mold removal in concrete basement

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Old 02-12-13, 07:25 AM
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mold removal in concrete basement

We have an unfinished basement that floods, and I'm pretty certain we have a mold problem because of it. Everyone in the house has allergy issue, and bread goes moldy within a few days of bringing it into the house.

Now, we're getting ready to waterproof the basement (knocking a trench in the outer perimeter of the basement concrete and installing a better sump pump), but my father plans to then just paint all the walls and floor. What I'm wondering is if this will be good enough to get rid of the existing mold?

I've tried to do some searching on how to get rid of mold but all I can really find is that you need to clean/bleach/scrape paint from visible molded surfaces - we don't have any visible mold, though. We just have the symptoms I mentioned above and a fine dust that collects on the basement floor. I could buy a mold test kit, but the waterproofing will be done regardless and I'm already sure we have mold. Should I test AFTER the waterproofing/painting?

Thanks very much for any help!
 
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Old 02-12-13, 07:56 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

If you think you have mold, you need to find it.
 
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Old 02-12-13, 08:16 AM
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Yeah, I'm just not sure what to do to get rid of it. Once we fix the moisture problem, will just painting over the walls be OK since we don't seem to have any visible mold? Everything I've found online says not to paint over mold, but that doesn't seem to apply in this case since we won't be painting over actual mold.

Edit - Hmm. Or are you saying that there has to be visible mold somewhere in the basement that I just haven't found yet?

I'm sorry for the noob questions, I'm just really not sure where to start with this.
 
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Old 02-12-13, 08:41 AM
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I'm not convinced you have a mold problem, people are hyper-sensitive to the subject and many assume they have mold when they do not. No offense intended by this statement.

Mold spores are everywhere, you're not going to get rid of them. But, unless you have mold growing somewhere in your house, you do not have a mold problem. If you do have it growing in your house, where it's growing shapes the plan of attack. Hence, I think you need to start by looking for the mold you think you have.

That make sense?
 
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Old 02-12-13, 10:00 AM
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yeah, it does, and I guess you could be right that I don't have mold. I will look around closer in the basement/buy a test kit and see what I come up with then.
 
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Old 02-12-13, 10:13 AM
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Let us know what you find out and we can go from there.
 
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Old 02-12-13, 01:54 PM
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Not sure if you know, but cinder block walls can't just be painted - they need a special primer first. Blockfill is normally used on block that is above grade but for below grade you need to use Drylok or one of it's competitors. That will seal all the pores in the block giving you a good base for paint. Just applying paint to block winds up taking too much paint and a poor looking job as unprimed block will just suck up the paint.

You might want to take a bright light to inspect for signs of mold. If you can't find mold, more than likely it's either not there or there isn't enough to be an issue. Mold needs heat and moisture to grow, take away either and it won't grow
 
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Old 10-04-13, 08:15 PM
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Mold in basement

Where there is moisture, there is mold, especially if there is organic material (even dust). You are not going to get the mold out of the inside of cinderblock, if any even exists there. But I think if you can reduce the moisture in the basement, including painting over the walls with a sealer, and running a dehumidifier down there, the mold issue will subside. If mold exists on the surface of the walls, however, you will have to clean it up first before painting, as you mentioned.


Back to the key issue though- moisture, even humidity. Even if you don't have mold there, the actions stated above are just good housekeeping for basements.

You may want to check out the EPA website and the removemoldguide.com website. They both have great, easy to read info on mold.

Good Luck
 
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