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Blog: Mold In Your Basement? Here'S What To Do

Basement mold is a common problem in residential properties that shouldn’t be overlooked. Mold is a fungus with many ecological benefits. However, it can also be a health hazard and wreak havoc on a property if left undetected and untreated for too long. Therefore, it is crucial to address mold in your basement as early as possible to avoid its adverse effects on your family’s health and to prevent it from spreading further in your home. 

What Causes Mold to Grow in Basements?

The environmental factors in basements make them the ideal place for mold to grow. Basements usually have small windows, if any at all, making them mostly warm and humid. The lack of ventilation also makes the place damp, especially during the rainy season. Unless you have very effective vents installed, it could take days to dry out a wet floor dampened with humidity. 

If you use your basement as a storage space, there will be plenty of organic material to feed mold. Cardboard boxes, paper, wooden floors, and drywall can become food for mold and aid their growth. Moreover, if sunlight, which is a natural mold inhibitor because its heat evaporates moisture, can’t enter your basement, the conditions already mentioned make it the perfect breeding ground for mold.

How to Get Rid of Basement Mold

Suppose you’ve gone and discovered fuzzy white, green, or dark gray mold in your basement. What’s your next step?

Here is a helpful list to guide you through the process of eliminating mold from your basement.

  1. Find out how far the mold has spread in the room. Check every corner to see if there’s mold in different areas of your basement, but make sure not to touch it yet. Disturbing the mold can release mold spores in the air, causing them to spread further in your home.
  2. Tidy up your basement and remove the clutter. If the growth is extensive and covers an entire wall, for example, move everything in the basement outside to give you or the mold remediation specialists you hire plenty of space to work. If there are contaminated things you no longer need, seal them in a garbage bag and throw them away.
  3. Wear protective clothing covering your entire body. Put on a mask, gloves, and eye protection if you will participate in treating and removing the mold.
  4. Open the windows if there are any. Use exhaust fans to increase the ventilation in the room and bring the air directly outside. Avoid using electric fans or turning on the AC in the basement because they circulate air inside your house, which is the last thing you want to do.
  5. Hang plastic tarps around the affected area, taping them from the ceiling to the floor to prevent spores from escaping and spreading in your home.
  6. While wearing protective gear, treat the mold directly with a mold-killing product and disinfectant. You may have to wait a few minutes for the product to kill the mold before physically removing it with a brush or damp cloth.
  7. Alternatively, you can use DIY solutions like one part bleach with 10 parts water and spray it directly onto the mold. Wipe the sprayed area with a sponge or brush, thoroughly working in the solution to kill the mold. You will need another bucket of water to rinse off your sponge or brush now and then.
  8. When you’re done scrubbing off the mold, you can follow up with a disinfectant spray to purge the remaining spores. 
  9. The next and most crucial step is to dry out the area as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Keep the exhaust fans on and use dehumidifiers to speed up the drying.

Keep in mind that bleach and disinfectant work best on hard and polished surfaces. If the mold grows on porous surfaces like drywall or timber, targeting the roots is harder. But don’t worry. You can still prevent regrowth by ensuring your basement becomes a hostile environment to mold. 

Post-Mold Remediation Must-Do’s

After treating the mold in your basement, there could still be things that will need your immediate attention.

  • Damage to Your Wall or Flooring: Depending on how severe the infestation is and how much liquid was used to remove the mold, the affected areas could become discolored or warped and ruined. We recommend consulting a property restoration expert if you need to remove and replace walls or install new flooring. 
  • Recurring Dampness: If this is a recurring problem in your basement, you must find a solution to prevent it. Otherwise, you’ll keep having mold problems in the future. A simple solution would be to use plenty of desiccants and put containers of dehumidifying beads all over your basement.
  • Ventilation: Just like with dampness, poor ventilation will keep making your basement conducive to mold. Consider installing exhaust fans if you don’t have one yet or upgrading to a bigger unit if your existing one proves insufficient. 
  • Clutter: It cannot be helped if your basement is your only storage space. That being said, clutter invites mold, so consider throwing things you no longer use to reduce the number of boxes gathering dust and attracting moisture in your basement.

Why You Need Professional Mold Removal

Removing mold from your basement is a lot of work, and the problem could worsen if you do it incorrectly. Hiring mold remediation experts would be easier, safer, and more efficient.

Restoration 1 of Suffolk County can help. We have professional mold remediation specialists equipped with protective gear, wet/dry vacuums, fans, and other tools for removing mold. We use highly effective, non-toxic cleaning products that are harsh on mold but gentle on your belongings. If it is necessary to remove a wall or break the tiles in your basement, we can fix everything afterward because we are a property restoration company. 

Solve your basement mold problem and contact Restoration 1 today.