Step by Step Guide
Mold in basement is typically a problem, but learning how to identify trouble areas, prevent and control mold development, you can avoid the costly and dangerous spread of basement mold.
If you have a mold infestation in your basement, it is important to clean it up and remove the source of the moisture. This blog post will discuss how to clean and remove Mold from your basement.
We will also provide tips on how to prevent future Mold growth. Keep reading for more information!
What is mold?
Mold is a type of fungi that grows in moist and damp conditions. There are many kinds of mold – all of them need water or moisture to grow. Some are not considered hazardous while others like black mold are toxic. Molds are often found in places like basements, showers, refrigerators, and grows quickly and easily when it locates a food source. When it is not dealt with properly, mold could cause health problems such as sore throats, headaches, lung infections and compromised immune systems.
Molds are routinely discovered in property after flooding, drain backups and other water intrusions. Heavy raining will often cause flooding and place properties at risk for mold in as little as 48 hours. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will begin to manifest, particularly if the moisture presence remains undiscovered or unaddressed.
Mold growth can develop and occur on:
- Wood base and casings
- Paper products and boxes
- Carpet and tack-less strip
- Foods and wet linens
- Insulation and studs
- Dry wall and cabinetry
Why does Mold grow?
Mold develops when mold spores come into contact with another moist surface. In a basement the humidity is usually higher in the warmer months and may cause mold to grow to begin in walls, floors or insulation.
Mold can spread from one spot to other spots quickly if not treated properly, so it is important that you use the right cleaning products and tools when removing the Mold . When finished it is important to ensure that the mold does not come back, but most importantly you must prevent future Mold growth.
Signs of mold in basement
The presence of mold is typically identified through visible signs. Signs can be a musty smell, a coating of dark colored dust or a patch on the wall. Keep in mind that Mold often looks like spots and it can vary from black to blue-green or orange/yellow depending on its age and what it is growing on.
Most common signs of mold in basement includes:
Dark or discolored spots on the walls, ceiling, and floor
Spots that are sticky to the touch
Musty smell in your basement
4 Common Causes of Mold in basement
There are many causes of Mold in basement. If you notice an increase in musty smells or visible Mold, there may be a water leak nearby. A burst pipe or even condensation on cold surfaces like concrete can also lead to increased humidity and moisture levels and lead to Mold growth. The following are the most common ways mold is discovered in a basement.
1. Excess Moisture
Excessively moist surfaces are an optimal environment for Mold growth. Most molds need at least some moisture to grow, and they will find their way to whatever surface has the most water content.
Environments like outdoors, basements, or even bathrooms can be especially susceptible to excess humidity. It is important to control moisture levels in areas with high humidity to prevent Mold growth.
Leakage can cause Mold to grow in your basement. If you see Mold, there is also bound to be excess moisture. Other signs of leakage include warped walls, discolored paint, and moisture stains.
Flooding is also a common cause of basements full of water and Mold. Since Mold will always find excess moisture, flooding can lead to an ideal environment for Mold growth.
4. Cigarette Smoke
Smokers may unknowingly contribute to the growth of basement Mold by flicking ashes in general waste bins or outside. Still, these filters also cause another issue by emitting mold spores into the air.
Even if you are not a smoker, the residue of cigarettes in your home can contribute to Mold growth. Cigarette smoke can linger in carpets, sofas, and other fabric surfaces for months after being smoked in a room. This is yet another example of how smoking can cause Mold in basements.
Other household items like carpet, wallpaper and insulation can also be a source of Mold. If you suspect that Mold may be growing in your basement due to any of the above reasons, we will discuss some tips on how to remove mold in Basement below.
Identify trouble areas
Before trying to remove Mold from your basement, you must identify all of the trouble areas and possible causes that may have led to the mold infestation. That way, you will know where to look for excess moisture.
Look around your basement for any leaking water sources. Also, check the walls and ceilings around windows, doors, dryer vents, or anything else that could have caused the area to become damper than other parts of the basement. These things can lead to increased humidity levels in that area, increasing the growth of most molds.
Types of Mold in basement
There are many types of Mold that grow in your basement. Common types of basement mold include:
This is the most common type of Mold found in basements, which emits an odor and grows on damp surfaces like walls or insulation. The appearance looks purple-green and scaly, similar to the texture of a dry erase marker.
Stachybotrys Chartarum Mold
This is one of the most dangerous kinds of Mold to have in your home and grows on very wet or damp surfaces. It can cause severe respiratory illness if not taken care of quickly. The appearance looks black with long growths that resemble burnt rubber or leather.
This is another type of Mold that grows on walls, insulation, wood, and other material in your basement. It can cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and lung infections. The appearance looks greenish-black with a feathery texture.
This type of Mold looks like a patchy, hazy growth and will emit an unpleasant odor. It is commonly found in basements and other moist and humid environments.
