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Black Mold in Basement: How to Get Rid of Them? (Answered)

Hygiene is a very important part of our livelihood – maintaining bad hygiene can result in many diseases to us, our family and pets as well. Bad hygiene also causes your homes to change as well and increases the chance of infect and fungi infestation. 

One such common occurrence is the infestation of black mold. This guide details how you can get rid of black mold from your house or basement.

What causes black mold in the basement?

Black mold can grow on corners of your home or in the basement if the atmosphere is suitable for its growth. Black mold tends to grow on cold and damp areas – mostly if there are leaks from pipes. Basements without access to sunlight or without the source of light and heat allow mold growth as well.

Black Mold can grow in your basement the atmosphere is suitable for them to grow and thrive, below listed are some of the causes which enable the growth of black mold in your basement:

Damp Atmosphere:

Black mold grows in cool and damp atmospheres, so if your basement is much damper and humid compared to the rest of your house, then it sets the scene for mold growth.

Especially during the summer seasons, the humidity tends to be high and if the temperature is cold inside – it will enable black mold growth.

Cracks Or Leaks on Walls and Roofs:

Water leaking into the basement is one of the most likely reasons for the increased humidity. 

If there are cracks on the walls and leaks on the roofs of your basement, then there is a high chance that water might seep into your basement during rain or storm – or from other parts of the house. 

This is clearly noticeable as molds start growing from those cracked or leaked areas which makes it easier to identify them.

No Path to Flush Out the Water:

Having a leak from a continuously flowing water source but no place in the basement to flush out the water would inevitably cause the water to accumulate over time and cause flooding. 

Once your basement has large patches of water, it will cause the humidity to rise rapidly and allow black mold growth if you don’t effectively clean the area and dry it.

Condensation From AC/HVAC:

Not just leaks can cause water to accumulate in your basement, sources of indirect water such as exhaust pipes of AC and HVAC units can cause water to deposit into the basement. 

If the exhaust pipe of your AC/HVAC runs through your basement area, you may notice that water has deposited in that area as the water vapor around the exhaust pipes have condensed due to the cold exhaust running through the pipes.

Poor Ventilation:

Ventilation is another major reason to enable black mold growth since without proper ventilation, the air would remain moist and cold. 

Dirty filters in your AC or HVAC as well as lack of air vents in your basement can also cause poor ventilation and thus lead to mold growth.

How to get rid of black mold in the basement?

Getting rid of black mold requires you to clean up your basement and make some changes to it to prevent further growth. Make sure there are no leaks in your basement, the air humidity is low, the basement is well ventilated and there is a light source to keep the temperature up.

Keep your basement clean:

Keeping your basement clean is the primary step of preventing mold growth since cleaning your basement would actively remove any existing black mold spores that might be present. 

Apart from that, clean basements aren’t the ideal growth conditions for black mold – therefore, make sure to clean all the corners as well.

Reduce the moisture from air:

Moisture is the biggest contributing factor for black mold growth and they may also damage your walls if they haven’t been damp-proofed. 

In order to remove moisture from the air, you can use a dehumidifier once in a while when you are cleaning your basement to make sure that the air is dry. 

In addition to that, you should damp-proof your walls as well if they aren’t to prevent the air becoming damp from the moisture seeping through the walls.

Remove damp items or clothing:

If you tend to keep damp or sweaty clothing items, papers or any other items in your basement. The water would evaporate off those items and increase the moisture in the air and thus create an ideal atmosphere for black mold growth. 

Damp items or clothing can get infected with fungi and mold as well as causing your basement to be moldy – which is a serious health concern and thus you should dry those items in sunlight or dryer.

Keep your basement tidy:

If you use your basement with different materials that have tendency to absorb water – such as wood, paper, cardboard, fabric – they would increase the chances of having black mold growing. Since they will be actively trapping moisture from the air and dampen. 

As time passes by, they will be damp enough to cause the air to be damp as well and influence black mold growth.

Repair leaks and cracks:

Leaks in the roofing of your basement and cracks on the walls of your basement create a passage for water to enter into your basement during storms or heavy rains. 

If the walls of your basement aren’t damp-proofed then they will absorb the water and spread across the walls. If your basement doesn’t have gutters or have them blocked, the water coming through the cracks will start to form a puddle. 

To fix this issue, it is suggested that you use sealants to repair the cracks and unclog gutters.

Ensure proper ventilation:

Cold temperatures are favorable conditions for black mold to grow and thrive in, and if your basement doesn’t have proper ventilation and air flow – the temperature would start to fall and be low. 

To combat this, you can include air vents or use dehumidifiers to keep the air warm and dry. In case adding air vents aren’t possible, include a source of light and regularly dehumidify the basement.

Remove any carpeting from your basement:

Carpets and rugs are excellent absorbers of moisture and if it comes in contact with water, it would get distributed throughout the carpet. 

In such cases, black mold might grow underneath the carpets – therefore, it is crucial that you either remove the carpets or check them weekly.

Don’t keep plants in the basement:

Plants need water to survive and soil can hold the water for days if the temperature is cool. If your basement doesn’t have any direct sunlight or light source, the soil can become a source of black mold. 

Thus, it is suggested that you remove any plants that may be present in the basement.

Is black mold in the basement dangerous?

Black molds aren’t usually dangerous and can easily be dealt with while cleaning, but if people are sensitive to mold spores and have allergies, they may cause throat irritation and even lead to serious illnesses. 

Usually, black mold is harmful for people with asthma and other breathing problems and can pose health risks.

Black mold, similar to other molds, compromise the air quality and thus if the mold is left untreated – it can result in breathing disease and eventually serious health concerns. 

Black mold spores are also dangerous, which can pose significant health problems if inhaled. Mold spores are known to multiply rapidly and distribute themselves across the area. 

In case there are patients who have respiratory diseases such as COPD and Cystic Fibrosis nearby, these molds could cause major issues.

How to prevent black mold in the basement?

Black mold can grow in several parts of your basement, you can prevent black mold growth in all parts of them:

Basement floor:

Black mold grows on floors if there aren’t any gutters or if they are blocked, in which case – any water that may have entered can’t exit and forms a puddle. This can be prevented by building gutters or cleaning the floor regularly.

Basement wall and ceiling:

Walls and ceilings are subject to leaks and cracks which allow water to seep through and cause black mold growth. This can be resolved by using damp-proofing paint to coat both the walls and the ceilings.

Basement bathroom: 

Make sure the water from the basement bathroom doesn’t leak to the basement floor by having an elevated partitioning between bathroom floor and basement floor. 

Also, make sure that your basement bathroom remains dry after use and the water outlets are properly turned off. 

Final thoughts

If the conditions are right, black mold might grow in the basement or on the corners of your house. Black mold typically develops in damp, cold places where pipes are leaking or cracks where rainwater seeped in. Mold can also grow in basements without good lighting, heat, or access to the sunlight.