MDF and Mold in the basement cabinent hiding my sump pum area

I recently had my basement finished. The contractor used MDF to build
cabinet around my sump pump area. It has been about three months sinc the basement was finished. I decided now to have the cabinet painted While looking at the cabinet I noticed mold growning on the inside o the doors. I have been told several things by others. 1st) The cabine should be vented due to the sump pump, 2nd) I need to be sure the MD isnt resting on the concrete as it will suck the water up like a wick 3rd) Get it painted right away after cleaning the mold off with bleach like substance. Is the contractor responisble for this proble at all? I did plan on painting the basement myself, but ws never tol to get it done due to possible molding.
Thanks Domini
-- Dominic
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Not much venting is needed to compensate for what a pump will move. Natural leaks at doors or floor should take care of that.
#2 and #3, yes.
It should have been painted. If you wee doing the painting, the problem is yours as that is what was agreed to. Personally, I'd have used something very open with screening to prevent mold from forming. Sump, water, mold, just stop and think about it.
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Hi Dominic, I think the reason no one has answered is that no one can believe that someone would use MDF for such an application. I would think that water resistant plywood or painted MDO would be the reasonable choices. Cheers, JG

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Well thanks to both of you for replying. The painting discussion wa
that I would do any finishing painting. So there was never an discussion about needing to primer due to any possible problem. No being a contractor I would have never thought that there would be an problems. We didnt paint the inside of the home for two years after th building was completed. Looking at the contract there was a price fo finishing painting, which we declined.
JG, They said they have used this materials 150 times and never had an problems. I guess they assumed I would paint it immediatley. Th contractor came over and bleached out the doors and any mold areas They are allowing it to dry for four days with the cabinet doors open We will then close it for a couple more to see if any of the mol returns. They did say they will put a primer coat on the MDF inside an out using Kilz.
JGS Wrote:

-- Dominic
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I'd be certain to use a mildewcide in the paint. I'm not sure if I'm spelling that correctly, but the product prevents mold from growing in the paint film.
I'd also be concerned that mold would return no matter what. If this is a small, closed-off area, would it be possible to add some ventilation in some way? Perhaps a vent at floor level and a small (nearly invisible and inaudible) fan up high? Something no larger than one of the larger muffin fans used for electronics cooling.
Dominic wrote:

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Dominic wrote:

Painting and priming are both painting. Unless your contract specifically differentiated, they're both your responsibility.
The mold is also yours. Three things are needed for mold to grow. Moisture, the correct temperature range, and mold spores. It's your house and you're the one feeding the mold growth. Unless your contract specifically called for the contractor to deal with the mold, it's your responsibility.
Waiting days after cleaning off the mold to see if it will come back makes no sense. Clean it, let it dry, paint it. A bleach solution for cleaning, and mildecide paint or mildecide additive to regular paint. There are primer and top coat systems that give guarantees against the mold returning within a specified time period, but it's still your house and your actions or inactions supporting the growth.
For a sump pump cover I would not have used MDF. There are PVC wood substitutes and composite decking materials which are far more suitable.
R
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What are your suggestions to stop this from continuing. Ripping th cabinent out and replacing it with another type of material? They als used MDF on the window sills. Should I have those replaced as well? W have been in the house a total of four years now. We have never had mold problem until the cabinent (4 ft tall with 2 doors to access th sump pump) was built. I have not changed anything in my basement as fa as heating or ventilation. I have not changed the tempature, I have no added any moisture, and I did not put mold spores into the cabinent. am simply a consumer that paid to have a basement finished and asked t paint the walls myself. I suppose from now on I will have to get lawyer involved before putting another addition onto my house nex year.
Thanks D
Painting and priming are both painting. Unless your contract specifically differentiated, they're both your responsibility.
The mold is also yours. Three things are needed for mold to grow. Moisture, the correct temperature range, and mold spores. It's your house and you're the one feeding the mold growth. Unless you contract specifically called for the contractor to deal with the mold, it' your responsibility.
Waiting days after cleaning off the mold to see if it will come back makes no sense. Clean it, let it dry, paint it. A bleach solutio for cleaning, and mildecide paint or mildecide additive to regular paint. There are primer and top coat systems that give guarantees against the mold returning within a specified time period, but it's still your house and your actions or inactions supporting the growth.
For a sump pump cover I would not have used MDF. There are PVC wood substitutes and composite decking materials which are far more suitable.
-- Dominic
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In addition to the others suggestions about killing the mold and then painting, I would like to suggest the following:
The cabinet over the sump pump area holds in the water vapor and it is building up to levels that allow the mold to grow. Even if you paint the inside and outside of the cabinet and kill all of the mold that is there now it will come back because of the high humidity inside the cabinet. In order to keep the mold from growing you will need to ventilate the cabinet. You could put louvers in the doors so the air in the cabinet is free to exchange with the air in the room or a vent pipe to the outside of the house with a small fan to draw the high humidity air out of the cabinet. Whatever method you choose will have to change the air in the cabinet several times a day to keep the humidity levels low inside the cabinet. You can't eliminate the source of the humidity, which is the water in the sump, so you will have to find a way of removing the water vapor. We boat owners deal with this problem all the time in below deck rooms and cabinets. Ventilation is the only solution that solves the problem.
--
Charley


"Dominic" < snipped-for-privacy@diybanter.com> wrote in message
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Dominic wrote:

I can understand a bit of frustration as you learn your way through this little problem, but the lawyer bit is being a bit melodramatic, no?
Spores are everywhere. You don't have to go out of your way to physically place them somewhere. Open your door and you're letting in spores. Step on the carpet and you're stirring up spores. That's the world we live in.
Another poster pointed out that the sump is supplying the moisture that the mold needs to grow. Since the sump pump is there to deal with the water, you can't remove that. What remains is to prevent mold growth.
As I mentioned previously, MDF would not have been my choice for the sump cover. Not because of the mold, but because of how MDF reacts to water. If it is cleaned, the mold killed, and you use mildecide primer and paint, and periodically check the cover for mold (maintenance is often simply periodically checking the status), you should be able to keep the mold in check. I would also consider placing one of those silica gel containers, such as DampRid, inside the cover to absorb the excess moisture.
Immediately painting the MDF would have gone a long way to ameliorating your present situation. Paint is not merely a cosmetic finish. Unfortunately the questions you need to ask before starting a project aren't apparent until you're in the project and the questions arise due to problems.
In the greater scheme of things this is a small problem. A little mold won't kill you and it won't get out of control unless you let it. Consider this a wakeup call and a learning experience.
R
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The sump pump does not have an MDF cover. The cover is a metal li with two holes in the top to allow the pvc pipes to eject the water Should this cover be sealed in some fashion like the ejector pit fo the bathroom? The MDF was used to construct a cabinent around the are of the sump pump. Are you suggesting I put this Damprid inside th cabinent?
R
As I mentioned previously, MDF would not have been my choice for the sump cover. Not because of the mold, but because of how MDF reacts to water. If it is cleaned, the mold killed, and you use mildecide primer and paint, and periodically check the cover for mold (maintenance is often simply periodically checking the status), you should be able to keep the mold in check. I would also consider placing one of those silica gel containers, such as DampRid, inside the cover to absorb the excess moisture.
-- Dominic
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Dominic wrote:

Yes, I understood that the actual sump cover was not MDF, and that the MDF was some sort of cabinet/cover hiding the cover. And, also yes, the tub of DampRid inside the MDF box will absorb excess moisture. This becomes a maintenance thing like changing storm door screens for glass in winter. The silica gel can be put in the oven at a temperature of about 300 degrees to dry it out so it can be reused. It will last indefinitely.
R
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