Here is a guide on basement mold remediation. We will discuss how to remove white and black mold from basement walls, floors, and ceilings.
Do you know how to remove mold from your basement completely?
One of the biggest problems with basements is that they are prone to be dampened by groundwater, leaky pipes, or standing water from outside.
With all this dampness comes the unpleasant mold, which has been a major concern up for many homeowners in the United States.
Practical Guide To Basement Mold Removal
Basement is prone to water penetration mainly because of where they are located – below the topsoil.
Moisture can cause all sorts of harm to your structure, and a compromised foundation is one of them.
However, that’s not the only problem basement moisture can bring your way, it can also lead to the formation of basement black mold!
Here is how to clean mold in basements.
Basement Mold Remediation
Mold is very problematic for many reasons, they have an awful smell and can complicate breathing, which makes it a hazard to people who suffer from illnesses like asthma.
It can also eat away at the basement foundations and slowly cause structural damage.
If you find that mold has begun forming in your basement and don’t know how to treat it, then you should keep reading.
In this article, we’ll be discussing how to get rid of mold in your basement ceilings, walls, and floors.
What Causes Black Mold In Basement?
For mold spores to pop up in your basement, the breeding conditions have to be just right.
Before we discuss getting rid of wet basement mold, let’s take a quick look at what leads to its formation in the first place.
Too much moisture: When there’s too much moisture coming into your basement, then there’s a great chance you’re going to develop some mold on your walls and ceilings.
Moisture comes as a result of condensation or leaks, and this blends with oxygen to create a perfect mold-growing environment.
Another cause of condensation is the storage of electrical appliances in the space accompanied by poor ventilation. As the condensation builds up, the environment becomes very humid, and that can lead to growth.
Leakages: There are several causes of leakages, some of which are faulty foundations and damaged pipes. Aging and poor infrastructural maintenance can cause leakages.
Hydrostatic pressure, which is caused by a rise in soil water can also cause a leak in your basement’s foundation. If there’s a water heater in your basement, then it could also be the source of moisture.
Adding to that, if the water heater fails, it could lead to flooding.
Flooding: Mold growth is certain in a flooded basement. This is when large volumes of water are lodged in the spaces below, leading to hydrostatic pressure.
Sump Pump Failure: The sump pump is built to pump water away from your basement, but if it fails to function, then water will remain lodged.
What Does Mold Look Like On Basement Walls?
Aspergillus is one of the most common species of mold you can find in your home. It is dark green and also lodges on damp walls, furniture, and ceilings.
Fusarium is another species of mold but is more yellowish. Stachybotrys (which is also known as black mold), is blackish and has a unique musty smell.
If you have no idea the kind of mold species you have growing in your basement, then it would be wise to consult a professional to help you identify them.
Why You Should Protect Yourself From Black And White Basement Mold
Mold spores aren’t something you’d want to get in your eyes or mouth, and mold itself isn’t something you’d like to touch with your bare fingers. This is why you must protect yourself while getting rid of them.
Put on a pair of gloves to keep your fingers from touching the mold, and put on protective goggles to keep mold spores or other cleaning agents from flying into your eyes.
You should also put on a facemask to protect your mouth and nose.
The Need For Moldy Basement Solutions
Some might think that having a moldy basement isn’t a crisis, but it is!
The mold spores travel in the air and can affect those who have respiratory issues like asthma. They can also cause allergies when contact is made with the skin.
To add to that, mold growth destroys the aesthetic appeal of your home, and this would surely reduce the face value of the property if you ever put it up for sale.
Last but not least, mold smells pretty bad, and this would deter you from spending the desired time in your basement, which took you so much time and effort to furnish.
To sum it all up, a healthier environment, better market value for your property, and sweet-smelling air are among the 3 major reasons you should get rid of mold from your basement walls, ceilings, and floors.
How To Remove Black And White Mold From Basement
In this section, we will look at getting rid of mold in the basement.
Now that you know what causes mold, and have a fair idea of what they look like, let us proceed to how you can deal with them.
Thankfully, there are many ways by which you can handle mold growth in your basement. The products and methods you will employ depend on the level of mold growth you are experiencing.
Preparing The Area For Basement Mold Cleaning
Getting rid of mold from all over your basement requires the use of a cleaning solution, so you should expect some splashes here and there. This is why you need to prepare the area first before you clean.
The first thing you should do is take out all the moveable furniture so they don’t get dampened by the splashing liquid. Also, take out anything that could obstruct the work, these include hanging pictures, jackets on a coat rack, etc.
