Get Rid of Basement Mold

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Get Rid of Basement Mold

This article was written with the intention of helping the reader develop an understanding of the effects of mold in a basement. In addition, this article will is designed to help the reader identify, contain and give some instructional advice on procedures for the removal of mold from a basement.

Basement mold is probably one of the most common areas where molds and fungus can be found in a home. Basements are typically built below grade (underground) and are usually damp and musty to some extent. Basements are usually utilized partially as a place of storage for clothing, paper and furniture. These items are constructed of cellulose type materials and when they come into contact with water will produce mold, mildew and fungus in your basement.

Mold, mildew and fungus are all part of our environment making up our eco system. Mold, mildew and fungus make up the bacteria that work to our advantage as a digester, breaking down and eating up Mother Nature’s garbage, items such as fallen tree leaves, dead vegetation and anything organic, returning it to the earth.

Mold spores travel through the air entering our homes through air vents, open windows and even on our clothing. Mold spores are not visible to the naked eye. Only through proper mold spore testing of your basement can a presents of mold spores, fungus and mildew be determined.

Basement mold, mildew and fungus spores are always present, lying dormant waiting for the opportunity to come into contact with water or a source of moisture such as humidity. Basement mold will begin to grow devouring everything it comes into contact with. If basement mold if left unabated, it can spread throughout a home traveling through your basement into the walls, floor joist and into the sealing destroying everything in its path.

Basement mold can easily be prevented with a few simple routine tasks. Inspect your basement for the presents of any mold discoloration indicating recent leaks or water drainage on a regular basis.

Water pipes will occasionally sweat from the difference in water temperature causing moisture condensation to build up causing mold and mildew to form in your basement and other areas of your home. Some helpful tips on inspecting your basement:

• Inspection of a finished basement for mold should start at the bottom area of wall for inspecting for dampness, especially warped drywall, wood trim and molding discoloration.

• Inspect finished basement for evidence of water leaks and water stains around window framing and the door jams for dampness.

• Ceiling and drop ceiling tiles will show signs of discoloration due to sweating pipes as a result of high levels of humidity.

• Inspect for basement mold behind picture frames and furniture, look for dark spots or any signs of discoloration. Dampness can build up as a result of furniture stored in the basement is a common place for mold and mildew to form. Look for discoloration or dampness in all areas of your basement is the basic type of inspection that should be performed on a regular basis. Basements are notoriously wet, damp and musty. Wet, damp, musty basements present one of the best breeding grounds for the growth of molds and mildews.

• Carpet mold in basements can be a hidden nightmare. Moisture can get trapped under carpet and padding resulting in mold and mildew growth. Mold and mildew growth will start to grow almost immediately.

• Un-Finished basement mold is relatively easer to identify, with the open space, floors, walls and ceiling are all accessible and easy to inspect.

• Basement walls are probably the most common areas where basement mold is likely to grow. Water will seep through the wall forming black, toxic molds and mildews.

• Inspect all floor joists for the presents of mold. Clean new looking fiberglass insulation can harbor black mold spores just waiting for an opportunity to come into contact with water and moisture required for the growth of mold, mildew, fungus and bacteria.

• Inspect all areas of an unfinished basement for mold including the back and lower steps where mold can hide. Look under any storage containers or paper products that may exist.

Just because there is no visible mold, does not ensure your basement is free of mold spores, mildew and bacteria. In basements where there was previous water flood damage may look fine to the naked eye but in fact it could be harboring black toxic mold in hidden areas out of sight. If this black toxic mold is left unabated, it will flourish possible traveling though out your home reaping damage to your home and placing your family’s health at risk.

In the event you find basement mold and mildew, you will need to seal off the area immediately, separating the affected area from the rest of the home. Use plastic sheets and duck tape to seal off the area from the rest of the building ensuring that the area is secure and that mold spores don’t travel to other areas of the home.

The EPA Environmental Protection Agency and the company Clorox have both issued statements that their researchers have concluded that bleach does not kill mold bleach and will only dye the mold to a different color.

There several products on the market today that claims to kill mold and mildew. For the do it yourself (DIY) guy, just find a strong anti mold and fungus spore killer. Be sure to read the directions on the basement mold killer container, making sure to carefully follow the instructions to the letter.

Remember that safety and a good EPA approved product is the key to success. Insure that you have the proper ventilation equipment necessary for a safe entry into the affected basement mold area. The removal of mold and mildew in a basement is a relative easy task. Just remember that safety comes first. If at any time you are in doubt, call a professional mold remediation company and an air quality professional.

By: Bradley Skierkowski