Mold spreading up and down a basement drywall is a rather unpleasant sight. What is worse, it can also be hazardous to the health as mold produces several chemical substances that become dangerous upon inhalation. For this reason, you should remove the harmful fungi as soon as you spot the slightest spec. The best way to treat mold is to cut it out from the damaged areas and disinfect them with ample amounts of the appropriate detergents. In the steps below, you will find how to do that.
An important caveat to keep in mind: some people are particularly allergic to mold: common symptoms include a runny nose, eye or skin irritation, sneezing, fatigue, and congested sinus. If you are such a person, you’d better ask a friend, neighbor, or professional to do the job for you.
Step 1 - Stop the Water Leak and Ventilate the Basement
Note that depending on your situation, steps one and two may be reversed.
Procure all required materials which you should be able to find at your local hardware store. Since mold forms as a result of water leakage, the next thing to do is to fix the pipe that is causing the leak. If the problem is beyond your capacities, call a professional plumber. In any case, before you begin cleaning the mold, you have to make sure that there is no water trickling down your drywall. Be sure to provide plenty of air circulation in the area by bringing in fans and opening the windows. However, close the doors to stop the mold from working its way out to the other rooms in your house. Allow some time for the wet walls to dry.
Step 2 - Remove the Contaminated Surfaces
Put on the protective rubber gloves, goggles, and respirator mask (however, check first that they have been approved for the removal of mold). Take the utility knife or keyhole saw and cut around the moldy area. The cutout should be about 12 inches larger than the actual contamination. Once you are done with this, dispose of the debris in the appropriate garbage container.
Step 3 - Clean the Affected Area
Take a bucket of hot water and pour the non-ammonia detergent in it after you read the manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate proportion. With this mixture, scrub well in and around the damaged area. Then rinse with clean hot water and soak up the moisture with the wet-dry vacuum cleaner. Finally, disinfect with a bleach solution and ventilate the basement dry once again.
Carefully inspect the room for other vestiges of mold. Should you find any, repeat the cleaning procedure once again. In case the problem persists and the mold keeps returning, you may try removing the floorboards – often the mold source lies beneath them.
Replace any drywall, insulation, and boards, that you removed. After you have completed cleaning the mold, you should have a much better looking and healthier basement.