For many households, the basement is the most neglected part of the home. After all, in a lot of cases it’s dark and maybe even a little spooky. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most likely places to find mold.
If you have mold in your basement, it’s important to remove it. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the causes of mold and what steps you can take to stop it and keep it from growing back.
What Causes Mold to Grow in the Basement?
The number one cause of mold is, of course, moisture. Basements are often prone to moisture from different sources. For example, HVAC condensation can cause moisture to accumulate, or pipe leaks and unsealed basement walls.
Essentially, mold spores are everywhere. Mold is a natural way that the environment uses to break down organic debris, so it’s basically everywhere. It’s when the spores hit a damp surface that it becomes a problem and they begin to grow into mold.
How to Find Mold in Your Basement
If you’re looking for signs of mold in your basement, it’s usually a good idea to start around your HVAC units. Check around your furnace and your hot water tank. You’ll also want to look under pipes, especially if you’ve noticed any dripping or leakage.
If you’re not really sure of your ability to identify mold, there are kits that can be purchased for testing. Essentially, you just follow the testing instructions and then send the samples to a lab. You’ll receive your results and will then know if you’ve found mold or not.
Is Mold in the Basement Dangerous?
While some mold is more dangerous than other types of mold, the CDC recommends having all mold removed from living spaces regardless of type.
The most dangerous kind of mold that you’ll find in a basement is stachybotrys chartarum, also known as toxic black mold. Black mold is one of the most common kinds of mold you’ll find in a household, and is black to greenish in color, fast-growing, and thrives on building materials like wood, drywall, gypsum board, and wallpaper.
It’s important to have all mold removed because it can cause infections and irritations. In some cases, it can even lead to serious illness that needs to be treated in a hospital.
How Do I Remove Mold from My Basement?
While you can’t completely get rid of mold spores in your basement, you can remove the moisture that causes mold to grow and remove any that’s already there.
Step 1 – Stop the Cause of Moisture in Your Basement
The most important first step is to identify what’s causing the moisture that allows the mold to grow, and then remove or repair it. This may mean making some repairs, but it’s essential that they’re taken care of.
If the moisture is being caused by a leaky pipe, HVAC condensation, or a crack in a basement door or window, have a professional repair the problem as soon as possible. If there’s moisture coming in through your basement walls, use a high quality dehumidifier to combat it.
Step 2 – Remove Any Moldy Material You Can
If mold has damaged any kind of fibrous materials like a carpet, ceiling tiles, or non-load bearing materials, you can remove and replace the material yourself.
Just remember to wear the proper protective gear while you’re cleaning. That means safety goggles, a disposable dust mask, gloves, and any protective clothing you can find to make sure you’re not bringing the mold back into your living space.
Step 3 – Clean Moldy Material that Isn’t Replaceable
If you find mold on something that can’t be removed or replaced, then you’ll have to clean it off. Again, make sure you’re using proper protection.
For hard surfaces, use a bleach solution (1 cup of bleach per gallon of water, and/or commercial cleaners. Use disposable sponges and other disposable cleaning materials so you can discard them after use.
When Is It Time to Hire a Professional?
If your basement has a lot of mold and you notice it spreading quickly or you’re not sure of the best way to remove it, it’s probably best to call a professional. They’ll have the proper equipment and the experience to remove the mold safely and efficiently.
Remember, mold isn’t something you want to drag your feet on. Every second you’re not taking care of it, it’s growing and spreading in your basement.
With locations all throughout New Jersey, Certified Mold Removal can get rid of your basement mold quickly and completely. Get in touch with us today.