Our basement flooded twice in the past month. The last flood was about
two weeks ago. A few days ago a dark green fur appeared along the
bottom of our walls in the basement. Also there was a greyish fluff on
the bottom on the ground in several spots.
If you visit this link you can see pictures of what i'm talking about:
Is this mold? Is there anyway I can check for sure?
We've only been living in the building since July and there was no
indication of mold until now. Is it possible for mold to appear so
What would be the best way to clean it, if it is mold?
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
*It's mold and there is probably moisture behind the wall to support its
growth. Most likely this has happened before, but the previous owners did a
good job of covering it up for the sale. I would cut out the entire lower
section of the wall and see what's going on back there.
Do you know why the basement flooded? You will need to address that problem
as well. You might want to consider consulting with several basement
John's right. Get rid of the contaminated drywall. Then you need to
treat the wall cavities with mold proofing materials as recommended by
experts of your choice (Yellow Pages). Finally, install mold proof
drywall and future water incursions (hopefully minimized, as below)
won't cause mold problems.
An essential step. Dry houses are healthy houses, with the added
benefit of a very important feature to offer a future buyer should the
OP need to move.
Thanks for the responses everyone.
The basement is flooding because there is a drain that is connected to
what I assume is a sewer line and it backed up due to extremely heavy
In regards to identifying it, my landlord was trying to convince me
that it wasn't mold and that mold couldn't grow so quickly. I thought
she was wrong, but I couldn't say for sure.
Thanks for the advice.
The best way is to tell the landlord to have it professionally
irradicated. It can be rather expensive. That's why the landlord does
not want to admit it's mold. And landlord must fix it because SOME molds
are toxic. Mold is everywhere but some people are very sensitive/alergic
to even non-toxic types. Landlord cannot rent it in the future if there
is mold. If there are other apts and people get wind of your mold
problem they will start an uproar. Landlord will have severe expenses.
Here's some of the things a particular company in NY does:
Maybe you local city services will do mold testing since you are a
If you clean it and there is a problem later the landlord can use you as
an out saying YOU took care of it and as far as landlord knew everything
The one fact everyone will agree on is landlords/homeowners do not want to hear
It *is* mold without a doubt, and your landlord should be ashamed of
herself for trying to dismiss this health-hazard.
Does this look familiar?
Later on that night, after I had entered this house to inspect the damage, I
became ill for at least a day.
If I had actually remained in that house overnight, I would
imagine that I would have needed hospitalization.
This needs to be fixed before anything else then. It may be pretty simple
like a pump above it.
It's mold for sure and it can grow pretty fast, but that has the look of a
longer embedded one into the wall that had a hasty clean up, probably
painted over as well, before rental.
Before you panic, in some areas this is really common and folks do not get
'sick all the time' from it. It just depends on how damp your area is.
I've seen the green sort many times and it's not the one to worry about
(although it will damage wood in time). It's the black fan shaped stuff you
need to worry about as potentially that can make some people sick.
The floor looked to be packed earth to me? That means it's going to be a
bit damp as there's no vapor barrier. Normally not so damp as to make mold,
but can happen in a wetter than normal seasons for their area. (Truely wet
places dont have dirt packed floored basements BTW).
If I'm wrong due to the pictures not being that detailed enough to be sure,
tell me what the floor looks like? Is it concrete with little hairline
cracks? Easy fix if so (have to be truely hairline).
Please realize that a newsgroup is just a collection of people and you can
get excellent, middling, and horrible advice ;-)
Don't assume the rental laws of your area, mean the landlord has to fix it,
or will be forced to. That varies by area. The only thing fairly certain
is in the USA (not sure you are posting from USA or not), you can break a
lease over this and get your deposit back for early termination if the mold
isn't addressed and you have medical issues that are potentially affected by
molds. You may have to go to a small claims court, but you'll win (get a
few more detailed close ups if planning that and save all your pics). In
the meantime, knowing your area will help to address the situation.
For example, if this was a rental house in Norfolk area, (It wouldnt be
unless north of it due to having a basement muchless what appears to be a
dirt floor one), the landlord isnt obligated to fix it but has to let you
terminate lease early and give you back your deposit (minus any other
damages you may have caused but nothing frivolous to add up to your deposit
or you can beat them in small claims easily). If you are in Boston, or
upper NY state etc, rules probably vary. To what extent, I do not know.
It's been my experience that most packed dirt floor basements (root cellers
originally in older houses) are fairly far north (snows every year and
sticks) or the dryer parts of the mid-west.
Addressing the mold for now- Spray bottle with bleach and water,
dehumidifier. Pray for no more rain until you can get the drain dealt with.
It sounds like you need a basement pump? Not familiar with those really.
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