I have a small multi-unit building with a large basement attached to each
apartment. The basements are about 4 feet below grade. We have a lot of
areas, mostly in the basement, where mold is growing.
We have tried to dry the area as much as possible. However, this is
seemingly impossible because of condensation on cold water pipes (exposed
pipes are insulated but some are in the ceiling). In addition, because the
basements are partially below grade some ground water inevitably seeps
through the cinder block and concrete walls.
Is there any way to stop the mold. Any advice would be appreciated
Bleach is a good Mold killer or chlorine....but none are preventers
from having it return. You hit the nail on the head when you said you gotta
keep the place dry. Might I suggest putting in a humidistat and hook it to a
fan?....The humidistat will detect the moisture and the fan will kick in to
airate the area....hope that was of some help....Jim
Fans will only help of there is dry air available to dry the water,
That depends on where the OP is. In Arizona, it mwy work. In most of
the south, no chance. It sounds loke the air is already damp, hence
the condensation on the pipes. A dehumidifier would br brtter. But
getting rid of the water before it comes into the house would be best.
The obvious, short-term solution is to use bleach to kill the mold.
Another short-term mitigator is the use of a dehumidifier.
But you are only treating a symptom. The condensation on the
pipes is probably only a small part of the source of your problems.
Water seeping through the block foundation is probably the major
problem. If you notice some leaking, then the walls are probably
frequently damp and the humidity levels are often high due to that
Mold grows best in cool, damp environments. Getting rid of the
water infiltration is the only permanent solution. There is a LOT of
advise on this issue in the archives from this newsgroup and others
(use Google) and at your public library. Generally (95% of the time)
applying a "waterproof cement coating" to the basement walls will
not work well for more than a very, very short time.
As others have said, you need to reduce/eliminate the water
problem. Pipe condensation would have to be extremely severe to
be any part of the problem.
Exterior walls that are wet/damp/moist are prime suspects. The
very first thing to do is to make an assessment of exterior
drainage. The number one cause of damp problems is surface water
that is not getting away from the building. Code requires 1/2"
per foot for the first 10 feet. This does not happen often. Make
sure gutters and downspouts are directed and/or piped far away
from the foundation. Make sure you don't have flower beds and
shrubs against the building, especially cute little planters with
landscape timbers that really hold the water, full of wood chips
and moss. Make sure sidewalks, drives, and parking surfaces have
proper fall away from the building.
If you can honestly say that these issues don't exist, then I'm
afraid you may be looking at excavating the exterior to install a
french drain system and damp proofing the exterior basement walls.
If the problem is under floor, it is possible to install an
interior french drain system piped to a sump pit.
Top posted for your convenience)
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)
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