You should also get a broom and sweep the walls so they can be free of dust and debris. Do the same for the ceiling to rid it of obstructions like cobwebs.
It’ll be a good idea to open the basement windows while you clean, as this would allow good airflow. Remember, mold has a musty smell, some inflow of air would make the process less discomforting.
Once you’ve cleared out the workspace and cleaned the surfaces, you can begin getting rid of the mold.
How To Clean Mold From Basement Walls
After you are done with the ceiling, you can then move down to the walls. Using the same cleaning solution, spray across the infested walls until you have covered all the spaces.
Remember to make a large enough batch that will be able to handle all three areas (ceiling, walls, and floor). Make another batch if need be.
After spraying the walls, use the hard-bristled brush to scrub the annoying mold off. You will have to put in some energy as you scrub so you can loosen them up.
When you’re done, be sure to wipe with a dry towel. If you’ve still got some mold on the wall after this, you can repeat the process until all the mold on the wall has disappeared.
As a preventive measure, be sure to spray the solution on the wall one more time, then leave it to dry on its own without wiping with a cloth.
How To Remove Mold From Brick Basement Walls
Brick is pretty tough, but it can still be porous. This means it can also absorb moisture, which also means mold can grow within it and not just on the surface.
The same method of mold removal from basement walls explained above can be used to get rid of mold from brick basement walls, but you have to ensure the solution you use can penetrate its pores to get to the internal mold and kill it.
In this instance, using a vinegar solution will be ideal, since it’s already in liquid form and can easily be absorbed.
Solutions made with powdery cleaners are great, but the dissolved powder may not go into the brick walls as deep as you would like.
If you must use a powder cleaner, then ensure that it is properly dissolved to stand a better chance of penetrating the pores of the brick wall.
How To Get Rid Of Mold On Basement Ceiling
If there’s mold all over your basement, then removal should start from top to bottom. This means you should begin cleaning from the ceiling, then work your way down to the floor.
This is the wise thing to do like water and any cleaning solution you will use flows downwards.
Here are the things you need to get rid of mold on your basement ceiling
- Cleaning solution (made with either baking soda, vinegar, tea tree oil, bleach)
- A hard brush (or extension brush)
- A ladder
- A spray bottle
- A clean, dry cloth
To begin, make a solution using either vinegar, tea tree oil, or bleach. Be warned though, do not mix any of these substances with other cleaning agents, as that can cause the production of toxic fumes.
Instead, mix with only water to create your basement mold removal solution. After you have mixed the household mold cleaning agent with water in the right parts, pour the solution in a spray bottle and apply it across the infested ceiling.
Leave the solution to sit for 30 minutes to an hour, then climb up the ladder with your hard brush the scrub the loosened mold off the ceiling. If you’re not a fan of climbing, then a long-handled brush will do.
You can splash some water across the ceiling to take off the remaining mold debris, then dry it off with a clean towel. You can spray the ceiling with the solution once more as a preventive measure.
How To Get Rid Of Mold On Basement Floors
So, your ceiling and walls have been wiped free of mold, all that’s left to do is the floor. Hopefully, you made a solution batch that’s enough to handle the floor.
You should’ve also removed the carpet from the basement floor before you begin cleaning.
Now take your brush and dip into the solution, then scrub the floor as hard as you can to dislodge the mold. Make sure you get all the spots where mold is growing.
If you don’t, even the smallest amount of mold left behind can begin to grow again.
It doesn’t take long for mold to build up, 24 to 48 hours is all it needs under the right conditions.
When you’re done scrubbing the floors, use a mop to dry it up. This will help you pick up loose mold that’s left behind. You can follow up with a vacuum cleaner to pick up any bits and pieces of mold that were lucky to escape the first time.
You can now re-spray the floor with the solution and leave it to dry on its own.
If the carpet you took outside has also been infested with mold, then you can scrub it using a bleach or vinegar solution. Spread it on a line so that it can dry from the sun’s heat.
The UV rays will also kill any mold growth on the carpet.
Make sure it is 100% dry before you bring it back inside. If it’s not dry, then it’ll be damp and will attract mold growth once more. You don’t want to deal with the same issue twice do you?
Killing Mold In Basements
Many commercial mold removal products in the market can also kill mold. However, most products of this nature are toxic and can be harmful to humans and pets if not handled with care.
Popular Products For Killing Basement Mold
We have to point out that getting rid of mold today doesn’t mean it won’t reappear later on.
This means you have to deal with the real problem to ensure they don’t return, and that’s keeping your basement dry and free of moisture.
Fixing the leaks and improving ventilation are among the things you can do to keep your basement dry.
