White Mold In Basement, Health Risks, Removal, Prevention

White Mold in Basement

If you’ve spotted white mold in basement, or any type of basement mold, you may be wondering what it is and what to do about it. Any type of mold, regardless of color, is cause for concern because inhaling the microscopic mold spores can cause health problems, including respiratory problems and allergic reactions. Some types of mold are of more concern than others, though, because they produce harmful substances called mycotoxins that can cause a number of medical problems, some quite serious.

Types of White Mold in Basement Environments

Many types of mold can appear white in color, depending on the type of material on which they are growing, including aspergillus, cladosporium, and penicillium (penicillium is often blue or bluish-green and white). Mildew, a type of fungus similar to mold, may also appear white and powdery.


People sometimes confuse efflorescence with white mold. Efflorescence refers to salt deposits found on concrete and masonry surfaces when water has seeped through the concrete, brick, or stone. The water evaporates, leaving behind salt deposits that look a lot like white mold. Unlike mold, however, efflorescence is easy to remove and it doesn’t cause any health problems.

Health Risks Associated with White Mold in Basement Environments

All types of mold can cause health problems, though some types are associated with more serious health risks than others. Health problems commonly associated with exposure to white mold include difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, migraine headaches, chronic sore throats, skin rashes, hives, exhaustion, and general malaise.

Basement Mold Remediation

If you’ve noticed white mold in basement, it’s important to get it cleaned up as soon as possible to prevent mold-related illness and to prevent mold from spreading to other areas of the home. Many types of white mold spread quickly and easily from one area to another, so if you discover white mold in your basement, you need to inspect your entire home for mold.

You can purchase mold removal products at most home improvement stores, such as Foster 40-80, that will remove mold from non-porous surfaces like metal and porcelain. It can be difficult to remove mold from semi-porous surfaces like concrete, though, and it’s often impossible to remove mold from porous surfaces like drywall and carpeting. Things like drywall, carpeting, and ceiling tiles usually need to be removed and replaced. Since you often cannot remove and replace moldy concrete, it must be carefully cleaned. Sometimes a sealant is then applied, to prevent any remaining mold from continuing to spread.

For a more details on mold cleaning and encapsulation products, follow the link.

For Help with Basement Mold Removal

If removing mold from your basement sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is. It must be done carefully in order to avoid spreading mold spores to other areas of the house and to avoid the inhalation of mold spores, which can cause serious health problems as described above. If you’re experiencing any mold-related health issues, or if you suffer from any conditions like asthma or immune system disorders, it’s recommended that you not try to clean up mold yourself because you may end up making your condition worse. The Environmental Protection Agency also recommends hiring a mold removal professional if you have mold covering an area greater than ten square feet or if you have mold in heating and air conditioning ducts.

We recommend scheduling a free consultation with a mold removal professional that will come to your home, inspect the premises, and write out a mold remediation plan including safety protocol. Even if you end up opting to handle the job yourself, you’ll benefit from some free professional advice. Follow the link for a list of mold removal specialists in your area.


How to Remove Mold from Basement Walls

Household mold and mildew are common invaders in basements, especially in the presence of water damage, sump pumps, or other moist conditions. Even air conditioners, air ducts, and exterior walls aren’t impervious to mold infestations. Depending on the type of mildew, the infestation can result in a musty smell or allergic reactions, and certain types of mold can pose health risks. It’s crucial to learn how to remove mold from basement walls and other porous surfaces.

If you’re considering how to get rid of mold, removing mildew from concrete walls, grout, and other surfaces isn’t complicated, but it can be taxing. More often than not, it requires a reasonable amount of elbow grease.

However, with the proper cleaning products and removal techniques, you can make this process much more straightforward and pain-free. If you’re looking to learn how to remove mold from basement walls, tiled surfaces, and more, read on!

How to Get Rid of Mold on Basement Walls

Removing mold from the surfaces in your home can be done in several different ways, depending on where it is located and how big the spot is. Unless you want a professional to conduct mold remediation for severe mold infestations, you can acquire most mold remover supplies from your local home improvement store or hardware store.