Can Mold be Harmful to your Health and Home?
Mold is often considered an eyesore that can detract from the décor or resale value of your home. You may just want to cover it up with paint, but Mold growing in basements can cause serious health problems if left unchecked.
Although some types are not very harmful, others are highly contagious and will cause infections when touched, inhaled, or ingested.
When inhaled, mold spores will cause allergies and respiratory illnesses such as chest pains, coughing fits, wheezing, and itchy eyes. It can even cause inflammations that lead to blackouts and difficulty breathing.
If Mold is left in contact with skin for too long or consumed in food items, it could lead to infections or poisoning.
Prevention is key to protecting your health and keeping Mold growth under control in basements.
Can mold be toxic?
Mold is not toxic in the sense that it could kill someone if they inhaled it. However, individuals with allergies and asthma may suffer from Mold exposure.
Molds release tiny spores into the air which can then be inhaled and cause allergic reactions and illness. Also, since Molds also thrive on damp surfaces, they are commonly found in basements.
Sick building syndrome is a condition that can develop from chronic exposure to allergens and toxins caused by Mold in the home . Other common symptoms include irritation of the eyes, nose, throat as well as coughing. The severity depends on how much exposure an individual has had to the spores.
You must remove mold in your basement immediately. Here are some steps you can try in order to remove mold in basement.
How to remove Mold in basement yourself: Step by Step
There are numerous ways to get rid of Mold in your home and basement. Before you begin your mold remediation, be sure to protect yourself with the proper safety equipment. Be sure to also wear long sleeves and pants (or even a full-body suit) for extra protection.
Wear waterproof gloves, goggles, and rubber boots. Since basements are usually very damp, you must protect your skin from contact with the moisture in the air.
Open your windows to let fresh air in and bring outdoor fans inside to circulate the air and help dry the areas with Mold.
Ensure that there is enough indirect lighting, as excessive natural or artificial light can cause mold spores to grow faster. This is because Mold grows best in darkness, so increasing brightness can actually help kill Mold.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Step 1: Remove anything wet or Moldy.
If the Mold has spread to your furniture or other belongings, remove these things immediately and place them in a safe area outside of the room.
Wipe down the affected surfaces with mold-killing detergent – never use bleach, as it can make matters worse by releasing dangerous chemicals into the air.
Flush out any soggy insulation with a garden hose. Wash any rugs or fabrics that you can remove by hand with soap and water.
Check to make sure your roof, gutters, windows, pipes, walls, and floors are all in working order. After identifying all of the trouble areas mentioned above (in “Step 1: Identify trouble areas”), you should now know where to look for leaks or other issues. Once you have these areas repaired, you must then ensure that your basement is properly ventilated at all times.
Step 2: Turn off the power to the area
Since Basements are usually located below ground level, be sure to turn off your fuse box before you begin any work.
You should also test for the presence of live wires by using a voltage detector – these can be bought at your local hardware store.
Use a metal probe to pinpoint any areas where you detect a current. Be sure to turn off the power before sticking the probe anywhere! After all, you never know what lies beneath…
Step 3: Dry out the water-damaged areas.
If you have Mold on walls or furniture, you need to dry these areas as soon as possible. Use fans and dehumidifiers to help speed up the drying process. It might take a few days, but you can get rid of the Mold more quickly.
Step 4: Clean up any debris left over after the water damage has finished.
After things have dried out, thoroughly clean all surfaces to remove any dirt or dust that might be in your way when you are cleaning up the area – since this will help kill Mold growing back.
After you’ve finished, it’s time to begin the final step: killing and removing all of the mold in basement.
Step 5: Use chemicals to kill and remove Mold in basement.
When surfaces are dry, you can use chemical cleaners mixed with water to clean the Mold. Below is the list of chemicals you can use to kill and remove Mold.
Vinegar is a very effective way to kill Mold. Mix equal parts vinegar and water together in a spray bottle, then gently apply it to the Moldy surface until it is fully saturated. Allow the vinegar mixture to sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing off with clean water or using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner on the surface.
Borax is another good choice for killing Mold. Mix equal parts Borax and water, then apply it to surfaces with a paintbrush. Allow the Borax mixture to sit overnight before rinsing with clean water or using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner on the surface.
Baking soda is an excellent product that can help kill Mold if you combine it with vinegar. Mix one cup of baking soda, one cup of white vinegar, and two cups of water in a spray bottle, then apply it to the Moldy surface until it is fully saturated. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing with clean water or using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner on the surface.
Mold has almost irresistibly attractive to water and moisture, so these cleaners will break up the Mold and allow you to pull it away from surfaces. Enzyme cleaners work best when used with hot water, but their effectiveness is limited by the amount of available moisture in your basement.