Follow these basement mold removal DIY techniques below.
This is one of the best basement mold removal products you can use. It is also a common item and you probably have a bottle lying around on your kitchen shelf.
Specifically, white vinegar is highly recommended. All you have to do is pour some of the vinegar over the mold then leave it to work for about 5 minutes.
After the time has elapsed, you can then wipe the mold off with a sponge or cloth. This approach is ideal for surfaces that are porous or solid.
Use Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another great product you can use to get rid of mold on your walls. It’s a tested and trusted fungicide that works well on various surfaces.
To use, first, mix it with water in a spray bottle then shake thoroughly so it all blends in well. You can then spray the mixture around the affected areas then keep scrubbing the wall with a brush until the mold is gone.
Use Grapefruit Seed Extract
One of the reasons grapefruit seed extract is ideal for mold removal is that it also prevents it from reappearing afterward. This simultaneously makes it a mold treatment and mold prevention product.
To use, mix the extract with an equal part of the water in a spray bottle, shake well to blend, then spray the mixture across the walls, ceilings, and any other affected areas.
Leave the spray to work for about 5 minutes, then wipe the mold off with a piece of cloth.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a handy and non-toxic solution that can be used to get rid of black and white mold in the basement.
All you have to do is mix with water and apply it to the areas where the mold is present. 10 minutes should be enough for the solution to break down the mold, after which you can get a brush and scrub the mold off your surfaces.
Borax is a great product to use, but you have to take caution when doing so. This is because a poor mixture may b harmful if accidentally ingested.
To prepare the solution, mix a cup of borax with a gallon of water. The next step is to apply the solution to the mold and use a sponge to scrub the surface clean.
Besides its cleaning abilities, borax can also get rid of foul mold odors.
With a proper mix, you wouldn’t need to worry about washing the borax solution off the walls.
Here is how to get rid of mold in the basement with bleach.
Bleach is a common solution that can be used to fight mold infestation. It kills the mold and all its spores and leaves your surfaces looking fresh again.
Although we have to mention that bleach cannot kill the mold roots, this means they can pop up again if the surfaces remain moist.
This is why basement mold removal with bleach isn’t the most effective approach. Although it can be used if you’re short on immediate options.
Another downside of using bleach is that it cannot be applied to carpets or fabrics since it damages them. They are ideal only on hard surfaces like bathtubs and tiles. It is also toxic, so you should be careful not to ingest it.
This is an EPA-approved chemical that can be used to remove mold, and it is not as toxic as bleach. Another advantage of using this product is that it is cheap.
Besides removal, it can also prevent mold from reoccurring if well applied. Surfaces like plastic, wood, tiles, and stones can all be treated with concrobium.
High-Efficiency Particle Absolute (HEPA) Vacuum Machines
HEPA vacuums are a great remedy against mold, and they can also kill the spores in the process.
If your basement is high in humidity, doing regular vacuums with a HEPA machine can also prevent mold from growing in the first place.
Keeping The Mold From Returning To Basement
After getting rid of the mold in your basement, take these steps to stop them from returning.
- Practice proper ventilation
- Fix all leakages and water issues
- Use a dehumidifier
Treating mold is one thing, stopping it from growing again is another.
You can use the tips below to keep mold away from your basement.
Use a negative air pressure machine: This can be used to filter the air in your basement via a process known as ducting (this is when mold spores are filtered away).
Keep your basement moisture-free: When there is excess moisture in your basement, there is a great chance of mold growth. You can remedy any moisture problems by fixing all the cracks and leaks in the basement.
This condition is important in the fight against mold on a basement ceiling.
If your sump pump is damaged, be sure to repair it or get a new one. The pump takes the water away from your basement and keeps it dry. You can also use a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels below 60%.
Use sealants: This material can be applied to the interior of your basement walls to keep moisture from penetrating. You can also buy a mold inhibitor, which can be mixed with paint.
Unclog your gutters: If your gutters are clogged, then there won’t be a proper flow of water away from your foundation. Make sure that your drainage system is free of debris for better flow.
Finished Basement Mold Removal
When mold starts to grow in the basement, they usually lodge on the walls, ceilings, and floors.
Apart from the fact that they spoil the looks of your beautiful basement, they also smell bad and can cause allergies, and complicate respiratory issues.
As a homeowner, this is an awful situation to be in.
However, there is so much you can do for black mold removal.
Do you need to get rid of mold on basement walls, ceilings, and floors? This is what we discussed in this article.
If the infestation is too much to handle, then call a professional service to help you out.
Be sure to follow the preventive measures listed here to prevent mold from growing again.