Basements are one of the top 3 areas that have mold contamination. Mold in basement is generally due to the lack of a dehumidifier or from flooding, water damage, or a leak. Allowed to go undetected or ignored can cause up to a total loss of a home or office, and creates a health hazard for families and employees.
Before treating mold in basement, it’s essential to have the proper personal protective equipment: P100/N-95 rated respirator, gloves, goggles and protective clothing (tyvek suit, or long sleeves and long pants with a hood). It’s important to keep one’s exposure to mold to a minimum.
1.) Locate and fix all sources of mold-causing water intrusion such as water damage/flooding, recurring flooding, plumbing leaks, poor drainage, blocked air-conditioning condensation drain lines, high humidity in your basement, and high indoor humidity [e.g., above 50 to 60%].
2.) Inspect and test for mold in basement (indoors). Outside testing should be done as a baseline. Find and locate all toxic mold infestations (visible and hidden) in the entire home or building by thorough, all-around mold inspection and mold testing (with mold laboratory analysis and mold species identification of collected mold samples).
° Conduct a mold testusing a do-it-yourself mold test kit outside your home or building with the test kit being at least five feet out from any roof or porch overhang. You need this outdoor control test for comparison of results from your indoor mold testing as a baseline to your indoor tests.
° Use a fiber optics inspection device, a hidden moisture meter, and internal wall and ceiling cavity mold testing to search for hidden mold growth.
3.) Test the outward airflow from each heating/cooling duct register for elevated levels of airborne mold spores. If there is a serious toxic mold infestation anywhere in a building, airborne mold spores from such mold locations will usually enter and contaminate the heating/cooling equipment and ducts, as well as the rest of the building. Use our do it yourself mold test kits to collect possible mold spores in the outward air flow from each register with the system running on fan ventilation.
4.) Replace mold-infested heating/cooling equipment and ducts if the owner can afford to do so. Otherwise, do repeated mold spraying with a mold fogging machine and an approved EPA registered Mold Killer while the system is running on fan ventilation to deliver the fungicide to internal surfaces. Air conditioning-heating equipment and duct mold problems.When humid air passes over chilled cooling coils, water condenses and drips through the coils into a collection pan, from which it continuously drains. Problems with these systems may occur when this water collects and becomes stagnant either on the coils or in the drip pan. The pan will grow mold that can infect your home with dangerous mold spores very quickly.
5.) If any residents or workers are experiencing any possible toxic mold health symptoms, or if there is a strong smell of mold, or if there are visible signs of major mold growth anywhere in the basement, or if the basement tests positive for elevated levels of airborne mold spores, the occupants should move temporarily to a mold-safe place until after successful mold remediation and clearance testing.
6.) Occupants moving out should not take any clothing, personal possessions, furnishings, furniture, or equipment until after such items have been effectively mold decontaminated outdoors [or in a clean room built from plastic sheeting] to avoid mold cross contamination of the temporary living or working quarters.
7.) Do not paint over mold problems. Mold uses paint as food. Don’t expect to kill mold successfully by using paint containing a mildicide [it is too weak to kill existing toxic mold infestation] or with a paint primer sold to hide water damage stains. Do not rely on Kilz to kill mold or anything, it does not kill mold, it does not contain a fungicide, and the product is NOT an EPA-registered fungicide. Kilz is an excellent product to hide or camouflage defects like water damage stains prior to painting over problem areas.
8.) Before beginning to work in the mold-afflicted areas, contain the moldy work area (and thus contain the toxic mold spores that will be released into the air by opening up mold-contaminated areas) by using wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling plastic sheeting as containment walls. Use 6 mill thick, clear plastic sheeting that you can buy at a hardware store or home improvement center.
9.) After the installation of air tight mold containment walls, dry the work area especially if still wet from flooding or a now fixed water leak with one or more large dehumidifiers or an industrial size dehumidifier. Improper fan drying can spread mold spores to cross contaminate an entire building and its heating/cooling system. Inside the mold containment area, use a large fan in the window to exhaust air directly outside on a continuous basis to expel airborne mold spores and remediation-caused dust or an industrial HEPA filter to filter out mold, with a flexible hose directly venting the exhaust air flow to the outdoors. You need to exhaust more air to the outside than is entering the containment area to create negative air pressure.
