How To Get Rid Of Mold From Basement (DIY Removal Steps)

If you are like many homeowners, the basement is one of those areas in your home you rarely visit.

That is, unless you need to store something, or there is some form of issue.

Basements are great spaces to store items that you don’t use often, but they can also be a perfect environment for mold growth.

Mold is very common in the basement because of the dampness and high humidity levels. Mold spores are released into the air when disturbed or disrupted, which means it’s easy for them to spread throughout your home.

Mold can cause various health problems if left untreated, so make sure you know how to identify mold growth in your basement before it becomes an issue!

Mold forms in damp or humid areas, which is why it’s so common to find mold growing in basements. They can grow almost anywhere that has a dark and warm environment with lots of moisture in the air.

Common Causes of Mold Growth in Basements

• Humidity levels too high
• Poor ventilation
• Water leaks
• Leaking pipes
• Foundation problems – lack of waterproofing on foundation walls
• Moldy items stored in basement
• Spills on walls or floors that aren’t cleaned up fast enough
• Flooding/flood damage to basement

Signs of Mold Problems in Your Basement

Mold is a problem that many people don’t know how to identify.

It can be difficult to determine mold growth signs in basement because mold looks different on every surface, and it often grows in places you wouldn’t expect.

When mold begins to grow in basements, it can grow on concrete walls, drywall, flooring, and even wood.

When it begins to grow, it can damage the houses structural components and can cause health issues for you and people living in the home. Here are some common signs of mold problems in basements

picture of mold in basement
Picture of Mold On Basement Wall
  • Black spots on surfaces such as wall coverings, concrete walls, or flooring
  • Musty, earthy, foul smell in the basement or in other areas of the home
  • Discoloration in cracks in concrete. If you notice any of these signs, you may have mold growth problems.
  • If there is standing water or wet building materials such as baseboards, drywall, flooring, or other building components

It is important to note that if the mold is caused by sewer backups, flooding or other unsanitary water sources, it is recommended that you contact a professional mold remediation company to assist with remediation activity. 

Also, the mold growth is excessive, or you have allergies to mold, use a remediation contractor for your safety.

DIY Steps on How to Remove Mold From Basement

To clean mold found on cinder block or concrete walls, follow these steps:

  1. Fix the source of the water issue.
  2. Wear safety equipment (gloves, N95 mask, and eye protection).
  3. Use a water extraction vacuum to remove any excess water from the wall.
  4. Mix detergent and water solution and begin to scrub the area. You can use any detergent or a product such s Benefect Decon 30
  5. After the area is scrubbed, vacuum the area again with the water extraction vacuum.
  6. To speed up the dry out process, place a dehumidifier or a fan next to the wall. Let the area dry out for 24 hours.
  7. If the area is not dry after 24 hours, keep the fan, heater or dehumidifier in place for an additional 24 hours. Note: When using a heater, follow the manufacturers instruction and keep the heater a safe distance from the wall.
  8. After the area is dry, the wall can be waterproofed

To clean mold from walls and ceiling areas, follow these steps:

This cleaning method is for removing molds from walls and ceiling areas affected by surface growth only, not for areas where drywall and components are water damaged, mold damaged, or otherwise deteriorated.

Before starting the process, put on your gloves, mask, and eye protection.

  1. Open windows to allow ventilation.
  2. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to carefully remove any mold spores on the surface. HEPA vacuums contain filters that are capable of trapping extremely small particles such as mold spores.
  3. Once the wall has been thoroughly vacuumed, begin by applying the detergent to the brush or directly on the surface.
  4. Begin to scrub in a circular motion. Avoid oversaturating the wall.
  5. After the area has been scrubbed and molds have been removed, use a cloth to dry the area.
  6. Clean the area by wiping it with sanitizers like Lysol disinfectant wipes.
  7. Dry the area again with a dry cloth. It is normal to still see some stains on the surface of the wall at this stage.
  8. Place a fan next to the wall and allow the area to dry for 24 hours (this ensures that there is no remaining moisture on the wall from the cleaning process).
  9. After 24 hours, assess the area and repeat the process if necessary.
  10. After the wall has been dried, some stains will still be visible. At this point, the wall can be repainted. The molds will not resurface if the source of the initial moisture problem has been repaired.

Cleaning Mold From Basement Concrete Floor

Picture of Mold Growing On Basement Floor
  1. Make sure the source of the water issue is found and repaired.
  2. If the floor is wet, use a shop-vac to remove the water from the concrete floor.
  3. For mold growth on the surface, mix detergent and water solution and clean the area with a scrub brush. In some cases, you can use a antimicrobial biocide like Benefect Decon 30 to clean the area.
  4. After scrubbing the floor, vacuum the area again with the water extraction vacuum.
  5. Expedite the drying process by placing a dehumidifier or a fan next to the wall. Allow the wall to dry out for a minimum of 24 hours.
  6. To prevent mold growth, you can apply a concrete sealer to prevent moisture from seeping into the concrete flooring should the area get wet again.

Cleaning Mold Growth from Basement Joist and Framing

Inspect the area to ensure the source of moisture that is causing the mold growth has been fixed.

Fixing the issue is an important step because the mold will continue to grow and destroy the wood if the source is not repaired. If you can’t find what’s causing the mold growth, always consult a professional.

  1. Put on your gloves, mask, and eye protection.
  2. Open windows to allow ventilation.
  3. HEPA vacuum any area that has mold growth
  4. Applying a detergent solution or a plant-based biocide like Benefect Decon 30 to the section of the wood with mold growth. Always avoid oversaturating the material. Oversaturation could worsen the condition.
  5. Begin to clean the wood using a stainless-steel scrubbing pad or a thick bristle brush. You should scrub until the wood looks visibly clean.
  6. After the area has been scrubbed and molds have been removed, use a cloth to dry the area.
  7. Use a HEPA vacuum to clean the wood and the surrounding areas.
  8. Place an air mover next to the wood and allow the area to dry for 24 hours.
  9. After 24 hours, assess the area and repeat the process if necessary. The mold should not resurface if the moisture source has been fixed.

How to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Basement

If you want to prevent mold from growing in your basement, make sure that the humidity levels are always below 60%.

Mold can’t grow if there is no moisture available. Make sure all leaks and cracks are fixed so that water isn’t leaking into your basement on a regular basis.

Moldy items should be thrown away or cleaned promptly before they have a chance to spread spores through the air.

Finally, keep spills wiped up as soon as possible!

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