Those who live in moist climates know that mold is a recurring problem. But did you know that the pesky substance can even grow on hard surfaces like concrete? Your concrete basement, retaining walls and patio are actually made from a material that is more porous than Swiss cheese. Mold may come, but with the right tools and tips, you can eliminate those pesky spores and prevent additional mold from forming. This article will give you the necessary tips so you can say farewell to concrete mold once and for all.
Cleaning Mold 101
The first step in removing mold from concrete is to give your surface a scrubbing it will not soon forget. Most experts recommend a solution that is four parts water to one part bleach for the most effective cleaning. This will remove current mold and treat the surface so it is harder for future mold to appear. You can use a wire brush to apply the cleaner and scrub well to ensure you remove every spore. While this cleaning method might be effective for the mold you can currently see, it may not work for the mold that you cannot see or reach. If your mold covers an area of more than 10-12 square feet, it is best to call a professional concrete contractor to handle the elimination process for you.
Once the current spores are properly treated, you will also want to take steps to ensure the mold does not return. Since mold thrives in moist environments, it is important to pinpoint the source of the moisture that encouraged the mold growth in the first place. Do you have a leaky pipe in the area or a crack in the concrete that is deep enough to let in water? If a vapor barrier was not properly installed around your concrete, now would be the time to do so. It is also a good idea to fill any cracks in the concrete with water repellant substances. In some cases, a waterproof sealant is the best solution.
If your basement runs on the damp side as a rule, a dehumidifier installed in the area can make all the difference. Air conditioning can also reduce the amount of moisture in the air. As these devices are working to dry out the air and prevent future spores, give those concrete surfaces a weekly once over with the bleach solution until you are certain the mold is gone once and for all. Avoid things that can attract mold in the area, such as papers, clothing or carpeting. With these steps, mold will eventually disappear for good.
Mold is never something a homeowner wants to grapple with, but removing mold from concrete can be done. If you have a small area of mold, try the tips listed above. If your area is larger, contact a professional contractor to ensure every possible spore is removed. Mold free concrete is a cleaner, healthier alternative for everyone living inside your home.