10.) While working inside the mold containment area, always wear effective protective gear such as protective biohazard suit. These are fairly inexpensive, or paint coveralls and booties or a long sleeve shirt and pants; gloves; and a one piece, full face breathing respirator mask using an organic vapor cartridge filtration available from home improvement stores. You also need such personal protective gear when you spray EPA registered mold killing fungicide such as KCT Quat.
IMPORTANT OZONE WARNING: Do not use an Ozone Air Purifier/Ozone Generator to kill mold. Ozone is ineffective in killing mold. Ozone can only kill what it comes into contact with. Ozone cannot get at, and thus cannot kill, mold growing INSIDE drywall, wall, carpeting, upholstered furniture, wall cavities, ceiling cavities, and floor cavities. Besides being ineffective at killing hidden mold [the worst type], a high ozone treatment can easily damage all rubber and plastic parts it comes into contact with such as rubber and plastic components of appliances, electronics of all types, exposed electric lines and extension courts, and HVAC controls. Ozone is also unhealthy to humans according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which specifically discourages the use of ozone for mold remediation. For more information on the ineffectiveness of Ozone and the Ozone Air Purifier to kill mold and other indoor air contaminant, read the highly-informative U.S. Federal Appeals court decision: Federal Trade Commission and the Court of Appeals.
11.) Do not use chlorine bleach [sodium hypochlorite] to kill mold or disinfect moldy areas. Bleach is not an effective or lasting killer of toxic mold growth and mold spores on and inside porous, cellulose building materials such as wood timbers, drywall, plasterboard, particleboard, plywood, plywood substitutes, ceiling tiles, and carpeting/padding. Read the Forest Products Research Study on Why Bleach Does Not Kill Mold. Bleach also destroys the wood that holds your home together.
12.) After the killing of all visible surface mold, the next step is to remove and to clean off as much surface mold growth, mold stains, and mold odors as possible. " Dead mold may still cause allergic reactions in some people, so it is not enough to simply kill the mold, it must also be removed," recommends the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Persons cleaning mold should be free of mold symptoms and allergies. Gloves should be worn during cleaning. A good first step is to use a HEPA vacuum cleaner to remove loose [invisible to the eye] airborne mold spores and mold growths deposited on all surfaces such as ceilings, walls, floors, and upholstered furniture. Vacuum at least twice; go in a different movement direction each time you do the vacuuming; horizontally the first time and vertically the second time.
13.) Except for wood support timbers (studs, rafters, floor joists) and building materials to be saved, remove and safely discard all other mold-contaminated building materials (such as particle board, drywall, plaster, plasterboard, ceiling tiles, paper-backed insulation, mold-laden insulation, plywood, plywood substitutes, and carpeting/padding) in doubled up construction trash bags (double bagging) with a 6 mil thickness.
14.) Remove all mold growth from the mold-infested wood surfaces and insulation. All wood beams, wall timbers, floor joists, plywood surfaces, and other lumber to be saved need to be totally cleaned of mold growth by using power tools such as a planer, grinder with wire brush attachment, and sander, or replace the moldy timbers. Mold cannot eat polystyrene insulating board such as green board but mold can grow on organic dust which lands on the insulating board and insulation.
15.) Re-spray the cleaned out area twice with KCT QUAT.
16.) Mold has strong pigments and actually stains wood materials like floor joists and wall studs. If you want to remove the stains you will have to either sand or wire brush the stains out of the wood. HEPA vacuuming is another solution to this.
15.) After the final drying of the mold killer, then spray all timbers and other wood surfaces with a clear, liquid fungicidal coating such as Klean Shield Mold Encapsulant
17.) After the mold remediation is completed, mold test (clearance testing) all of the remediated surfaces plus the air of each room in the basement, and the outward air flow from each heating/cooling duct register to find out if those areas are now mold safe prior to rebuilding the cleaned out areas with new building materials.
All prices are in USD.