Of course, we recommend hiring an inspector or investigating the type of mold or mildew first before you begin to tackle it, as some types of organic material are more dangerous than others. Otherwise, how to kill mold in a small area, no greater than a 10″ x 10″ spot, is a relatively simple process that doesn’t take a lot of time or energy.

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Removing mold from wood is a little different than eliminating the problem from concrete, so pay close attention to the base material you are working with before applying a cleaning solution. How to clean painted walls also requires special care. You don’t want to damage the surface while trying to get rid of mold or mildew.

How to Clean Mold from Concrete Basement Walls with Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a versatile and effective cleaner that’s a fungicide, virucide, and bactericide. There are dozens of peroxide uses for around the home, both inside and out.

Disinfecting with hydrogen peroxide will kill virtually anything that’s growing on your basement walls, including mold! It’s also ideal to clean concrete basement floors, too.

If you’re wondering how to clean mold from concrete basement walls or need to start cleaning brick walls in the basement or carport with this concrete cleaner, here’s how.

Hydrogen Peroxide Method

  • 3% hydrogen peroxide
  • Spray bottle
  • Bristle brush

To kill mold on concrete basement walls or for an ideal DIY mildew remover, pour 3% hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle. Saturate the walls with the peroxide, then let it sit for up to 30 minutes. Clean mold off walls by scrubbing the area thoroughly with a bristle brush after about ten minutes to help to lift any residual mold out of the pores in the concrete.

If you can, hose off the walls or scrub them down with warm water to remove any cling-on spores when you finish and leave the walls clean and shiny. Dry with a clean towel to eliminate water spots that could encourage more mold to grow.

Peroxide is an excellent option not only for mold removal but to get rid of other types of stains, as well, especially for how to clean white walls that may have mold or mildew.

Peroxide can be helpful to clean walls before painting, too, to ensure that you have a nice smooth surface for the paint. Keep a bottle or two on hand for both medicinal and cleaning situations.

Removing Mold from Cinder Block Walls with Borax

Borax is a trustworthy and effective cleaner that’s well-known for its cleansing and deodorizing properties. Since Borax inhibits mold growth, it’s an excellent cleaning solution for removing mold from cinder block walls and other large areas. You don’t even need to clean it off when you’re finished.

Borax Mold Removal

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 gal hot water
  • HEPA-certified vacuum cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Scrub brush or bristle brush

Before you do any cleaning, vacuum all your moldy surfaces with a HEPA-certified vacuum minimize the number of spores that end up airborne. Mix the Borax and water in a bucket to create your cleaning solution.

Scrub any moldy surfaces thoroughly and remove any visible mold particles. Let the Borax solution sit; if you don’t wash it off, it will inhibit future mold growth. Use this solution to stop moss from growing on bricks outside, too.

Kill Mold on Non-Porous Surfaces with Bleach

Bleach is an excellent disinfectant and mold-killer, but the problem is that it’s not useful on porous surfaces. Bleach doesn’t penetrate surfaces well, so while it won’t be effective on concrete, drywall, or unsealed grout, it’ll work wonders on sealed surfaces.

Mold Removal with Bleach

  • 1 cup bleach
  • 1 gal water
  • Spray bottle (optional)
  • Sponge and bucket (optional)

For this method, dilute one cup of bleach with at least one gallon of water, then spray or wipe the bleach solution onto any mold-covered surfaces. Bleach works best on non-porous surfaces like glass or sealed tile.

When working with bleach, be sure to wear protective gear such as rubber gloves, eye protection, and a respirator, especially in poorly-ventilated areas like crawl spaces and basements. Never mix vinegar or ammonia with bleach.

Kill Mold Safely with Vinegar

One of the safest DIY cleaners for killing mold is vinegar. Vinegar is a mild acid that doesn’t smell particularly pleasant, but it does its job with mildew. However, vinegar does not kill 100% of mold types, so do your research or test a small area before committing to it.

Kill Mold with Vinegar

  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Baking soda and water solution (optional)

To clean mold with vinegar, liberally spray moldy areas with the undiluted white vinegar. Leave it on the moldy areas for at least an hour to penetrate and kill any roots embedded in the walls or floor.

Optionally, you may spray a solution of baking soda and water onto the vinegar-saturated areas to up its mold-killing power. Wipe down the surface with clean water to finish the job. White vinegar is an excellent deck mold cleaner, too!

