And looking for tips on how to get mold out of basement?
In particular, are you trying to find out how to remove mold from basement walls or how to clean basement floor that has mold growing on it?
If so, this guide is for you.
While you may want to know how to get rid of mold on basement walls and flooring to remove those ugly black or green spots and unpleasant musty odors, there’s a more compelling reason to treat mold removal seriously: it can be dangerous to your family’s health.
Below, you’ll learn how to clean mold in basement so you can combat the existing problem as well as some things you can do to prevent the reappearance of mold in the future.
One tip, in particular, includes adding an air purifier to your basement. An air purifier for mold can eliminate the airborne mold spores and reduce the musty odor that mold produces.
You can visit the previous link to learn more or read the final section of this page on how to prevent mold growth in the future.
What Causes Mold Growth in Basements?
Before we can get to the mold removal process, we first need to identify the most common causes of mold growth in basements.
This will help with your prevention efforts later on.
That said, mold colonies thrive in spaces that offer a generous supply of moisture, warmth and organic material, such as wood, paper, and leather.
Since molds produce millions of microscopic spores that travel in the air, once mold shows up in one area, it can easily spread to other areas in the same zone.
Your basement may be creating the perfect conditions for mold growth when any combination of the following happens:
- There’s little to no ventilation which can lead to moisture build-up over time.
- There’s excessive moisture due to condensation on walls, windows, and/or the floor.
- The foundation of your home is leaky due to poor construction or damage from age and the elements leaving your basement exposed to groundwater and/or plumbing problems.
- Sometimes appliances, such as water heaters or air conditioning systems, can leak. This leads to moisture build-up that can evaporate and create indoor humidity.
As mentioned above, the first step in how to get rid of mold in basement walls and flooring is to first identify the source of the conditions conducive to mold growth and then repair them.
Keep in mind that visible mold growth seen on concrete walls and flooring may actually be signs of a colony of mold growing within or behind the walls and floor.
So, if mold keeps returning after you follow the tips on how to clean mold in basement below, the condition may be much more serious and require professional remediation.
How to Get Mold Out of Basement
Before we get to the exact methods for how to get mold out of basement, there are a few initial steps you need to take to stay safe and make the process go smoothly:
- Create as much ventilation as possible. Any doors or windows should be fully opened.
- At a minimum, wear a N95 respirator, gloves, and goggles. For full protection, wear a full-facepiece respirator with P100 filters, bodysuit, boots, gloves, and head protection.
- Check the movable items in your basement, such as boxes, shelving, and rugs that may have mold on the surface or hiding additional mold colonies inside. Take out the things that can be comfortably removed and cleaned outside. Not only will this free up the space that needs to be cleaned, but it will also reduce the potential number of airborne mold spores.
- Do an initial cleaning of the infected area. First, sweep or scrub the walls and floor with a dry broom to remove dust and dirt. Then, take warm water mixed with soap and scrub the areas.
Once your basement walls and floor are clean, you can use any of the mold removal products mentioned below. Just keep in mind that some of these chemicals are toxic, so make sure you wear the recommended protective wear mentioned above in the second point.
How to Clean Mold in Basement: Traditional Methods
The two products most commonly used to remove mold in basements and other areas of a home are:
Bleach is a cheap and highly effective option that will kill existing mold growth and spores on any hard surface, such as concrete, tile, and glass.
To use bleach, mix 1 part bleach to 10 parts water and scrub the affected area with a scrub brush, coarse sponge, or mop.
If you’re looking for something less toxic than bleach but stronger than some of the natural products listed below, then Concrobium is your best option.
Concrobium is a commercial mold removal product that kills mold colonies and can help reduce the reappearance of mold in the future. Like bleach, Concrobium can be used on many hard surfaces, such as concrete, tile, plastic, and stone. The added advantage of Concrobium is that it can be used on porous surfaces like wood.
To use Concrobium, apply it in a thin, even layer over the affected surface using a rag or brush, then allow it to dry completely.
How to Remove Mold from Basement Walls and Floor Naturally
If you want to remove mold while avoiding the use of hazardous and toxic chemicals, then there are several natural solutions to choose from.
Here are three of the most effective and common products:
- White Vinegar — Vinegar is a well-known natural household cleaner and it happens to be an effective mold removal product. You can put it directly on the affected area, wait for 3 to 5 minutes, and then wipe it away with a cloth or sponge.
- Tea Tree Oil — Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide. Simply mix add 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle, spray it on the affected area, wait for 5 minutes, and then scrub it off.
- Hydrogen Peroxide — While hydrogen peroxide is generally known as a mild antiseptic used to treat cuts and scrapes, it can also get rid of mold growth. Another plus is that hydrogen peroxide can safely be used on many of the fabrics found in clothing and upholstery. Pour 3% Hydrogen Peroxide in a spray bottle, spray the surface, let it sit on the affected area for 10 minutes, then wipe it off.
How to Prevent Future Mold Growth in Your Basement
Now that you know how to remove mold from basement walls and floors, it’s also good for you to know how to prevent the reappearance of mold in the future.
This goes together with addressing the cause(s) that brought about the mold growth in the first place.
Here are some products to consider:
- Get a Dehumidifier — The higher the level of moisture in the air, the higher the humidity. If your basement has poor ventilation and/or is exposed to a significant amount of groundwater or condensation, then a dehumidifier can help to dry out the air and thus prevent future mold growth. You want to aim for 30-50% relative humidity in your basement to prevent mold growth.
- Get an Air Purifier — If your basement is particularly susceptible to mold, then you should consider purchasing an air purifier for mold. Mold spores can easily travel through the air in your basement to the rest of your home. The scattering of mold spores can be further “helped” by your HVAC’s ductwork. Air purifiers can eliminate mold spores from the air by pulling them into a filter and then destroying them with ultraviolet light. They can also help to deodorize the air, thus reducing the musty smell in your basement.
- Apply Concrete Waterproof Sealers — Applying sealants to the concrete walls and floor of your basement, can help to both repel water and fix leaks. There are several brands and options to choose from and each one comes with a different price point and their own set of pros and cons. The best option for you will depend on your particular situation.
- Use Acrylic Waterproof Paint — Acrylic waterproof paint looks and can be applied like regular wall paint, but it can also help to seal your walls against leaks.
- Use Anti-microbial Paint — Antimicrobial paint prevents the growth of microorganisms, such as bacteria as well as mold and mildew. You can easily get a can of it at department stores like Lowes and Home Depot.
Recap on How to Remove Mold from Basement
As you learned above, the steps for how to get mold out of basement walls, flooring, and the air is not too difficult.
The process includes a number of different liquid-based products that can be applied by hand to kill active mold growth. But an air purifier is the only machine that can eliminate the mold spores floating in the air.
How to clean mold in basement that gives you the best level of protection is using a combination of both methods: a cleaning agent and an air purifier.
We hope this information has helped you learn how to get rid of mold in your basement and remove that unpleasant musty odor it creates.