Removing Mold From Cinder Block Walls With Borax
Borax is a trustworthy and effective cleaner thats well-known for its cleansing and deodorizing properties. Since Borax inhibits mold growth, its an excellent cleaning solution for removing mold from cinder block walls and other large areas. You dont even need to clean it off when youre finished.
- Scrub brush or bristle brush
Before you use one of our ways to clean cement of mold or mildew, vacuum all your moldy surfaces with a HEPA-certified vacuum minimize the number of spores that end up airborne. Mix the Borax and water in a bucket to create your cleaning solution.
Scrub any moldy surfaces thoroughly and remove visible mold particles. Let the Borax solution sit on the surface for a little while if you dont wash it off, it will inhibit future mold growth. Use this solution to stop moss from growing on bricks outside, too.
Mold In The Basement: Identifying And Treating It
Homes that have basements often have mold. Due to basements’ proximity to groundwater, water can wick up through concrete floors and continue wicking up through floor sleepers and wall studs. Homes without a robust water diversion system may accumulate water in the soil that can crack the foundation, which results in water leakage.
Identifying and treating basement mold is a multi-stage process. You must find the mold, then test it to make sure of what you’re dealing with. You’ll remove structural elements to permit access to the mold, as needed, and go through the process of killing the mold. Then you’ll mechanically remove or encapsulate the dead mold spores, depending upon which is best for your situation. Finally, you’ll turn your attention to fixing the problem that allowed the mold to grow in the first place.
How Do You Get Rid Of Mold In The Basement
Mold can develop any place. It loves damp, humid, and dark environments. Mold in a basement is a common problem and can occur due to the build-up of moisture in your house. It also has a connection with underground basements. You need to manage the presence of dark, green, yellow, or white mold in the basements before it spread to other areas of your house.
If you find mold on furniture or rugs, its best to completely eliminate and replace them instead of attempting to save them.
Basement mold elimination is something to be left in the hands of experts, particularly in case there is already an infestation. To find out how to eliminate mold from concrete basement walls, keep reading.
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Specific Health Concerns With Basement Mold Growth
Basement mold problems are significantly more likely to affect the indoor air quality, and subsequently the health of sensitive occupants, more than other areas of the home. There are a few reasons for this. As noted above, basements often have less ventilation than the rest of the home. Either the registers are closed to save money or in many cases, the hvac system simply wasnt designed to fully heat and ventilate the basement. Bathrooms in basements are also more likely to have an old or non-existent exhaust fan.
If the furnace isnt routinely exchanging the basement air, the furnace filter is less able to pull the mold spores from the air. And if bath fans are not present, humidity and pollutants will linger longer. Also, due to the stack effect , contaminated air from the basement will often infiltrate the upper portions of the home.
The potential for mold in the basement to cause health effects also depends much on the building materials used on the flooring and walls. For example, an unfinished basement with bare concrete walls and flooring, will provide far fewer food sources for the mold. However, a finished basement with insulation, sheet rock and carpeting provides dramatically more food sources.
Regardless of the source, mold testing is a great way to get quantitative data about the mold levels in the basement.
Leaks In Your Roof And Walls
Water that leaks in from your roof or pipes are the number one causes of mold in basement areas. A leak brings an endless supply of water and moisture to dark areas in your home. Since most pipes and roofs have a layer of drywall and insulation around them, they make perfect places for mold to grow. As the mold spreads, you can start seeing it growing on your walls and ceilings. At this point, youll need to fix the leaks and repair the moldy areas.
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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:
Condensation On The Hvac
Condensation is normal on an HVAC but excessive condensation means that there are other things going on inside the unit.
How to fix this
Call a professional to check out the HVAC unit to see if it can be repaired or if it needs replacing. Not taking care of this issue can lead to a backup of water and humidity in the home.
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Waterproof Below Grade Concrete
Moisture problems and mold growth go hand in hand so eliminating the source is the key to successful mold prevention. Seepage normally occurs in basements when the ground water level rises around foundations after a heavy rain. But most moisture is drawn in as invisible water vapor through the porous concrete floor and walls.
