My basement has some mold growing on the walls. It's not too bad, only in
one area where the water pump sits. I don't think there is any water coming
in from the outside (there is another utility area on the other side of this
wall, which is mold free). I improved the ventilation, took care of some
condensation problems (the most likely culprit), and added a dehumidifier,
so I'm read to tackle what will hopefully the last of the mold.
There are plenty of posts (and answers!) on mold removal, but not on what
I've scrubbed the walls down with Chlorox and a striff bristle brush. Gone
over it several times. The walls are cement block, painted white. The paint
has held up well, no flaking. The appearance of the blocks has improved, but
there are still a brownish/ blackish stains on the blocks, especially in and
around the mortar lines. Do I need to keep scrubbing it until it's ALL gone,
or is that overkill? Would a wire brush help?
Overkill. You could use a toothbrush with straight bleach, being
careful not to splatter on yourself, if you want overkill. Some mildew
leaves a stain, which I would expect to be more permanent on latex
paint. Folks panic at mention of the word "mold", but if it looks
clean, it probably is clean. There might be more moisture on the mortar
if some is from seepage, but any significant amount of seepage ought to
make the paint peel.
You've gone about it the right way by fixing the environment first, but
don't forget - the bleach doesn't "kill" the mould, it merely bleaches it
white/whiter. Better to use a borax based solution, or one of the EPA
approved formulas designed to actually kill the mould.
Whether it's "toxic" mould, or not there's some good tips here:
"Killing" or "removing" or "cleaning"? Bleach is a good, but strong and
hazardous, product to use to clean up mold growth. Without correcting
the conditions that allow mold growth, using bleach is kind of like
running a dehumidifier outdoors when it is raining .. the dehumidifier
is doing what it is supposed to do (removing moisture from the air) but,
of course, not changing the basic condition. Mold spores are everywhere
(like the rain outdoors) and will grow where/when conditions are right.
High humidity helps them a lot.
OP said he did a lot to correct the humidity. Wise move. Bleach is a
good cleaner, but not for wood or metal surfaces, and tough to use
without proper ventillation.
"Toxic" mold might depend a bit on who is living with it .. plain old
household dust is tough on people with allergies or asthma. Basic
housekeeping practices help .. don't accumulate stuff that is housing or
food for pests, vacuum thoroughly and regularly, sunlight and
ventillation, repair/replace water damaged wood and wallboard.
Bleach does kill mold by removing oxygen. If it were my basement, and I
do this, I just spray on bleach on suspect areas and thats it. A garden
sprayer does large areas fast. If its on the walls spray other areas,
keep humidity below 65%
1. Does Clorox Cleanup with Bleach have enough bleach to kill mold?
2. If there is wood paneling with mold should I spray it down before moving
it out not to spread the spores or does it not matter?
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