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Old 07-28-2012, 08:27 PM   #1
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Half basement mold question

I apologize if this is in the wrong spot for this thread but I am trying to figure out what it is about the construction of my home that is causing mold to form.

My basement is split in half by a wall which is constructed of 2x4s and drywall with no insulation. One half is unfinished dirt with a vapor barrier (plastic that covers most the ground) and the other side is poured concrete. Neither side has air conditioning although the upstairs A/C unit is in the half that is not concrete.

The first problem is that there is a LOT of condensation coming from the A/C unit and the insulated air ducts. At one point I was having to shop-vac a gallon or so of condensate a day that collected on the vapor barrier. Most of this dripped from the AC unit itself but I have confirmed that the drain is not blocked.

Second problem is that I just noticed that everything on the cement half of the basement that is porous had mold on it. Wood tables, drywall, cardboard, everything. The mold on the drywall was noticeable only between the studs on the cement side of the basement. The two halves of the basement are not sealed and air can freely flow between the floor joists at the top of the separation wall from one half to the other.

I bought the appropriate gear and started removing the mold earlier this weekend. I trashed a lot of my scrap wood and did several passes of vacuuming with a fine bag filter and a LOT of home remedy mold killer/inhibitor. I also have a 70pint dehumidifier and a HEPA filtration unit running down there since I will be working down there in the days after I finish the clean-up.

What is the problem here? My first instinct is to completely separate the halves using insulation but I am open to suggestions. I can post pics or provide drawings if that would help out. BTW, the home is located on a hill but well above the water table. Home is in South Carolina.

Thanks in advance.


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Old 07-28-2012, 09:50 PM   #2
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High moisture is never a good thing. In Canada, the A/C units are mounted outside. Not sure where you are from, is this unit common in your area ?


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Old 07-28-2012, 09:58 PM   #3
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Simple things like adding gutters, making sure the grade runs away from the foundation, no mulch piled up againt the foundation can go a long way to get rid of some of it.
Is there any foundation vents, and if so how many and are they open?
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Old 07-28-2012, 10:05 PM   #4
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The a/c is a heat pump. Here is a diagram:


There are many vents on both sides of the wall. I noticed the mold when all vents were open as well as the door between the halves. I also had a fan sucking air out one of the vents on the cement side.

Humidity was over 80% with all vents open. I closed them all and have been running the dehumidifier for 2 days and it is down to 60% on the cement side with the door closed.
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