Q&A / 

Mold Problems in Basement

Jason Paragon, lives in a house in Columbus, OH that appears to have a concrete block foundation. He's also got some mold inside. Here's Jason's story and he's sticking to it:

"I have a serious mold and water problem in my basement.  I had an EverDry contractor come in and do a free quote of $20K to fix my basement and the mold issue.  Even though that's out of the realm of financial possibility for us, it did clue me in to the fact that we had a mold problem.  Which I have recently learned has causes some temporary damage to our lungs that require the use of an inhaler for both my wife and I.

My temporary solution for the mold is to buy a strong dehumidifier and put it next to the places in my basement having the most mold problems.  I also successfully found the area in my basement where the black mold was growing and used bleach to kill it temporarily.  My long term solution is treat the water issue by buying your linear french drain video and installing a system as soon as the weather cooperates.  Sadly, I live in Ohio and the weather has gotten much too cold to be doing any digging right now (high tomorrow is in the low 30's).

With that background, here are my questions.  First, do these seem like good ideas to address the mold and water issues with my house?  Next, my house is going on 61 years old and I'm concerned I should do some excavation around my foundation to patch any cracks in the masonry while I'm doing the drainage project as well as put on some water proofing around the exterior walls.  My dad had me use an exterior/interior sealer paint on the walls in my basement to keep the water out for a while, but I have read that may have caused more harm than good by holding the water in the cement block.  Lastly, I have been having a very difficult time finding any information on do-it-yourself mold remediation.  Everything I have found says to use a certified contractor.  I sadly have a family of five with a wife and child with serious disabilities."

Jason, the first thing you should do, and perhaps you did, is to read each and every column in my Mold category.

You need to have a grasp of what causes mold before you can defeat it.

You're on target with respect to water control. You only need three things to have mold grow:

  • Water
  • Mold Spores
  • Food

Guess what? Mold spores are everywhere in your house and you'll NEVER get rid of them. Food sources for mold are everywhere to. Dust, paint, drywall, paper, wood, etc. are all food sources.

But you can stop water.

Your solution is to make your basement bone dry and you can do that with one of my linear french drains. If you have a spot on your land or lot that's LOWER in elevation than your basement floor, you can achieve a dry basement, although it's going to be some work.

The deeper you install my Linear French Drain, the better your chances.


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