How To Kill Mold in Your Basement
When you start to work with mold it is a good idea to nail down
the causes and sources of the moisture that mold needs in order to grow. In any mold-cleaning
projects for basements, to be effective you need to look at the levels of humidity, and see where
the moisture is coming from.
Basements are prone to mold problems because basements are
situated at low elevations, next to ground moisture. Also, since water runs downhill, basements are
the natural destination of any leaks anywhere in the house above.
A warm, moist, poorly ventilated basement is an ideal place for
mold to grow and can be a large problem in many homes. So here's what you need to do:
1. Find the sources of moisture. First, stop all the water
leaks. Repair plumbing fixtures and all leaks coming from above. Move water sources away from
basement walls and floors and let them dry out. Look at increasing ventilation or maybe adding a
dehumidifier. Here are the most common sources of basement mold problems:
Look at the basement ceiling for water stains. If there is water
coming down, it will usually leave a stain track. This can be followed right to the source and
Air conditioning (and sometimes heaters) Often air conditions and
tubing will have condensation which could feed mold problems. Condensation usually happens when
warm, moist air and cold air run into each other.
If the basement has windows, look at the corners, the fitting and
any cracks. Look for water stains or ways water could get in.
Check the dry wall and wall panels along the perimeter walls. Look
for water stains. Check to see if they have any mold or mildew problems inside.
If there is carpeting, pull up a corner and check for moisture
stains or mold underneath.
2. O.K. Now it's time to get down to the fight! First, make sure
that everyone present is wearing a painters' face mask to protect their lungs from the mold spores
that you are going to stir up! Then, go after the mold, attacking it at the source.
Remove all damaged and un-salvageable building and other
Spray affected areas where mold is visible, with a cleaning
product or antifungal liquid (there are several good types that are commercially available). This
will loosen the spores and surface material to prepare for surface scrubbing.
Get the mold off of affected areas. Wipe them down, sand the area
or attack the mold using a sander or a wire brush.
Use your antifungal liquid to spray again, then clean
3. Finally, either spray with long-lasting anti-mold fungicide or
paint with anti-fungal paint, to make sure the mold does not come back.
Also, take care to make sure that the future humidity levels of
the basement area remain low.