If you just walked into your basement to find that an unwanted guest has made itself comfortable on the walls, corners, and ceilings – do not freak out. It is possible to get rid of mold, and surprisingly enough, it does not require any special skills or equipment. Of course, the scope of the problem will determine whether you need professional help, but if you can tell that things have not gotten out of hand – do not procrastinate; mold can grow and spread very fast. Use our guide on how to get rid of mold in basement to get into action.
Things You’ll Need
Here are a few things that you will need to get rid of mold in your basement.
How to Get Rid of Mold in a Basement in 8 Steps
Step 1: Investigate the scope of the problem.
In order to get rid of mold in your basement, you first need to check the scope of the problem. If there are areas of mold larger than 3 meters (ten square feet), then you may need to get professional help. It is better to contact a qualified mold remediation contractor. However, if there are small mold patches on the walls and ceiling and other furniture, you can do the job yourself.
Step 3: Select a cleaning agent that works best for you.
Once you have decided to start cleaning and removing yourself, it is best to decide on a cleaning agent beforehand. You have several options to work with. You can use diluted bleach or diluted Borax as a cleaning agent. Alternatively, you can also use undiluted vinegar, baking soda solution, or 3% hydrogen peroxide.
However, we recommend using a ready-made Mold Cleaner – there are many options available in both spray or solution form and can be easily bought online. They will save you time and effort and will also be more effective than any homemade cleaning solution.
Step 2: Remove contaminated items.
This is where the cleaning process starts. Make sure to wear protective gear like gloves and an N-95 respirator to protect against stirred-up airborne spores. Then remove any items that have been affected by mold. This can include cardboard boxes, furniture, clothing, etc., throw away whatever is disposable, wash and dry the clothes, and deep clean any wooden furniture. Upholstered furniture with visible mold will either need to be disposed of or reupholstered.
Step 4: Apply the cleaning agent and let it sit
To get rid of mold, first, conduct a patch test by applying the cleaning agent on a small area of the surface that you will be cleaning with it. This is to make sure that the cleaning agent is not damaging the surface. If all is clear, then move ahead with the application on all the affected areas. If you are using a ready-made aerosol, just spray it; if you are using a solution you made yourself or even bought online, simply put it in a bucket and use a cleaning rag. Dip the cleaning rag/sponge in the solution and scrub the affected areas with it. Let is sit for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Scrub Thoroughly.
Make sure to scrub the solution on all small corners and crevices. It will be easier to get to the more visible areas on the walls and other places, but to get rid of the mold completely, you will need to make sure mold is eliminated from the nooks and crannies so it can’t spread and grow again.
Try to rinse your sponge as often as possible to avoid spreading the mild residue. If you are using a spray bottle, adjust the nozzle to get the jet of the cleaning agent in narrower spots.
Step 6: Rinse with clean water.
Once done with the scrubbing or spraying, use a clean sponge or rag to wipe down the area with water. Keep changing the water as you progress through the entire basement. After the affected areas have dried off, check for any missed moldy spots, and repeat the cleaning and rinsing process on missed areas. To speed up the drying process, open any windows and doors to allow for ventilation.
Step 7: Keep the humidity in check.
After putting in all the effort to get rid of mold in your basement, you certainly would not like for it to find its way back into your home. Humid, damp, and dark conditions are ideal for mold to grow. Therefore, keep the humidity of your basement in check. You can do this in several ways.
Firstly, ensure proper ventilation in your basement. If you live in a very humid climate, consider running an air conditioner or dehumidifier. If you have a humidifier, clean and treat it with an antimicrobial solution.
Step 8: Replace vinyl wall coverings (if applicable) and cover any bare earth flooring
Finally, these are some additional preventative measures that you can take to get rid of mold. If your basement has vinyl wall coverings, consider removing them as they trap humid air between the drywall and the wallpaper. Use paint or wall coverings with permeable paper backings instead.
Similarly, crawlspaces with bare earth flooring transmit a lot of moisture. Either get flooring done by a professional or cover the bare earth flooring yourself using 6-mill poly sheeting. Ensure that the basement is cooled, heated, and humidified equally with the rest of the house.
Our Final Thoughts
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A moldy basement can be some people’s worst nightmare. Mold growing on the ceiling and walls of your basement can not only leave the place with an obnoxious smell, but it also spreads really quickly, damaging any items you have in store. However, getting rid of this problem is not as hard as you may think, and we hope that with our step-by-step guide on how to get rid of mold in the basement, you are able to ensure that it never finds its way back into your house.