Having mold is a common problem which most of the homeowners face regularly. As mold likes to grow in a very dark place and has little airflow, a home basement is a perfect place for them. Sometimes you may think that “mold in basement” can only grow only in a wet and dark place, but they still can be on your drywall or under the carpet. One of the key characteristics of mold is that it returns very fast, even if you cleaned it a few weeks or months ago.
Sometimes, people make their kitchen or entertainment place in the basement, which can lead to significant health issues due to mold. But getting rid of the mold is not as difficult as you are thinking right now. Having a good strategy and proper planning will help you wipe out the mold from your house.
Basement mold types
There are mainly 3 types of mold found in the basement. Those are-
White Mold in basement:
It is a very common type of mold, which is considered as the early stage of black mold. Many people think white mold is not as dangerous as black mold, but it is completely wrong. Some of the white molds can cause serious health issues and can turn into harmful species like Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Penicillium. Some of the people mix up the white mod with the Efflorescence, but they are two different things.
The most common places where white mold grows are furniture, clothes, wood root, and basement. Now, you might be thinking about how you can get rid of the white mold problem. If it is a normal type of growth, then a detergent solution can be enough. But for the serious type, below we are going to discuss the step by step process for getting rid of all kinds of mold in your basement.
Black Mold in basement:
It is the most dangerous type mold which grows in homes and is responsible for the damage in the basement and other health problems. There are different types of black mold, but Stachybotrys Chartarum is the most common and dangerous one. The common problem associated with the black mold is that it causes health issues like headaches, pains, nosebleeds, allergic reactions, etc. This type of mold also contains a toxic element which is called mycotoxins. So having black mold in the home, particularly in the basement, needs serious attention.
Green Mold in basement:
This type of mold is green in color and mostly found in the wet places of a building. Green mold can create some of the severe health issues like allergic reactions, skin rashes, hives, etc. Green mold can turn into black mold or white mold depending on the nature of the environment.
What Causes Mold in The Basement?
There are reasons for which mold in basement can occur, but the most common causes are given below:
- Leaks in the basement: Sometimes, the pressure of water rises more than the normal, which affects the basement’s foundation. Besides, some basements have windows where the waters are stored and responsible for the leaking of walls in the basement. On the other hand, if the foundation of the house is inferior and damaged, then there is a very high possibility of having mold in the basement.
- Damaged ventilation: Poor and damaged ventilation can play a crucial role as moisture and airflow limitation is considered the key component of having mold on the basement. If the air in the basement can’t circulate properly, it condensates moisture, which is the main reason for having mold.
- Leaks in the foundation: If the building’s foundation is not structured properly, it can lead to leaks on piping in the basement. Sometimes, the basement has windows where water can be stored because of the rain or any other reason and can increase the moisture.
If any of the reasons which are mentioned above are present in your basement, then there is very much possibility of having any mold in the basement of your building.
How to get rid of mold in basement?
Moisture reduction: Moisture comes from the presence of water in the basement. If there is any leakage from the pipe or floor, you have to fix it immediately. Some experts also refer to a waterproof coating on the basement wall. If there is any object which is already infected by mold, you have to remove it immediately. Mold spreads from a tiny thing to a larger extent, so you have to consider it very seriously.
Don’t use the basement as storage: Most of the people use their basement to dump all the unnecessary things they have. If you dump the items like shoes, clothes for a very long time, then there is a very possibility of mold in the basement. Stop using your basement as a dumping place, and keep it neat and clean all the time.
Repairing the leaks: As the basement is the place of different wirings and piping of the entire house, they should be checked on a regular basis where there are any leaks or not. Besides that, the walls of the basement also are checked if it is not waterproof. If there are any leaks found, it should be fixed instantly; otherwise, water can increase moisture in the air. If it is not possible to be fixed by yourself, it is better to take professional help.
Fixing ventilation issue: A proper ventilation can help you to maintain the ideal flow of the air in your basement. If the ventilation system is damaged or broken, there is very much possible condensation in the basement, which will help the mold grow. Using the fans, air movers, or just by simple open windows, you can maintain a healthy amount of airflow in the basement.
Carpeting removal: Don’t use the wall to wall carpeting in the basement as it is hard to wash it or remove it. Instead, you can use a washable floor covering and area rugs to clean it whenever you want. Learn How to remove mildew smell from carpet
Check the water source: You have to ensure that the water from rain is not flowing toward your foundation; it should be flowing away from your home. Also, you have to check that any water is not storing beside your house, especially near your basement. The best way to keep the water away from the basement is to have proper drainage around your home.
Checking the duct joints: Most of us don’t check the pan under the coil of the AC frequently. Clean it after weeks or months with bleach regularly. Besides that, if you find any leakage on the joints of the duct, fix it with mastic. Also, check periodically whether your drain is clean or not. Always remember,
Using the chemicals: For removing the mold from the basement, bleach can be used on the surface. Besides bleach, another non-toxic element like Concrobium can be used on the bathroom or kitchen floor. Chemical treatment is applicable if the mold or spores are growing very first. Make a mold killing solution with bleach and vinegar, then scrub the basement properly. Make sure that you take precautionary tools before working with those toxic elements.
Repair the crawlspace: If there is a crawlspace on the earth, you have to fix it immediately as it is responsible for increasing the moisture level in the basement. The best way to repair the crawlspace is by covering it with poly sheets. Sometimes you will have water vapors coming from walls because of the leaking. Fixing the crawl places on the soil and wall will help you to prevent mold growing in your basement.
Maintaining the humidity level: Ensure that the humidity level in your basement should not exceed 60%. For measuring the humidity level, you can use a hygrometer that will tell you the current humidity. The best way of controlling humidity is to use a dehumidifier.
How to prevent mold in the basement?
- Inspecting the basement: Inspecting or checking the basement regularly to see if there is leaking or causes exist or not. If the reason can be detected at an early stage, the spreading of mold can be prevented very easily.
- Cleaning the basement regularly: Cleaning the area regularly will help you to prevent it in the first place. You can use different cleaning tools like a vacuum cleaner to clean the place every day. If you are using a dehumidifier and HVAC, don’t forget to clean the pans of them.
- Don’t keep plants in the basement: Sometimes, people keep plants in their basement, which is not advisable. It increases the possibility of growing mold on the floor of the basement and creates airflow limitation.
Having mold in basement is very common, but not getting rid of it at an early stage with the proper approach can damage your basement. There are many other ways, but the steps discussed above can work best if you face the mold frequently. Please keep in mind that detecting the mold signs and fixing it early is the ideal approach to prevent it.