How to Clean Mold in Basements

Mold in the basement can ruin your belongings, rot furniture, and cause health problems. This is especially true for people who have asthma, chronic bronchitis, or other breathing issues. Fortunately, most small contaminations can be cleared up and future outbreaks prevented by following several simple steps.

  • Plastic bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • Face mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Spray bottle
  • Bleach
  • Anti-fungal cleanser
  • Stiff brush
  • Old rags
  • Dehumidifier
Remove all furniture and boxes from the basement. Identify and seal off any leaks that may be allowing moisture to seep into the basement. Use a dehumidifier or large fan to dry out the basement as much as possible.

Inspect the wall insulation for signs of mold. Remove any insulation that appears to be contaminated.

Lightly spray any dry spots of mold with water. This will minimize the amount of mold dust released into the air when you begin to clean.

Fill a bucket with warm water and either bleach or a commercial anti-fungal cleanser. If you use bleach, dilute the bleach so that there is 1/4 cup of bleach for every gallon of water. If you use a commercial cleaner, follow the directions on the bottle for the correct dilution ratio. Using a stiff brush, apply the bleach solution to any contaminated spots and scrub until the mold is gone.

Dry the walls and floors with old rags to remove as much moisture as possible. Run a dehumidifier in the basement until it is completely dry.

Install new wall insulation in areas where it was removed during Step 2. Clean all mold off your furniture and boxes before returning them to the basement. If an item cannot be cleaned, it should be discarded so it does not reintroduce mold into your clean basement.

Dispose of any clothing or rags that may have contacted the mold so you do not spread it into the rest of your home. Seal the contaminated items in a plastic bag before throwing them in the trash.

Tips and Warnings

  • Repeat these cleaning steps every six months to one year to keep new mold from growing in the basement. Use a dehumidifier in the basement if you are concerned about moisture buildup between cleanings.

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