How Common Is Mold In The Basement?
Basements are commonly known to host the perfect conditions for mold. Mold in the basement can easily be overlooked as many homeowners don’t typically include the basement in their frequent cleaning regime. Without a regular detailed inspection, the minimal lighting and poor airflow this part of the home is known for can quickly create a favorable environment for mold in the basement unchecked. In fact, one study looking at over 1,300 homes found over 90% of basements had at least one type of mold present.
How To Identify Mold In The Basement
To find mold in the basement, check near water supply pipes, drainage lines, sump pumps, dryer vents, under sinks, around exhaust fans and in the ceiling above or in the wall cavities of a finished basement. Mold in the basement can be identified by its color. You’ll notice patches of dark green or black coloring like burn marks or dirt. Even if you don’t see the mold, if your basement has a musty, dusty or earthy smell, you may have mold spores floating in the air or riding on dust particles looking for a suitable habitat to attach to and grow.
If you find something suspicious, test the substance to see if it’s mold in the basement. Mix 1 part bleach to 10 parts of water and dip a cotton swab in the mixture. Run the cotton swab across the substance and if it lightens, it is mold or mildew. If you’re testing drywall for mold, use a screwdriver to gently push into the wall. If the screwdriver easily punctures the drywall or if it flakes or falls apart, then you have a mold problem. If you are concerned about the validity of your findings, contact the mold experts at MSR Restoration and have it tested.
Is Mold In The Basement Harmful?
While mold is everywhere outside, when toxic mold gets into your home, it can be structurally harmful to your home and your health. When you have mold in the basement, it can slowly eat away at your home. If left untreated, mold can break down wood, drywall and insulation, leaving your home’s structural integrity at risk. In addition, mold in the basement can result in unhealthy air quality for the entire home.
Can Mold In The Basement Affect The Upstairs?
Mold in the basement can easily affect the rest of the home. While the mold won’t quickly eat through the floor of your kitchen, it will easily get into your HVAC system. Mold spores traveling on a small draft can get through any cracks or openings in your ventilation system and then get carried on the warm air from your furnace into the air you breathe. Anyone with respiratory problems or immunocompromised persons will soon start to get cold or flu-like symptoms and may have trouble breathing. As soon as you suspect mold has begun to invade your home, it’s important to remediate mold in the basement as soon as possible.
How To Get Rid Of Mold In The Basement?
With a little elbow grease, it may be possible to get rid of mold in the basement yourself. If you are thorough and the mold hasn’t spread to areas you’re not comfortable accessing, cleaning, or replacing, here are the steps to take:
- Be sure anytime you’re working in the contaminated area, you are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment like a face mask and gloves.
- Ventilate with fans and turn off your furnace or HVAC system so the mold doesn’t spread throughout your home. Tape plastic around the area to contain loose spores during the next phases.
- Remove any standing water with a wet/dry vacuum. Keep fans going and use dehumidifiers until the area is dry.
- Use a mold remover solution and wipe the area thoroughly with a sponge to work the solution into the affected surfaces which kills any mildew or mold in the basement. Look for mold remover solutions that are EPA registered as these include a mold growth inhibitor.
- After the mold removal solution has dried, clean the area with a dish detergent and water solution. Unfortunately, bare drywall surfaces cannot sustain excess water application and you should apply a mold sealant as an encapsulating product specially designed for this process.
For a more thorough solution for mold in the basement, contact the mold remediation professionals at MSR Restoration.
How Do I Keep My Basement Mold Free?
After mold in the basement has been removed, it’s important to prevent it from returning. The key is to make the environment unsuitable for the mold spores to collect and survive. Keep water out of the basement by investing in a good gutter system with downspouts that direct water away from your home. Seal dryer vents and repair leaking pipes and cracks in the foundation. Even if there aren’t obvious cracks in the concrete with water visibly dripping in, dehumidifiers should be used during the winter and rainy seasons to keep the basement dry.
MSR Restoration Will Walk You Through The Basement Mold Remediation Process!
Mold in the basement can turn into a serious problem if not removed in a timely manner. If you have questions about the mold removal process, contact the experts at MSR Restoration. Our friendly and experienced staff can advise you in the preparation and removal of mold in the basement and discuss options for keeping your home mold free!