Mold and mildew, fungi, bacteria, and dust mites flourish in high humidity . Your basement or foundation slab is by far the single largest source of humidity in your home. The average basement lets in over 15 gallons of water each day – several times more than showering and cooking combined.
The best way to reduce high humidity and condensation in basements is to deep-seal your concrete against moisture. Sealing the basement slab against water vapor transmission and possible water seepage is the key to preventing molds and mildew. What you use to seal the concrete will make all the difference.
RadonSeal® Penetrating Concrete Sealer will seal your concrete internally and permanently against water and water vapor. Moreover, it is strong enough to seal even against radon, which is a single-atom gas. Since 1997, RadonSeal has been successfully used for sealing concrete in thousands of residential and commercial basements, foundation slabs, as well as outdoor concrete areas.
Read about the technology behind RadonSeal.
Ways To Prevent Basement Mold
- Written by Lakshmy Nair on Dec 10, 2009To 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
Basement mold is a common problem in homes that have damp, dark basements. Mold is a fungus which grows fast in moist, humid conditions. Once it establishes a presence in your basement, mold is very difficult to eliminate. Mold causes many health problems such as asthma, infections, cough, rashes, congestion, and allergies. The best way to prevent mold growth is to control humidity and moisture in your basement.
1. Monitor Humidity Levels
High humidity levels provide the perfect growing environment for mold. You must ensure that humidity levels within your home, especially in the basement, are within acceptable levels. Use a hygrometer to measure the humidity level. A humidity reading of 45 percent or more is high and can be conducive to mold growth.
2. Use a Dehumidifier
If you detect high moisture levels in the basement, buy a high-quality dehumidifier. This appliance is quite effective at keeping humidity levels under check.
3. Avoid Growing Plants Indoors
Plants in the basement provide a good diet for mold and mildew. Only grow plants in sunny, airy locations in your home. Avoid the basement for cultivation of any sort.
4. Reduce Congestion in the Basement
5. Avoid Storing Wood in the Basement
9. Use an Exhaust Fan
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How To Prevent Future Mold Outbreaks
Although challenging, it is possible to prevent recurring mold outbreaks in your basement. Try the following preventative measures, to get started:
- If you live in a high-humidity area, install a dehumidifier and a humidity gauge to monitor moisture levels .
- With the help of a professional, fix any leaks or cracks in your home and basement. Have your sump pump checked to ensure it is running properly, as well.
- Filter and clean the air in your home and basement using a negative air pressure machine. It should filter all the air out of the room using a process called ducting. Ducting should also filter out all mold spores that can cause future outbreaks, as well.
- Mix paint with mold inhibitor, then paint the walls of your home and basement.
- Ensure your gutters and drains are not clogged and that all water is deposited far from your home. Also, make sure the area surrounding your basement slopes away from the foundations of your home.
If any of the above preventative or treatment measures seem too daunting for you to tackle on your own, contact us to help keep your basement dry and free of future mold outbreaks.
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.
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We Recently Had A Concrete Shower Installed 30
Yes, this looks like light mold growth. While this may be aesthetically unpleasant, its not likely affecting the indoor air quality. Concrete can be surprisingly porous, depending on how it cured. This porosity allows water to penetrate and can lead to mold growth. Prevention is best achieved by treating the concrete with a penetrating sealer. Note this should be done relatively soon, as the concrete loses its ability to absorb the sealant over time.
Health Risks Associated With White Mold In Basement Environments
All types of mold can cause health problems, though some types are associated with more serious health risks than others. Health problems commonly associated with exposure to white mold include difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, migraine headaches, chronic sore throats, skin rashes, hives, exhaustion, and general malaise.
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How To Detect & Test Basement Mold
If youve ever had a leak in your basement, or your basement contains humid air and condensation, checking for mold may be a good idea.
Even if you cant immediately see evidence of mold, it could still be growing in places not easily visible to the naked eye.
There are a variety of ways to test for mold ranging from professional to do-it-yourself testing.
