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Mold Thrives in Damp or Wet Basements

Joseph Coupal - Monday, May 09, 2011

Mold problems might occur with home basement dampness or flooding. Mold is a living organism that thrives in wet or damp environments. Usually, the food source for mold is cellulose such as the paper on drywall, wood products or paint on concrete. It can even appear on the surface of metal in the right conditions.
Therefore a home and its contents are a food source for mold. Many people believe that molds can be cleaned with household bleach. When you clean mold with bleach you will see the mold disappear. But the underlying root system of them mold is unaffected by the bleach, and the molds will reappear within a few days.

You can't clean mold; it must be removed from your home. In the case of mold-infested drywall, paneling and acoustical ceiling tiles, the damaged areas should be cut out and discarded. You do not often see mold on older homes with plastered walls, but it will appear on the paint on the plaster. When this happens, the paint should be scraped off to remove the root system before repainting.

Mold usually does not appear on fabrics, but they can carry mold that can be transferred to cellulose and wood products in your house. So, wet or damp carpeting should be removed to allow the wood-floor surface to dry. Vinyl floor coverings also must be removed if you notice dark spots forming under the finished surface of the vinyl.

If you have a large mold problem in your home, it should be professionally mitigated and the humidity in your home should be controlled with a dehumidifier. Cracks in the basement concrete floor and/or foundation that allow in water need to be repaired. Continuous water damage or moisture in your home exacerbates the mold problem and may lead to issues with the structural integrity of your home or foundation.  The most important control for mold in any home is humidity control. Keep the area dry, because without moisture, though molds may be present, it cannot thrive.

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