What Causes Mold in Basement? (Health Risk and Quick Remediation)

Mold seems to be everywhere no matter the color when you see white mold in basement or green, black, or yellow mold in basement you have a problem. Your quick action will help you get rid of the mold and make your home safe for your family again.

To find out what causes mold, its health risk and how to get rid of it, all you have to do is continue reading our article. It delivers the information you need to know about so your home can be safe, healthy and feel like home again.

Mold’s Health Risk

By now you should know that letting mold grow in your basement or home, you are opening yourself and your family up to some health risks. Some of those risks include respiratory problems or the mold can trigger allergic reactions.

Normal household mold can also trigger asthma attacks very easily. Those people with sensitive skin, etc., can experience the following symptoms- hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, sore throat and skin rash.

Mold can also attack your pets and create health issues in them. This is why you take immediate steps to remove any mold from your basement or home. Your health is important.

What Causes Mold in Basement and Quick Remedies

When you see green mold in your basement or other colors of mold, you need to find the cause. If you do not find the cause then the problem will return soon after you cleaned up this problem.

mold growth in basement

There are several causes for mold in basements and almost everyone is easy to fix:

  • Wet clothes left in a pile will let mold grow - wash these clothes and put them away right away
  • Leaks in the roof or your pipes - track down these leaks and apply the appropriate repair measures to stop them before mold begins to grow
  • Condensation is a prime source for mold - cold surfaces are a source for mold. This environment can come with metal pipes as well as concrete floors- stop the condensation to solve this problem
  • Poor ventilation is another key source - mold loves steam because it creates the humidity level it needs to survive. Add exhaust fans or open windows to get the ventilation up to par.
  • High humidity levels cause mold - that is when the humidity levels get above 65% and the best way to solve this problem is to use a dehumidifier for the basement

Mold growth is a sign of mold problem and to rid of mold in your basement you have to fix all the sources that create mold. These are not costly repairs to do but in the long run, you are your family will have a healthier place to live.

How to Get Rid of Mold in Basement?

The first step in fighting the mold colony in your basement is to find the right products to use. You are in luck as there are many different products that work well and get rid of mold very quickly.

The product you must avoid at all cost is the one you concoct yourself or a good friend says works on mold. DIY mixes are not safe to use and you can harm yourself or kill yourself when you haphazardly mix household chemicals.

how to get rid of mold in basement

Here are the products you should use and they should be used independently of each other:

  • Mold remover - these are specially formulated chemicals that kill mold
  • Bleach - mix it with a gallon of water to protect different surfaces from damage
  • Borax - is a great chemical option and it is biodegradable while being less toxic
  • Detergents with disinfectants - these are safer to use than bleach and can be found in a variety of household cleaning agents
  • Essential oils - less harsh, safer, and better smelling than the chemicals on this list but your results may not be as desired. Try Clove oil, Eucalyptus oil, Lavender oil, Pine oil, and Tea-tree oil.

How to Remove Mold from Basement Walls

Once you decide on the chemical you are going to use, you now need to apply that chemical in a safe way. You can mix 1 cup of bleach with a gallon of water, use hydrogen peroxide solution, 1 cup of borax mixed with a gallon of water and so on.

The hydrogen peroxide only needs a spray bottle and you just spray the solution on the mold and use a hard bristle brush to scrape the dead mold off.

The other two options need a bucket and you have to wet the scrubbing brush before scrubbing the basement wall with black mold or the other types of mold growing in your basement.

Or you can use white vinegar in a spray bottle and tea tree oil as well and spray those on the mold before scrubbing it away.

get rid of mold in basement walls

How to Get Rid of Mold Smell in Basement?

The first step you need to take is to clean up those problems that caused the mold in the first place. Fix the leaks, dry the area or replace any drywall after you killed the mold growing on it are all good starts. But that musty odor remains.

Next, to get rid of that mold odor, you can put vinegar in several open bowls and set them out around your basement. If you do not want to waste any vinegar and you have a cat, put its cat litter in several containers not used for food or eating and do the same thing

Or, if you do not have a cat or enough vinegar get several boxes of baking soda and do the same thing. All you need is a couple of inches in each container to handle the problem.

Finally, open the windows and let the ventilation take care of the problem. Or use a dehumidifier to lower the humidity level and remove excess moisture that contributes to that mold odor.

Can Mold in Basement Affect Upstairs?

Yes, it can. Mold colonies grow by using moving air to spread its reach to all areas of your home, even from the basement to the upstairs. The mold spores are lightweight and can easily rid eon the moving air if you do not take care of the problem before it leaves your basement.

The best way to stop the spread is to take care of the problem as soon as you spot it. Use a bleach solution, a borax mix or even hydrogen peroxide and water to get rid of that mold fast. Then search for other mold areas throughout your house and get rid of the problem at the same time.

Do I Need a Dehumidifier in My Basement?

Not necessarily as there are other fine options that will help keep mold from taking hold in your basement. A dehumidifier will keep the humidity down below the level mold loves to grow in.

This device is one of your main defenses against mold growth especially when you live in a high humidity geographical zone. Just keep in mind that most dehumidifiers do not operate in temperatures ranging from 42 degrees F and lower.

If your basement will not rise above 30 to 50% humidity then you do not need a dehumidifier in your basement.

How to Get Rid of Humidity in Basement without Dehumidifier?

If you cannot afford a dehumidifier or the extra electricity cost, there are different methods you can use that will do the same task as a dehumidifier only slower. Here are some of those options:

  • Plants - the peace lily, the reed palm, Boston fern, and cactus all do a great job in removing humidity
  • Silica gel - these are used in product boxes where humidity can ruin the product and they should work well in your basement
  • Container Desiccant - these little containers soak up a lot of excess moisture. The only drawback to this option is that you have to replace them often
  • Charcoal briquettes - put some in a pail or a box and place those containers around the basement. They will need replacing after a while also.
  • Baking Soda - do the same as you did with the charcoal and every three to four weeks change the baking soda.
  • Rock salt - you are putting mini salt deposits around your basement but it is a good option to try when you can’t afford a dehumidifier
  • Improve ventilation or install a fan - cheaper than a dehumidifier and just as efficient. Or you can just open the windows.

Final Thoughts


You do not have to be rich to protect yourself or your family from mold and its spores. Your health is important so you need to close and fix every source that causes mold. Then you need to take the right steps to prevent mold from growing again.

Those steps are found in the information above. For additional information, you can read our previously published article about "6 Proven Ways to Get Rid of Moisture in Basement"

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