HELP - I need advice - MOULD in BASEMENT

I was (and I say was) renovating my basement. I have my walls insulated and 1 wall gyproced. I had some weak spots in my subfloor that I thought I could patch. I started to rip up one section and realized that most if not all of the floor is water damaged from years ago. I just bought the house a year ago. Most of the strapping are rotted badly. I pulled up 1 - half inch piece of underlay and noticed this weird (could be mould) crystal type of fuzzy looking stuff. This stuff looks like cotton candy. IS this mould. I am confused as to what to do. Will this problem (potential mould removal) be covered by our insurance. Is this extremely dangerous. The basement is not being used. Our washer and dryer are down there along with a deep freeze. My wife is due with our first child on Wednesday coming up. Any advice as to what I should do?
This MAY be confined to one small section, but am not sure. Any advice? Should I leave it and call our insurance company so they can come over to take a look? Shoudl I rip up the rest of the floor?
I can take a picture of this white cotton candy crystal looking stuff and post it if required.
Please advise!!!
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probably mold try spraying with straight bleach.
sorry you MUST fix the water moisture issue before doing any more remodeling lest it just reoccur
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You could run a de-humidifier in the basement with a hose to your drain. reducing moisture levels can slow and or stop the growth if you can get it dry enough. Lots of mold killer on the market but bleach remains the cheapest 1/4 cup to a gallon of water will kill just abt anything. I think 2 tablespoons to a gallon will kill aflatoxin which is a toxic mold in corn.

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Sounds a lot like a slime mold which is usually harmless unless you are made of cellulose. Does it maybe also look like foam.
The most dangerous mold is black mold which doesn't match your description. I can't say what kind of microbe is eating your wood and if you're not feeling poorly, it probably isn't "extremely" dangerous but might ultimately result in an allergic response if you are sensitive.
Not all fungus is toxic, you eat (some kinds of) mushrooms don't you (well you can if you want).
If you can fix it yourself, there is no reason to tell the insurance company. If it is making you too sick to do it yourself, obviously you need to call a pro and the cost may justify a claim.
Call a mold removal company for a quote and they will likely identify the specis. Might even guess over the phone, but in my experience contractors never guess at the cost of a job.

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PipeDown wrote:

I'll bet if you do a web search for mold testing, you'll find lots of good info, plus places that sell test kits. I think I;ve even seen on here where some home center stores, ace hardware, etc also sell them.
Chances are that what you have is not harmful. But you do need to remediate it before proceeding and to take steps to keep it from recurring.
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I agree, if the basement is damp, there should be no wood on that floor. If you have concrete slab underneath and its in good shape, rip up all the wood and put down VCT tile or even ceramic tile. It will be a lot cleaner. Try to post a pic if you can.
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There are over a thousand types of mold , only a few are bad. Mold on many cheeses is safe eaten and is its covering. Penicillin is from a mold. Mold is everywhere in the invironment, really don`t panic.
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The bad stuff is black and gummy. dont panic, dont call your insurance co you dont even know the true cause yet. Putting in a claim like that could get you dropped and you might have a hard time with a new company. A subfloor could easily get mold from moisture comming up from underneath it is just a perfect invironment to grow, dark and damp with wood as food. It is hard to say what to do without seeing it, is it dirt or concrete underneath, does it flood, is the water table high, did a pipe just leak once. Mold is common in damp places and easy to kill with a garden sprayer full of laundry bleach. If the wood is rotted it might be a high water table where wood never should of been used. What is under the wood.
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there were flood problems in the past, but that has been fixed. There has never been heat in the basement. What i think happened is that since there was never any heat the water just sat there and never even had a chance to dry. I think I will just rip the whole floor up and druy it out and start from scratch in May. April is coming and where I am from we will get rain in April. This will be a good way to determine if I have a serious water problem. Any suggestions about this. I of course will put the bleach to it all. I am also thinking that the bottom of the exterior walls are also rotted, but I am hoping they aren't cause I'll have to do a ton of work to fram new walls.

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I don't know of any insurance company that doesn't specifically exclude any and all claims having to do with any kind of fungus, mold, etc. As you said, it could get the OP dropped (not renewed) by his insurance company but worse yet, I have read that the house, itself, could be placed in a list shared by all insurance companies and be totally uninsurable thus not saleable to anyone else. I would not even call the insurance company and ask them any questions as that is enough to cause problems as they tend to be proactive these days in avoiding possible risks.
Tom G.
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I saw this product at Lowes this morning. It's a 2X2 tongue and groove subfloor with a plastic base with channels at the bottom. It's designed for basements. It's just an idea if you decide to do the whole floor over.
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId3869-41567-0001&pad=true
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Get a dehumidifier. If your basement temps are 65 or below get a unit that wont freeze till 45-50, All regular, or most units, freeze up near 65f. Sears has one unit that goes to 45f
Buy a digital humidistat or an analog unit designed to be calibrated and calibrate it. Keep humidity at apx 50% and mold will die on its own. But the trapped moisture in wood on the floor has to be fixed, best is remove the wood .
I had mold issues and leaks and killed the mold by spraying walls and floors with laundry bleach. I stopped the leaks and keep humidity under 65 and no mold has returned.
Bleach will stink bad for 1-4 days, if your wife is there and pregnant, now is not the best time for this, perhps later when she can leave for 2-5 days. I would wait on wood removal also to keep the mold from going airborn, now it is sealed in.
Don`t Red Flag your self to the insurance co with a call. Pros overcharge for mold issues. A flooring company or construction company could do the removal of wood quick, you could spray and clean it. If the floor doesn`t seap up water which you test by taping plastic on it for a day and test with a 20$ HD Moisture meter, put down tile, vinyl, or paint and leave bare. I have a 200$ Delmhorst moisture meter.
Your issue is real common, and is no need for panic, just figure the right way to go about your upgrade. Without controlling humidity mold will stay, and yours may actualy be ok, but 95% of basements here need dehumififiers in spring- summer. Just plan out your job a step at a time.
Ive shopped for humidistats many times, I have 8-10 of them, many are junk. 95% of the Analog units you see on displays at Ace, HD etc are made by Taylor and 95% are uncalibrated and vary in store, on display, 5-15%. Digitals are usualy fairly accurate in the indoor range you need to measure. Taylor makes one Analog unit a 3" round silver unit, out of maybe 25 they make, that is designed for calibration, it comes with a tool and instructions that state, "Calibrate every 6 months" so the rest they make are really worthless, unless digital. There is no reason to pay extra to over dehumidify or take no action due to a crappy humidistat.
A flooring company might just be your best bet, they know what basement floors require, how to test, and spot issues. They will direct you best on what to do to have a floor that lasts. Humidity control, and leaks are your issue, but simple to do over time.
Honestly a proper dehumidifier for your temp and sq ft, and a good humidistat would be my first step today, get a digital unit at a store a bunch are powered on and you can see " off %" units. Then get a few bids-ideas from floor companies.
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HELP!!! wrote:

To me the crystallization is an indication of moisture seepage and not a basement flood/ water flow. This happens when water is weeping through the walls. You can look it up on the internet. It might not be mold behild the moulding (note spelling) at all but just crystal outgrowth. Make sure your gutters are working and clear of leaves and that your house landscape is graded properly.
I wouldn't rip the boards up not for sure. You would just disturb whatever it is and disperse it into the air. I would expect yoru wife being pregnant and higher smell sensitivity would be experiencing problems before the child is born if there were an issue.
Don't mess with it now. Youll be too busy to finish it by next week. Congratulations as well.
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Thank you,



"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
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