Basements are one of the most common spots to find mold growth in your home – and mold on basement walls can be a sign of a number of problems!
If you are a homeowner that recently found basement mold keep reading to find out everything you need to know about basement mold removal plus how to prevent it from coming back!
Is It Really Mold Growing?
The first step is to figure out if it is mold spores growing in your basement. There are a number of substances that look very similar to a mold infestation that may fool you at first glance.
Efflorescence is one of the most common substances you will find in your basement that looks like mold but is actually NOT mold spores. Efflorescence is commonly mistaken for a white mold in your basement – but it is actually a naturally occurring substance that forms when water moves through concrete it pulls minerals and salt along with it – then leaves them behind on the surface!
Not Sure If It is Efflorescence or a Mold Problem?
The easiest way to if a white substance is efflorescence or white mold is to spray water at it using a squirt bottle or hose – if it does not disappear from the basement wall it is mold!
Another common substance that grows on basement walls and concrete is mineral deposits. Just like efflorescence most mineral deposits will wash away with a quick spray of water at the concrete wall. If you are still not sure if the substance on your wall is mold you can call a local mold remediation company to come out and perform a mold inspection test.
Removing Basement Mold Growth
Removing mold growth from concrete basement walls is easy – and in most cases does not require professional help if the moisture problem has been fixed and the area fully cleaned. Use a mix of 8 ounces of bleach for each 1 gallon of water.
You will likely need a few gallons – and at least 16 ounces of bleach to clean all the visible mold and any hidden growth.
Mold on Basement Concrete
Many people are surprised to see mold growing on concrete – they assume it can only grow on porous surfaces. Mold and mildew can form on concrete due to basement flooding, a leaky pipe, or problems with the sump pump.
Mold can be removed with a mixture of bleach and hot water – if there are any stains try to scrub them off with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or another cleaning agent designed to clean and prevent future mold growth.
Mold on Basement Wood Beams
Basement wood beams are another common area to find mold growth in basements with a lot of condensation and humidity (which are common factors that will cause a mold issue). Poor ventilation – plus wood being an ‘organic matter’ makes it easier for a small basement moisture problem with a single mold spore to grow into a problem that takes over the entire basement – and causes a musty smell in the rest of the house.
Preventing Basement Mold Growth
Mold and mildew are commonly found in basements – but there are a few sure fire ways to prevent growth before it starts. Follow these 6 steps to prevent a mold problem:
- Fix small moisture problems before they grow into large problems
- Clean and disinfect visible mold spores- especially if it is black mold (aka stachybotrys chartarum) – black mold exposure can have a serious impact on your family’s health!
- Don’t let water sit on the basement floor – clean it up as soon as possible
- Check behind the drywall and inside the ceiling tile for hidden mold contamination
- Take basement waterproofing steps – like installing a vapor barrier – to prevent future mold growth like installing a basement wall sealer in the basement area and cleaning up sources of excess moisture.
- Conduct mold testing if you smell a musty odor to prevent mold at the source