If you've started noticing a musty smell in your basement, you may have a moisture problem that's causing mold growth. Unfortunately, mold doesn't always grow where you can find it. It can grow behind the walls, in piles of debris or even in damp clothing. Once mold takes over, it can be difficult to get rid of. One of the problems is that mold spores can be carried through the air, which means that mold can start growing wherever the spores land. Here are four steps you can take to help you get control of the mold problem in your basement.
Go On a Search
The first thing you need to do is identify the source of the smell. That means you're going to need to search your basement and find the mold growth. Don't stop when you find one source. You may have mold growing in several different locations throughout the basement. Once you've found the mold, you'll be ready to start cleaning.
Kill the Mold
Scrubbing with ordinary spray cleaners will not destroy mold. You'll need to bring in the heavy hitters for this job. Mold removal will require a two-step process. For the first step, you'll need a bucket of warm water, 1 cup of trisodium phosphate cleanser – TSP – a scrub brush and a pair of rubber gloves. Use your scrub brush to thoroughly scrub all the areas where you have found mold growth. Cleaning with trisodium phosphate cleanser will kill your molds feeding grounds. Next, you'll need to kill the mold spores. For this project you'll need a garden sprayer, water and distilled vinegar. Fill your garden sprayer with equal parts water and vinegar. Spray all the surfaces that were infected with mold and allow your basement to air dry.
Seal the Surfaces
Once you're cleaned the surfaces and killed the mold, you'll need to apply a sealant. The sealant will prevent mold from growing back. For concrete surfaces, apply a waterproof concrete sealant. You can also apply epoxy sealant to your concrete. For drywall, apply a layer of primer and then apply a topcoat of semi-gloss paint. To provide continued protection, you should reapply sealant and paint at least once a year.
If you have mold growing in your basement, you need to take care of the problem as soon as possible. Use the tips provided here to get rid of the mold and keep it away permanently. For assistance, talk to a professional like Fire & Flood Services Inc.