I have written about this subject a few times, but mold is really a huge problem for those homeowners who are eager to get their Windsor property on the market. Of course, it’s a problem regardless if you are selling your home or not, as it spreads in a damp basement faster than you can imagine.
It’s not hard to miss the smell mold. It’s a musty, damp smell that is similar to rotting leaves. And be assured, this is a problem that cannot be ignored. Once it settles in your basement, it’s there to stay and only grow worse. You can’t paint over it, you can’t try and hide it, as it won’t go away on its own. You need to get rid of mold, particularly if you are selling your home.
What Happens If You Discover Mold
Mold is everywhere. Your home is not immune to this culprit. What’s interesting is that mold grows outside and only comes in the home when it is able. What is surprising is that there are times when the mold count outdoors is higher than inside our homes.
Mold thrives in dark, damp areas. The air must remain still and temperatures above freezing for mold to occur. And once it gets inside, it’s usually unavoidable. You won’t wake up one day and find that it magically disappeared.
While most mold is harmless, there are some molds that are considered “toxic” even to the healthiest of people. This can cause serious infections, illness and even be fatal. That is why you never try to hide mold. The best thing you can do, even if you have mold throughout your basement, is to take immediate steps to rid your house of this problem and make sure you follow safety procedures during the clean up.
The good news is, most mold cleanups are something you can do yourself. If, however, the mold has spread throughout your basement and located in areas that are hard to reach, then you will need professional help. Your real estate agent can assist you with recommendations for a quality clean up service in your area.
But if the area is small and caught before it has spread, then this is probably a job you can do on your own. What’s even better is that it doesn’t require expensive mold removal materials. And if the mold is growing on storage boxes or drywall, you can simply remove the objects and replace. However, you will need to scrub the surrounding area with water and detergent.
Getting Rid of Mold
The first thing one must do is to determine the source of moisture, repair the problem and dry out the basement. Only then is it time to tackle the mold. Once your basement has been cleared, all boxes, furniture and other belongings inspected for mold, then grab your cleaning materials. This could be straight vinegar or a borax solution. Spray the affected area thoroughly. Make sure the area is well soaked with the cleaning solution and allowed to sit for an hour or so. Once mold is damp, it’s not likely to spread.
While the area is soaking, make sure you get rid of any trash contaminated with the mold. Clothing can be washed in hot water and bleach, and most plastic and metal materials can be washed down and air-dried in the sun. But don’t keep anything that you question may still have mold on it.
Once this is done, return to the basement and re-spray the surfaces again. Use a strong, sturdy brush on the walls while rinsing the brushes frequently. Once the mold is effectively wiped clean, scrub and wipe down with fresh water. Make sure all of the mold is completely removed or your hard work will be fruitless. When the area is cleaned, lightly spray with borax one final time. Let the basement dry and if possible, use a dehumidifier. Whatever you do, don’t allow moisture to come back in.
Once your home is on the market, check the basement frequently, particularly after a rain or snowstorm. Mold doesn’t wait, it will quickly return if conditions warrant. Make sure the air in the basement is circulated and keep the temperature at 69 degrees during the winter month if your basement is finished.
The good news is that once you have rid your basement of mold, it’s one less thing to worry about when selling your home.