Just like baking soda and vinegar, mixing Hydrogen peroxide with water can help kill Mold if you make sure to keep the surface wet for about 10 minutes. Be careful not to use this method near plants or in areas where pets or children might come into contact with it.
If you mix one part bleach and two parts water together, you can kill Mold. Apply the solution to the surface of the Mold with a paintbrush, then allow it to sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing with clean water or using a wet/dry vacuum cleaner on the surface.
Clear mold growth off hard surfaces with paper towels soaked in bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
Once you’ve sprayed or wiped the area clean, leave it exposed to sunlight for several hours to make sure all of the Mold has died.
How to Prevent Future Mold Growth?
The best way to keep Mold from coming back is to clean and dry the affected area as quickly as possible. Use fans and dehumidifiers, then reduce the humidity in your basement as much as you can.
This means keeping windows closed during cold months, running a dehumidifier year-round, and reducing humidity by paying attention to the weather.
When you are cooking or showering, take care that Basement Mold doesn’t get splashed onto surfaces by accident.
It is better not to cover Basement areas where repairs have been done unless it is necessary to keep the dust out (such as when sanding).
If you need to cover areas with plastic, make sure it is tight-fitting and taped down. You can also purchase special products that claim to prevent Mold from growing on surfaces.
What Not to Do?
Don’t paint or caulk Basement areas where there is Mold, as the mold could live under the paint.
Don’t try to dry a room quickly by using a heater or furnace with poor air circulation. This will only speed up the growth of Basement Mold and can cause it to spread rapidly throughout your basement.
If Mold reoccurs, call an expert or contact us to prevent dangerous air quality conditions in your home.
When should you call a professional to remove the mold?
Getting rid of Mold can be a tough job, but it’s one that isn’t too complicated for many people to handle. Use the tips provided in this article as a guide if you want to make sure your Basement stays safe from the dangers of mold.
If you are not able to remove the mold yourself, don’t delay in calling a professional. If left untreated, Mold can cause respiratory problems and even destroy foundations. Make sure the area is thoroughly cleaned afterwards as well to prevent future Mold issues.
You can contact our professional mold removal for help, and we’ll take care of the problem as quickly as possible.
Mold can grow in damp or moist conditions, making basements an ideal place for it to grow. If not dealt with properly, mold could cause problems such as sore throats, headaches, or lung infections when exposed to mold spores.
To help prevent future Mold growth after water damage has occurred in your home, follow these tips! I hope this article helped you remove, kill and prevent Mold in basement. Thanks for reading!
Frequently asked Questions
Q: How do I know if there is Mold in the basement?
A: If you smell musty odors or see black spots growing on walls and surfaces, it could signify Mold. Contact us for help!
Q: Why is the basement the perfect place for Mold to grow?
A: It’s dark and damp in Basements, meaning that it would be difficult to see Mold growing on surfaces until it gets out of hand. The humidity in the air would also help it to grow faster.
Q: What areas are most affected by mold?
A: Mold can grow anywhere, but Basements and bathrooms often have issues because they’re damp and humid year-round.
Q: What is the best product to kill Mold?
A: Hydrogen peroxide is the best solution for killing Mold, but bleach can also be used. We’d recommend testing it on an inconspicuous area first to check if it damages surfaces before using it full strength!
Q: Can I do remove Mold in the basement by myself?
A: Yes, we provide a DIY Mold removal guide, but we recommend you contact us for more detailed instructions and professional help.
Q: How long will this take?
A: Unfortunately, It would depend on how much Mold has grown, so it’d be difficult to tell without seeing the basement first-hand. The quicker we can get down there and begin working, the sooner we’ll be able to remove and prevent Mold.
Q: How much will this cost?
A: Again, it would depend on the amount of mold growth, so we’d recommend contacting us for a free inspection to find out exactly how much work is needed. We don’t want to estimate without seeing your basement first!
Q: How long does it take for the smell to go away?
A: It depends on how much Mold was removed and how long it has been growing in the basement. The basement would need a thorough cleaning first before we could remove any smells associated with Mold. We can do this quickly and easily!
Q: Will you be bringing equipment into the Basement?
A: Yes, we often bring heavy equipment like dehumidifiers and blowers to help with Mold removal. We always clean up after ourselves before leaving! If you need any help moving things around or moving things out, just let us know.
Q: What kind of clothing should I wear?
A: We advise wearing anything you’re comfortable in, but you can purcahse coveralls and gloves if needed. We provide covers for you to wear when possible.
Q: Can I stay home during the mold removal process?
A: Yes, you can stay home if you like! If there are any problems or safety concerns, we’ll let you know straight away.
Q: How do you remove mold without damaging my home?
A: We use eco-friendly products that are safe for children, pets and plants to use. We also have special equipment that helps remove mold without scrubbing surfaces harshly. This ensures that your home is protected!