Basements sometimes get a bad rap as the “forgotten” part of the household. In many households, basements are frequently used to entertain guests, workout and even sleep in. But, in many other households, basements are no more than large storage spaces. If something is no longer useful, it isn’t always thrown out. It’s often stuck in the basement. As a result, basements often become crowded with old items that pile up over the years.
Unfortunately, this transforms a basement into the perfect breeding ground for mould. Not only does mould like to grow in dark and dank places, but overcrowded spaces give mould excellent hiding locations. This allows mould to grow undetected for long lengths of time. When mould spores go airborne, they create health hazards that home owners may never even know about. Clearly, this is a problem. So how does one stop a mould problem after it has started?
Here are three suggestions:
1. Start a “toss and clean”. It pretty much is what it sounds like. This term (we’re going to go ahead and say that we coined it!) refers to throwing out any items that have mould growing on them. This is one easy way to rid your basement of mould. And, for the mould growing on your floors, walls and ceilings, it’s time to break out the cleaning products in order to remove it as best as possible.
“If the mould is growing on removable items such as drywall or boxes stacked on the floor, much of it is removed simply by discarding contaminated objects and replacing them with fresh material,” offers Karie Fay on RealEstate.com, “Then, scrubbing the surroundings with detergent and water or a natural product removes the mould residue. It’s cheaper than commercial fungicides and doesn’t burn your eyes, lungs and skin like bleach.”
2. Use bleach, if necessary. Water is one of mould’s top necessities for growth. If your basement has become flooded, you’re bound to experience a mould problem after it has been drained. If so, you may need to use bleach in order to minimize the harmful bacteria that develop as a result of mould growth. Fay provides some instructions for those who are in the process of ridding their previously-flooded basements of mould.
“If your basement flooded, it’s still a good idea to use bleach to sanitize it,” she advises, “Bleach reduces the mold count – it doesn’t completely kill it – and neutralizes harmful bacteria. Mix chlorine bleach with warm water in a bucket at a ratio of one cup (8 ounces) of bleach per gallon of water. As you use the bleach water and it becomes dirty, flush the remainder and mix fresh solution.”
3. Set up new walls. Yes, this sounds like a major undertaking. But, in some cases, the cleaning of a basement isn’t enough to save the walls, floors and ceilings. To completely rid your basement of mould, sometimes starting over is the answer. That way, the remaining mould-induced damage can be covered up with new walls and prevented from becoming the foundation for new mould growth.
“I feel the only way to stop the mould from growing is to clean the walls really well, get them dry and then immediately frame the new walls,” reports TimCarter on AskTheBuilder.com, “Create a 1-inch air space between the back of the wall and the basement wall. Caulk the bottom wall plate so no air can get behind the wall. Insulate the wall and install a continuous high-quality cross laminated vapour barrier on the wall before you install the drywall.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we offer Mould Assessment Services to help you get started with the removal of mould from anywhere in your home. For more information, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.