basement, youll need to take special precautions such as wearing a mask or respirator to ensure that you dont breath in harmful toxins.
Ensure that any air vents are sealed off so that mold spores dont spread to other areas of your home. Also be sure to check all crawl space in your basement.
Once youve removed the mold, you may want to consider taking extra precautions such as a negative air pressure system or HEPA vacuum.
Take steps to make sure the area has good ventilation. You may want to set up a dehumidifier to try to keep the area non-humid and well ventilated to prevent future mold growth.
Costs of do-it-yourself mold removal can range anywhere from $25 and upwards. The potential costs of your basement mold removal plan will also depend on the type of mold youre attempting to eradicate.
And, there is a mold removal cost directly dependent upon what kind of equipment is required to remove the fungus.
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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.
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.
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Clean Your Concrete Wall Using Ammonia
Did you know that you can make a cement cleaner using ammonia?
Ammonia is one of the best concrete cleaners since it quickly breaks down grease and grime. Therefore, you can rely on it to remove stubborn stains.
Heres what you need to create an ammonia-based concrete cleaner:
- Dish detergent
- A bucket
- A stiff nylon brush
To make the solution, mix ¼ cup ammonia, a few squirts of detergent, and water in the bucket. Using the nylon brush, scrub the solution from one end of your wall to the other until youve covered the entire surface. After that, hose off the wall and dry it with a clean towel.
Tip: Ensure your basement is well-ventilated when using the ammonia solution by fully opening all windows and doors.
How To Clean Mildew
To clean moldy carpets, start by thoroughly vacuuming the affected carpet to remove as much of the mildew as you can. After you are done, either throw away the bag or clean the canister outside. Then proceed to clean the carpet as follows.
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Mold And Mildew Can Make You Sick Too
Besides damaging your house, mold can cause severe health problems. One consultant we interviewed confessed he crawls around in moldy places day after day, month in and month out, and never suffers ill effects. Otherssome estimate about 10 percent of the populationare severely allergic to mold. Its primarily the dinky reproductive spores that people react to. Twenty of them sitting side by side could fit across the period at the end of this sentence. That means theyre hard to filter out. The spores also have an incredible hang time theyre able to stay suspended in midair for hours on end. That means theyre easily inhaled.
Tightly sealed newer houses may be better at holding in heat, but theyre also more likely to trap moisture and spores. Mechanical ventilation, like an air-to-air heat exchanger, is critical for healthy air quality in tightly sealed new homes.
In truth, most of us fall somewhere between the two extremes of invincibility and super-sensitivity. But even normal folks will react to unusually high concentrations of mold and spores. And the time youre most likely to stir up spores and inhale and ingest them is the very time youre trying to get rid of the stuff. Thats when you need to be the most careful.
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.
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