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Old 07-05-2013, 09:03 PM
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jimbo082 jimbo082 is offline
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Default I have a mold problem and a damp basement

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I have a damp basement and have mold growing down there. I'm curious if there are any ways I can clean it. Everything I read on says to get a professional, however that costs $. Any advice is welcomed, thanks and I think this is the right section?
Old 07-05-2013, 09:25 PM
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Mold can be a significant health hazard and should be eliminated yesterday. You don't mention how much mold you have, but if it's a lot, you may have no choice but to call in the professionals.

A small patch could be disinfected with bleach. Check this link:

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Old 07-05-2013, 09:27 PM
stabbingmantis stabbingmantis is offline
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If you decide to go it yourself, get some good masks and filters. And make sure you have a decontamination procedure set up for when you leave the basement. Working with mold is NOT GOOD. I would highly recommend a professional (especially so they could try to fix whatever's making the basement damp in the first place).

That said, what I would do would be to get the best dehumidifier and steam cleaner that you can afford. Set up the dehumidifier and let it run for a few days to pull as much moisture out of the air as possible.

After it's been running 3-4 days, drag the steam cleaner down there. If it has settings/levels, make sure it's turned up all the way. Blast that mold with the steam! It should kill it and wash it away. You may have to scrape gently with a putty knife. To be safe, wipe up the mold-water-steam with something disposable and trash when the job is complete. Follow up with applications of mold-killing chemicals such as bleach http://blackmold.awardspace.com/prevent-mold.html

Keep the dehumidifier running for at least a few days afterwards.
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Old 07-05-2013, 10:13 PM
Rikken Rikken is offline
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There is stuff called jomax . Its at lowes or home depot if you have those. You mix it with bleach and water. But I think it's supposed to be outside only. So that's probably a stupid suggestion but it does kill the spores and everything. Mold certainly isn't something to screw around with.
Old 07-05-2013, 10:50 PM
topflitecop21 topflitecop21 is offline
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Depends on what kind of mold it is. If it's black mold, you should definitely get rid of it and probably professionally. If it is green or white you can take care of it yourself with bleach, a steam cleaner and a dehumidifier, but you will never be rid of it unless you take care of the problem.

If the moisture is wicking in from the walls, depending on the type of walls you can use a masonry waterproofer like drylok or you can waterproof the outside of the walls which includes digging outside exposing the foundation and waterproofing from the outside which is exponentially better.

If there is another reason such as a leak or no ventilation, take care of the most inexpensive fix first until you get the results you are looking for.
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Old 07-05-2013, 11:00 PM
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I'm assuming you have concrete block walls.

Gibe all of them two coats of a sealer paint. They make paints especially for this purpose.

Do you have a side that is not below grade? If so on that side about 3 to 5 feet from the house dig a dry well. If that is the south side the water might evaporate fast enough to avoid going to the next step.

Try these and get back to us. I fixed the same problem I had in a home 20 years ago.
Old 07-05-2013, 11:20 PM
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As stated, bleach and dehumidifier are the keys. We've dealt with the same issue and the mold is gone. The wife spent hours wiping down every inch of the wall, ceiling, and contents of the room with a 50/50 bleach water mix. as long as the humidity is kept low, the mold will not return.
Old 07-05-2013, 11:30 PM
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jimbo082 View Post
I have a damp basement and have mold growing down there. I'm curious if there are any ways I can clean it. Everything I read on says to get a professional, however that costs $. Any advice is welcomed, thanks and I think this is the right section?
I have a LOT of experience in this department!

The people who lived in our house before us left the basement doors open, 24 hours a day. There were chicken nests full of eggs, bird dogs, and raccoons down there. The basement was half concrete, half clay/dirt/garbage/coal. We spent a LONG time cleaning the gross half up but we always had mold down there due to the fact the basement is about 80 years old. In the rural Midwest, old foundations and basements are dicey, ours is nothing out of the ordinary.

Fast forward 15 years. We finally bought the house from the in-laws. Our son has Asthma and was having regular attacks so we decided the old basement had to be fixed asap. First off, we hired the Amish to put in a sump pit and finish the concrete. Then we hired a heating and air man to tear everything out of the basement, including all duct work, then he replaced the furnace and added central air.

After some research, we purchased an industrial paint sprayer, a large garden sprayer, 2 special masks, goggles, hospital-grade mold killer, 10 gallons of bleach, and 15 gallons of mold resistant paint. We sent the kiddies off to grandma's for the weekend and got down to business.

First, we cleaned the basement by diluting the bleach by half, then we sprayed it on every surface, then scrubbed it with brooms. This was sprayed on wood rafters too. After that dried, we diluted the fungicide and sprayed about 75 gallons of solution on every surface. After that was done, we painted the whole basement with mold resistant spray.

This may sound like overkill to some, but my son has had a complete turn around with his breathing since we did all the work. Before the basement was cleaned up, we feared cold season. Now it's nothing out of the ordinary. The basement is fresh and white and the walls are lined with plastic shelving units.

We followed the advice of family members who had the same situation but their child has Asthma and Cystic Fibrosis. They had good results too.

I will add that this was some grueling work that had to be planned well. We did most of it in the 2 days between the old ductwork/furnace coming out and the new going in. We had to tape off all vents and seal up the house due to the fumes. The animals had to be kept elsewhere. It was also really expensive. Between the concrete, appliances, workers, and chemicals, it was thousands.

So was it worth it? Yes, every penny and every hour. I was always worried that my children were being affected by something beyond my control. Fixing the basement was the #1 priority when we purchased our house. Now I know it's a safer environment for them.


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