Household mold is everywhere. These tiny fungi reproduce via mold spores and travel on air currents, cling to clothing, or even hitch a ride on pets in order to get to where they want to be: a moist area.
Mold can enter a home via open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and AC units and grows in damp places such as around leaks in roofs, windows, pipes, or where there has been flooding. One of the most common places to find household mold is in your basement.
Basements are generally very damp places to begin with, but if your basement has a leak, this can cause a serious mold infestation that needs to be addressed before it can cause health problems. Mold can cause itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, serious allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and even permanent lung damage.
Basement Mold Removal: If you encounter a large colony of household mold in your basement, here are some tools you’ll need to remove it.
- 4 millimeter thick plastic sheeting
- A respirator
- Spray bottles
- Garbage bags
- Paper towels/rags
- 5 gallon buckets
- Borax or vinegar
- Scrubbing brush
Don’t keep going down into the basement without proper gear such as the respirator. You should also be fully clothed to make sure your skin does not come in contact with the mold. First set up the dehumidifier and get rid of any excess water (if there was a leak) with a mop or rags.
Hand the plastic sheets over door openings and any vents in order to contain the mold to just that one area. Open as many windows as possible and have the fans running. Molds thrive at normal indoor temperatures; few can survive below 40 degrees or above 100 degrees, so opening the windows on a cold day could help get rid of the fungi.
Use Borax and/or vinegar to get rid of the mold growing on any cement or concrete in the basement. If the mold is growing on boxes or drywall, this can easily be removed and discarded and is a much easier solution than trying to scrub everything clean. Try not to use bleach as this can have negative health effects on you, not just the mold.
Be sure to check any cracks or crevices in your basement; all it takes is one mold spore to repopulate the entire room again. You should be cleaning and inspecting a radius wider than where the mold is actually growing, just to be sure that you’ve contained all the spores. You may need to rip up carpets if they’ve been flooded, but these can be easily replaced.
If all else fails: Call in the mold inspection companies. Professional mold removal may be more expensive, but at least they’ll get the job done. More like this blog.