Removing Black Mold in Your Basement – 5 Steps

Black mold can form in dark, damp corners of your basement without you ever knowing it.

Worse, it spreads very quickly. Not only does mold rot drywall, but it can also lead to serious health issues. If you have asthma or allergies, mold can cause eye irritation, cough, congestion and skin irritation. More serious health issues from mold exposure include fever, coughing up blood, nose bleeds, vomiting, and even liver damage.  If you spot mold spores, you need to act quickly while taking proper safety precautions. Here we’ll cover 5 steps for removing black mold in your basement.

Before you get to the work in the basement, strap on a face mask and gloves to protect yourself. Without touching it, inspect the damaged area. Black mold will look like soot and may be dusty. If the job is too big, or you have health issues that could be exacerbated from addressing the mold issue, contact a professional cleaning service or mold remediation company and stay as far away from the area as possible.

  1. Dry out the damp space. Not only do you have a mold problem, you obviously have a moisture problem as well. You’ll need to take as much humidity as possible out of the basement before addressing the mold; run a dehumidifier in the basement to pull out moisture. If temperatures are warm enough outside, open a few windows to increase air circulation. Running an exhaust fan from your window to draw out moisture and blow it outside is also helpful.
  2. If the mold is dusty, you’ll need to dampen it again before scrubbing. Those dusty spores are even more dangerous when they become airborne, as you run the risk of inhaling them. Using a spray bottle and cool water, apply a light mist of water onto the mold. Careful not to over-saturate, or else you’ll add to that moisture problem.
  3. With a bristled brush, scrub the mold with a solution of dish soap and water. With a clean rag, wipe the soapy area with a solution of ½ bleach, ½ water. Discard brush and rags after use.
  4. If possible, remove any moldy articles in your basement from your home entirely. If there are pieces that can be washed in a strong, bleach-saturated, load of laundry, you can try that. However, it’s ideal to discard the damaged items, otherwise you may risk contaminating other parts of your home. Be careful not to dispose of anything before it’s been photographed and inventoried, just in the event you need to involve your insurance company.
  5. Zap your moisture problem for good. Check exposed plumbing for leaks and drains for clogs. Make sure that the seal around your windows is tight. Now that you’ve scrubbed and disinfected, consider sealing your walls (or even sub-floors) with a primer that has a moisture barrier.

About Woodard Cleaning & Restoration

Woodard Cleaning & Restoration was founded in 1946 by Earl and Nancy Woodard. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Woodard services the greater metro area (Illinois, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, St. Louis County, and many more). Woodard is proud to serve as the preferred provider for cleaning & restoration services. Our cleaning services include carpet, hard surface, furniture, and rug cleaning for both residential and commercial properties. We also provide water, fire, board-up, storm and smoke restoration services for residential and commercial clients. For information or questions submit a form online or call us at 314-227-3932.

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Updated 4/30/2018