Tips for Removing Black Mold from Basement Walls
If you experience a mold outbreak on your basement walls, it could be a major issue as it can cause staining on your walls, bad odors as the mold spores spread, and health issues for those who are exposed. It can also damage the structure of your home by eating away at the foundation and weakening the structure of the building.
It is important to understand what causes mold in your basement, what types of mold there are, how to get rid of it, and how to prevent it from appearing in the first place.
Causes of Mold in the Basement
Extra moisture in your home may be caused by a leaky foundation or condensation which creates a mix of oxygen and moisture that can lead to mold growth. At times, condensation is caused by electrical appliances that have been stored in a space with bad ventilation, which will eventually create mold growth.
Leaks can be caused by a burst pipe or a faulty foundation, however, it can also be caused by improper maintenance, leaky water heaters, or hydro-static pressure caused when the soil water table rises and causes a leak in the foundation.
Usually, flooding is what causes mold growth in basements. As the water builds up, it can cause hydrostatic pressure to increase which leads to leaks and moisture that can result in mold growth.
Sump Pump Failure
If your sump pump is working properly, it will pump water out of the pit and away from your property. This helps keep your basement dry and free of mold. If the sump pump stops working correctly, it can cause a buildup of water around your home, and eventually leaks in your basement. This will create water damage and cause mold growth.
Mold Types Formed in Basements
There are many types of mold that can appear in your basement. Each type can cause staining to your basement walls and can be very toxic to humans.
There are two types of mold:
- Black mold or Mycotoxin
Allergenic mold is not a health risk for humans unless they are very sensitive to mold or have asthma. However, black mold is toxic to humans as it creates toxic chemicals called mycotoxins which are extremely dangerous for humans and pets.
The most common types of mold in your basement include:
This is the most common household mold as it grows well indoors. This type of mold can be allergenic and some can be mycotoxin and should be removed by a mold specialist. It appears dark green and can be found on walls, ceilings, and furniture. It does best in environments with high moisture and condensation.
This type of mold can be found in very wet areas. It grows if there is standing water due to flooding, damp walls, air vents, or humidifiers. It thrives in warm and humid environments. It is a yellowish color and produces mycotoxins which are dangerous for humans and pets. It grows and spreads quickly.
This type of mold appears in areas with high condensation levels. It also thrives in cold environments as it doesn’t always need humid conditions to spread. It can be found in shower curtains, window air conditioning units, ceilings, bathrooms, etc.
This mold is also referred to as “black mold.” Stachybotrys is a mycotoxin and is dangerous to humans. It has a musty odor and is black in color. Generally, it is found in low-lit areas with high moisture.
If you’ve experienced mold in your basement, make sure to reach out to a professional mold restoration company to help you identify it.
Ways to Remove Mold from your Basement
There are many ways to remove mold from your basement. However, before you start cleaning, you should figure out where the water damage is coming from. Whether it is coming from a leak, improper ventilation, or standing water, the issue that is causing the mold should be resolved first. Here are some ways you can clean up your basement from mold:
This is a great way to remove mold. You can just simply put the vinegar over the mold and let it sit for a few minutes. After that, you can wipe it off with a cloth and it should be removed. This works for various surfaces.
- Tea Tree Oil
This is a great way to remove mold from your basement as tea tree oils are a great fungicide. Make sure to first mix tea tree oil with water and shake well. You can then spray it on the affected surface and keep scrubbing until it disappears.
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
This is a great mold remover, and it also prevents a reoccurrence of mold growth. You should mix the grapefruit seed extract with water in equal parts and apply it to the moldy areas. Next, you will need to let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it off with a sponge.
- Hydrogen Peroxide
This is a great non-toxic solution for removing mold from your basement. You can mix it with water and spray on the affected areas and let it sit for at least ten minutes. Next, you will need to scrub it vigorously to remove any mold and mildew.
To remove mold with borax, it needs to be mixed properly as it can be toxic. A cup of Borax should be mixed with a gallon of water. You can apply the solution to the affected areas and then scrub it using a sponge. It also helps remove musty odors due to its deodorizing areas.
This is a very affordable solution that will kill mold and its spores quickly and efficiently. However, the mold roots can still regrow if they have the right conditions. Keep in mind that bleach cannot be used on carpets or fabrics. However, it can be used on all hard surfaces like tiles, bathtubs, etc. You should also be careful not to ingest it as can be toxic. Always have proper ventilation in place when using bleach as a cleaner.
This is an EPA-approved mold removal chemical. The great thing about it is that it is non-toxic, however, it can be expensive. When used in molded areas, it kills the mold and prevents it from coming back. It can be used on wood, plastic, tile, and other surfaces.
- High-Efficiency Particle Absolute (HEPA) Vacuum Machines
HEPA vacuums can be used to remove mold from walls so that no spores are left. Vacuuming with these machines regularly if they have high humidity will prevent mold growth.
Preventing Mold in Your Home
- Negative air pressure machines can be used to filter and clean the air in your basement which will prevent the mold spores from growing.
- Fix any leaks and cracks in the foundation. If you have a sump pump failure, make sure to fix it quickly.
- Install a dehumidifier in any area with high humidity. The moisture level should always be below 60%.
- Your foundation should be sealed with a dry gypsum wall and a primer.
- Have a mold inhibitor handy and mix it with paint when painting the walls in your basement.
- Always check and make sure that your gutters are not clogged and make sure the area around the basement slopes away from the home.
If you’ve experienced water damage at your home or business that has created mold, call a mold remediation professional right away. No matter the level of mold growth in your home, mold remediation professionals will isolate and remove the mold and restore the damage it caused.