When it comes to deciding whether you want to use a do-it-yourself kit or a better off with getting a professional to test your basement, there are several important factors to take into consideration.
While very affordable, do-it-yourself tests are often considered less reliable. Most do-it-yourself tests require you to set a plate out from one to four days.
The idea is that the plate will collect mold spores and yield positive or negative tests results.
The downside to this method is that its not nearly as accurate as professional testing. In contrast, professional testing is more expensive, but is often more accurate and may do a better job of knowing how to get rid of the mold in your basement.
A good do-it-yourself home test kit for mold will range from $10 to $100 while the cost of a professional testing for mold can be anywhere from $200 to $1000 depending on the size of the space you want to test.
Repair Basement Cracks And Seal Gaps Airtight
Now that we have a solution for waterproofing the porous concrete it is time to turn our attention to openings in the concrete such as, cracks, gaps, openings, open sump pits, loose sump pump covers, floor-to-wall gaps, pipe protrusions, crawlspaces, etc. Any opening where water vapor or water could pass through should sealed airtight!
Foundation Wall Cracks – Settling cracks in basement walls will eventually lead to water seepage. Instead of grinding and stuffing them with hydraulic cement, which will get loose in couple years, you can repair them easily and permanently with do-it-yourself crack injection kits.
Basement Floor Cracks – When water pressure underneath the basement floor becomes too high, water be pushed through any cracks. Even a small hairline crack can cause your basement to flood . Cracks, even of the hairline variety, can be easily repaired with concrete floor repair kits. There is no need to grind out the cracks.
Control Joints, Floor-to-Wall Joints – They let in water vapor and after a heavy rain, may cause basement flooding. But moving control joints require a flexible repair. You can use a self-leveling concrete caulk but that will eventually peel. For a much stronger and long-lasting repair, use joint sealant with flexible epoxy.
Pipe Protrusions, Form Ties – Voids around conduits, pipes, and rusting form ties should be sealed properly by injecting expanding urethane foam.
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What Causes Mold To Grow In Basements
Mold loves temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees F, a little bit of moisture, some tasty surfaces to feed on, and plenty of room to growall of which the average basement supplies readily.
You can have issues with mold after a small leak, say, from a water heater or bathroom, rain coming in a basement window after a big storm, a major flood event, an overwatered plant pot, or even just due to an excess of indoor humidity.
Common Events That Will Lead To Mold In Basement
- Excessive Moisture in Basement: In order to grow, mold requires oxygen, moisture, and organic material. Often, basements may have excessive moisture due to condensation or sometimes even foundations that are leaky.
And, often enough, moisture problem in basements are a result of appliances stored in the area.
- Leaks in Basement Piping: Basements are often the site of frequent leaks. While even the best built foundation can eventually leak from years of wear and tear, one of the most common causes of basement leaks is a faulty or damaged foundation.
That being said, natural causes can also contribute to leaky foundations. Hydro-static pressure typically caused by the soils water table rising higher than normal underneath a foundation is one of the main causes of foundations leaking.
Additionally, if a basement has windows, water can sometimes accumulate in the window wells sometimes the result of a drain being clogged that can result in leaks.
If any of these types of leaks occur in a basement, mold growth is an imminent possibility.
- Flash Floods: As previously mentioned, hydro-static pressure can cause basement leaks or even flooding that can and will lead to mold surfacing.
Flash floods that occur in your area can cause high amounts of water to build up in the soil against your basements foundation.
- Sump Pump Failure: Nearly all basements have a sump pump, and if your sump pump fails, you may be looking at serious water damage.
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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.
Do I Have Mold In My Basement
Detecting mold in your basement is as simple as seeing mold or smelling mold. A moist, mold ridden basement has a distinctive odour that will not smell like other rooms in your home. These are your first clues that you have a mold or mildew problem that will need to be fixed for health reasons and to avoid huge costs associated with replacing everything in your basement that can range anywhere from carpet and drywall to all of your furniture and in some bad cases, even the framing will need work done to remove the mold.
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