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Country Discussion Topics
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Mold
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Charles(Mo)    Posted 02-13-2005 at 12:49:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Has anybody had to deal with mold? I went down in the basement this morning to change the furnace filter and water filter. Something caught my eye over in the corner. On the basement wall, from the top of the wall down a couple of feet there is mold. I looked at all the walls and it is in 2 corners. On the outside of one corner, the gutter down spout empties close. At the other corner, nothing, and the basement wall is above grade about 18".

Betty and I mixed up a strong solution of bleach water and washed the areas and I turned the dehumidifier on. I bet this ain't going to be enough. I checked some web sites and they say bleach is what to use. I wonder if I should get some fungiside.


MikeT    Posted 02-13-2005 at 13:18:25       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Spray it with a Clorox bleach solution with a little TSP (Tri-Sodium Phosphate) added is sufficient. TSP is available at HD, Lowes, or any paint store. Treat whenever you see new signs of mold. Hitting it with a brush will just put mold spores into the air and into your lungs.

If you use a dehumidifier afterwards, make sure it has a good filter with a mesh size that will collect mold spores. Spray the filter with the solution before throwing it away.


Peanut    Posted 02-13-2005 at 12:54:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey Charles. Mold needs moisture to grow. Get to the source of the moisture and the mold will not come back. Get it under control because mold is not good for your health. The de-humidifier is a good idea. Do you have it draining into a trap or the internal bucket? Hopefully its the trap - that way it can run non-stop. Yes, clean the areas with bleach water or fungicide. Good luck.


Charles(Mo)    Posted 02-13-2005 at 16:02:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have the internal bucket on the dehumidifier. Obviously the moisture is coming from the outside. Our house is about 14 monthes old, and we painted the outside basement walls with foundation coating and put in parimenter drains both outside and inside. But the mold is at the top of the walls, where there shouldn't be any moisture.

We just used an old mop on the walls when cleaning. And I wore a respirator. I will watch it for a couple of days and put some bleach in the garden sprayer and use that. I have heard where some molds are really toxic and I need to get rid of it.


Peanut    Posted 02-13-2005 at 16:52:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
Good idea about the respirator. That is really strange that the moisture is at the top of the walls like that.

Can you actually see the condensation? Is your basement concrete block or poured?

Our house is about 14 months old too. The builder told us to make sure we leave the vents open in the basement. Normally I would close them because its just a concrete storage room for us. But the builder said that the moisture level needs to remain fairly constant throughout the whole house. That is why the vents should be open down there. I am no expert in this area at all. Maybe GeneSC, Gerrit, or someone else can offer some advice.


Charles(Mo)    Posted 02-13-2005 at 17:37:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Peanut, I may have misunderstood what you were refering to as a vent. I took it to mean a foundation vent like in a crawl space. Maybe you meant a heat vent. I don't have any vents for heat down there. But that wouldn't be a problem to cut one in the duct work. Providing I put it in a place that won't upset the balance.


Charles(Mo)    Posted 02-13-2005 at 17:30:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
The basement is poured concrete. We don't have vents or windows, just one steel door. We finished on qtr of it into a guest bedroom. There is no mold on the sheetrock walls in there, yet. I wonder if it is a matter of time before I have to rip the sheetrock down. I will wait until I see evidence of mold in there.

We have a conventional heatpump and the basement usually stays in the 50 degree range. We keep the basement door closed that leads upstairs.

It never has seemed damp down there to me. But the dehumidifier has been on for a few hours and it has a gallon of water already collected.


deadcarp    Posted 02-13-2005 at 18:21:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
no vents? isn't that asking for trouble? let me say this - no waterproofing will stop condensation, it's like sweat on a beer can or bathroom mirror. condensation is humidity in the air & collects on the warmer face of a solid membrane. mold needs that steady moisture. unless the earth around your house is bone dry, humidity gets too high & i'd ventilate that area or you'll have mildew in the walls. :)


Peanut    Posted 02-13-2005 at 18:31:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thats what I was trying to say. Thanks dc !!!

I was surprised our builder told me to keep the vents open but the more I thought about it, I began to see the logic.

Charles, I am not saying run downstairs with a Sawsall (reciprocating saw) and start cutting you duct work. I would however think about keeping your basement at the same (or close to the same)ambient temperature and humidity level as the rest of your home.


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