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Old 08-06-2008, 08:58 PM   #1
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Dampness with mold need help!


Hello everyone. I need some help with an area in my basement. Along the front of the house under the front porch is a cenderblock area with door the length of the front of the home and about 4' wide. I am not sure what this area was orignally constructed for but my wife and I used it for storage. After a few summer months I went in for some items it was damp, wet on floor and most items were covered in mold. How can I stopped this from happening again? WHAT WE HAVE DONE SO FAR---------> With proper protection carrried everything out of there, threw out anything that was made of fabric and soap and water and H2O bleach combo the other items wipe down and dry. Placed a dehumidifier inside and shut door. This is a walk way storage type area front porch above head and to the left and to the right are cinderblocks. On the other side of door is the finished basement. So when you enter the basement it is the finished basement there will be a door on left and this behind the dooris this area which has the trouble. You tell me whats next to return this torestored area? Thanks for help and input!

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Old 08-06-2008, 09:34 PM   #2
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Dampness with mold need help!


I had a basement wall leakage problem that was solved by increasing the amount of dirt at the ground level on the outside of the wall creating a small hill that sloped away from the house. Any water running down the wall will be directed away from the wall.
I also opened up any cracks that I could see and filled them with a hydraulic cement that I bought at the hardware store.


There was also a product available at Lowe's that was designed to be painted on an unfinished surface (never before painted) which was supposed to keep moisture on the other side of the paint.

The dehumidifier sounds like a great idea too.

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Old 08-06-2008, 10:19 PM   #3
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Dampness with mold need help!


You should call the mold police (Pros that do this all the time)...very expensive.

IF you can't afford them and need to try to do this yourself:
Read up on the health risks...and then make a decision.

Seal this area off from the basement. Frame a wall and cover both sides with 6 mil plastic. You are trying to isolate spores that are just over 3 microns. SO SEAL TIGHT.

You need to ask why did this mold bloom... what condition might have helped this happen...did stored item restrict air flow (ventilation) why is the area damper than it had been? try to solve ? Is the water table up?
do I need a sump pump? do I need to add vents?

go to a good janitorial supply store and ask what they have for mold.
I use good hospital grade products good on mold, staff etc.
20" box fan at the exterior door blowing outward. Bring some light under there also. You should have a rated mask...I smoke so I don't bother with the mask. put chem in pump sprayer and give it all EVERYTHING a good soak. Let it dry...do it again...let it dry...check it all..do it again.

Take the plastic down on treat side... Spray the back and studs on the wall you built. let that dry ...take it all down..

You could spray the area with a white pigmented shellac...typical protocol procedure. Sanding exposed wood can also be called for.

This is a good time to buy a hepa air purifier...buy extra filters..

Run this in your basement while you are treating the problem area.

When done... toss the filter...bag it right away. Clean the unit... use some of your chem.

Not a real fun DIY project...you should hire this out if you can.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:41 AM   #4
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Dampness with mold need help!


You didn't state what area you are in. More specifically, what the climate is like in your location or how old your home is. It was quite common for people to create areas under a front porch like yours to use as cold cellars or root cellars. first, be sure that rain water is not getting through the porch floor. I don't know what the porch construction is, but I suspect that the problem you are having is being caused by condensation. Warm, moist air from your basement is entering the space under the porch, where the moisture is condensing on the cold surfaces. What you'll need to do is add some ventilation to this area. In very similar situations, I've bored holes through the block very close to the top of the wall and placed louvered vents with screening behind them. At least one on either end to promote some cross flow of outside air through the space. If the porch floor is wood framed, you can place the vents between the joists. As far as the mold, it is outside of your living space and you've done the right thing by treating it with a bleach solution. Drying out the area will end the mold growth. You could HEPA vac the surfaces within the space, although with block walls it will have limited worth.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:13 AM   #5
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Dampness with mold need help!


We live in the northern part of the country and it had been humid for a period of time. For the way this is going I'm not exactly sure what I could put in there since this happend that wont get ruined. Does anyone know what this area was intended for when built? Canning foods maybe? When we bought house we thought nice inside area for storage...mmm now what? The water line running through there also is sweating like theres no tomorrow. I got an insulation cover for that. Maybe that will help with the cause since that is water being generated inside room (possibly main source). By the by Ill be back have to empty humidifier.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:44 AM   #6
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Dampness with mold need help!


Above my head the floor for the front porch wood with concrete under that. Whcih makes the front porch concrete with wood underneath. At one point the wood section of 2' by 1' was removed so its some sort of insulation sheet and then the concrete. My question to you is where the joists come into the house sitting on top of the blocks can I put some of that spray insulation foam?????? It seems pretty open without and a highway for insects. Could help with water situation bugs etc.. maybe I should pick up a can? Your thoughts.
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:50 PM   #7
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Dampness with mold need help!


If I understand this correctly, the floor joists from the living portion of the house continue out into this space, then have concrete poured on top with some sort of insulation board between the wooden porch floor and the concrete overlay? In my area, it is not too unusual to see the living room floor joists extend out to support the porch floor. The space between the house foundation and the porch was used for a cold cellar or a coal bin sometimes. It is not a particularly good construction method since the porch section of the joists are dependant on maintaining the porch flooring in a really good state of repair to keep them dry. I've never seen someone overlay the porch with concrete. First thing is to make sure you aren't getting ground water in from a clogged downspout and that all surface water is draining away from the area. If you are sure that these items are taken care of, then look at the underside of the concrete slab. That is probably causing part of the problem since the moisture can no longer travel out through the wooden floor. Insulating between the joists below your living area is probably a good idea, but won't solve the moisture issue. As I see it, you have a few options. Either warm the space to above dew point or vent it to remove the moisture before it condenses or dehumidify the space. If this space has a dirt floor, cover it with plastic sheet. A dehumidifier in this space may take care of the problem during the warm humid months, but won't help you out in cooler temperatures. You really need to get the space dried out before it causes damage to the wooden structure. I am now assuming that the line you mention going through the space is your water supply to the home. Since you mention that the water line is sweating, then there is obviously enough moisture in the air that it can be condensed out. The water line will make it especially hard to vent the space without freezing the pipe.
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:21 PM   #8
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Dampness with mold need help!


We bought this house not too long ago and with that being said in front of the home are large holly bushes, spreading ewes etc... that are from what im told oversized and too close to the home. My wife and I are thinking of cutting all down and replace with some perenials so that sunlight can reach the ground there and somewhat soak up some of the dampness. Your thoughts?????? Do you think this will help. Holly's are like 5' wide 5' deep and 4' high and right up against the home.

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