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Old 10-22-2011, 07:58 AM   #1
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Mould on basement walls


I, house is 70 years old, solid concrete pour basement, it's in quiet good shape.

One wall gets mould however most walls have a white flaky coating (lime?), these walls never had mould, some walls and most of the floor is painted grey, what is this paint?

I think there is way to much water outside on part of the wall that gets mould, however there's no full heating down there yet

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Old 10-24-2011, 07:24 AM   #2
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Mould on basement walls


Hi,

Mold can be a result of many factors in your home. The two things that the mold needs to grow is 1) moisture and 2)"food" source- which is typically going to be construction materials such as lumber, drywall, and in your case, your concrete walls.

The white, flacky material that you are seeing is what is called effleflorescents. This is basically earth minerals that come from the ground and your concrete walls as water passes through them. Much of it is in fact lime and other such minerals but are typically not harmful to your health. This is, however, a good sign that there is a drainage issue on the exterior of your home causing water and moisture to enter into your structure.

You may try to go outside and see what the grade of your land is like. Does the land slope towards or away from your home? Do you have gutters to direct rain water away from your home? Often times we find that there is adaquate slope and gutter installed however there are no downspout extensions on the gutter which in result simply drops the shed water next to your home allowing it to sink in and flood the home.

To get rid of the mold you will want to do a remediation. If you have over 50 sqft of the mold I would reccomend you contact a local mold remediation company to assist you. Otherwise you can purchase products to kill, clean, and inhibit mold growth at your local home improvment center (typically found in the paint department). You will want to remove any heavy soil with a medium detergeant, allow dry then apply the product using either a sprayer or rent/buy a fogger.

Also, double check for ventilation. Many times you can fix a mold issue by cleaning it and ensuring there is proper ventilation.

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Old 10-26-2011, 06:27 AM   #3
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Mould on basement walls


It would be impossible for us to tell what paint was used. The white flakey material is likely efflorescence which are free alkalies within the concrete that are leached to the surface by the excessive moisture within the concrete. Common household molds need 3 things to thrive. Organic food, moisture 60% relative humidity or .6 water content and temperatures between 40 and 110 degrees. In your case the mold is living on accumulated organic dirt on the wall surface not on the concrete itself (no organics in concrete, but residue from form oil certainly may have some). Solve the moisture problem first. Otherwise, any effort to eliminate mold is wasted. Scrub the afflicted wall with a detergent compound to remove any dirt and the mold. You can then treat with a fungicide if needed. At times, efflorescence can resemble mold. I've seen it grow in hair-like, fuzzy looking strands that are actually chains of crystals. Adding heat may do two things. It may dry out the moisture and solve some of your problems, or it may make the climate even more inviting for mold.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:41 PM   #4
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Mould on basement walls


Are you sure that it is not something else. Mildew would be my first guess over mold. Can you post pictures.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:50 PM   #5
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Mould on basement walls


Pics in the next few days, the white isnt a "post water" mark, it was something put on after oil tanks were used (theres a huge gap where a tank used to be with bare concrete behind it).

Looking at other houses built about 30-40 years ago they seem to have used the same grey paint...
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:21 AM   #6
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Mould on basement walls


what type of specialtist should you call for efflorescence? I have a bit in my basement as well. Land grade seems to be ok (to me), and no downspouts. Do you call a basement foundation specialist, like the guys who water proof basements?

Thank you.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:48 AM   #7
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Mould on basement walls


sbmfj, you can do it yourself. It is harmless, and a natural occurring process.

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