How to Get Rid of Mold in your BasementSeptember 24, 2012
There is no foolproof way to get rid of mold from your basement and prevent it from every coming back. But there are things you can do to prevent it from coming back too quickly and too frequently. Most of the options for getting rid of mold in your basement must be considered prior to you finishing your basement for the best results.
Mold is a fungus that requires moisture to grow. It produces spores which can cause respiratory problems in both humans and animals as well. Basements are ideal places for the growth of mold due to the fact that basements tend to have more than average amounts of moisture. To get rid of mold in your basement you will have to get rid of the moisture that is necessary for the mold to grow. There are a number of ways you can get rid of moisture in your basement, to include;
- Not using drywall – drywall is susceptible to mold growth as it can hold moisture. Using a non- organic material instead of drywall will help to curb mold growth at least where the walls are concerned.
- Use a basement finishing system – these use materials are made with non-organic products and so they are both mildew and mold resistant.
- You can install a sump pump inside your basement – this must be installed in the lowest part of your basement and what it does is prevent water from accumulating by pumping it out whenever any is present.
- Get rid of cellulose – mold feeds on cellulose and while you may not be able to get rid of all the items that contain cellulose you can get rid of some. Cellulose can be found in wall paper, insulation materials, carpeting and fabrics.
- Get a dehumidifier – this helps by removing moisture from the air. You want your humidity levels to be below 60% and to ensure that this is always the case you need to have the dehumidifier running daily. Remember to empty the catchment container daily as well.
- Get professional help – not all mold problems can be handled by the homeowner. If you start investigating and find that there is a lot of mold in your basement it is best to get professional help right away. You also want to get professionals if you find small amounts of mold frequently even though you regularly clean the surfaces and are trying your best to eliminate moisture from the area.
If you want to check for mold in your basement you should first get a safety mask as well as goggles. Start your search in areas where there are pipes, drains or where your washer can be found. These are prime places for leaks which will provide a comfortable atmosphere for the growth of mold. Also check for exposed soil as well as cracks in the walls or in the floor.
If you find leaks call your plumber. If the leak is really bad you may need to turn off the water supply to your home to stop the flow of water. For exposed soil get some concrete and use this to cover it, you can also seal the cracks you found in the walls or floor with the suitable materials depending on what material they are made of. When fixing these problems you or anyone else in the room should be wearing masks and goggles. You also want to make sure that no one is in the adjacent room.
If you see initial signs of mold you will need to check deeper as there may be additional mold behind layers of wall, fabric, carpet etc. When you find mold on non porous surfaces you can clean it with detergent solution. Never use bleach as overuse can cause chemical reactions that release fumes that are dangerous to you as well as to the environment. Wear the safety mask, goggles and rubber gloves when cleaning away mold. After cleaning with detergent clean with water and dry properly. If the mold is on drywall don’t get the wall too wet. Use a damp rag with some baking soda or a little detergent if you have no baking soda. If it all comes back after cleaning that means there is a source of moisture that is not being dealt with. Get an IAQ investigator to come and take a look around your basement if this is the case.