If your basement smells like sewage, you may have a clog in the drain in the floor or in the toilet in the bathroom. Pour a mixture of vinegar, water, and baking soda into the drain to release the clog and quickly eliminate that sewage smell in the basement.

Repeat applications may be necessary if the clog does not break up the first time. However, after the clog clears, your basement will smell fresh and clean again.

Kill Mold Naturally with Tea Tree Oil

Believe it or not, one of the uses for tea tree oil is a fungicide that’s surprisingly effective at killing molds and mildews on many different surfaces, from clothes to walls to shower stalls. If you’re looking for a healthy, holistic, pleasant-smelling way to kill mold in your home, tea tree oil might be just the ticket.

Tea Tree Oil Recipe

  • 1 tsp tea tree oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • Spray bottle
  • Scrub brush, sponge, or rag (optional)

If you’re cleaning mold in a shower or other well-traveled area, you may be able to spray the area with the tea tree oil solution and leave it. Since you’re only using one part tea tree oil for every 48 parts water, there’s no need to rinse!

If the area is visibly moldy, you may want to scrub the mold away with a sponge or rag soaked in the tea tree solution instead. In both scenarios, leave the cleaner on the surface without rinsing to help discourage future mold growth. Watch tea tree oil use around pets, as it can be harmful to them if ingested.

Banish Mold Infestations with Professional Help

What gets rid of black mold? Most of the cleaners we’ve mentioned can snuff out black mold infestations, but we recommend getting professional help for significant black mold growth. This is because Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, can be harmful if breathed in large quantities.

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If a basement mold problem is really severe, mold removal specialists might turn to fumigation to eradicate the infestation. Whichever method they choose to take care of your mold problem, you can rest assured that a professional will do a thorough job to prevent the black mold areas from returning.

If you don’t eradicate the source of the moisture that caused the mold, you could see more mold, but a professional will eradicate all mold spores and roots from an infestation so that the same colony cannot grow back, particularly in the same area.

Dehumidifiers and waterproofing paint can be useful for helping to stave off future mold issues. Wet, moldy surfaces like carpeting and drywall are often too far gone to be salvaged and need a replacement instead.

How did you like our guide on how to remove mold from basement walls and other surfaces? If you liked these mold-killing tips, make sure to share this guide on how to remove mold from basement walls with all of your friends on Facebook and Pinterest!


How to Get Rid of White Mold on Wood, Plants & Basement

When homeowners talk about mold problem, they usually think about dark molds, such as black or green mold.

White mold often does not receive the same attention, especially since this mold visually resembles harmless structural phenomena called efflorescence (more on that later).

However, serious health risks must still be concerns if you find white mold at home.

Table of Contents

What Is White Mold?

When it comes to buildings, the term “white mold” can apply to various mold types, from Penicillium, Aspergillus, to Cladosporium.

This is because many types of mold actually have a period when they sport white color, so it is hard to distinguish them with naked eyes.

There is no specific name for white mold in a building; it can pose serious risks if there is no effort to prevent its growth.

What Does White Mold Look Like?

White mold commonly looks like bright, fluff-like spots that spread on numbers of surfaces, from plants to wood and even bread.

When seeing under the microscope, the body of the mold will look like filaments. They can appear as numerous white spots or blots, or even small fibers when the growth is uncontrollable.

There are various types of dark mold that actually appear white before they release spores. If such mold appears in your house, the growth may turn darker during the time.

A Large colony of white mold usually releases musty smell, just like other types of mold.

Telling the Difference: White Mold or Efflorescence?

When you see white spots on the surface of certain materials, such as concrete or stone, they are not always mold. Many old buildings with prominent concrete, brick, or stone parts often show signs of efflorescence.

This is a term for crystalline salt deposit that is commonly found in masonry structures.

Efflorescence happens when water slowly goes through the inner structures of the materials. When it goes out, it also takes some amount of salt from inside the structures.

This usually happens after many years, and results in white spots that look like white mold.

To tell the difference between white mold and efflorescence, you can try spraying the white spots with water. If the white spots disappear, they may be just efflorescence.

White mold also emits a typical musty odor, while efflorescence does not smell. Also, efflorescence only occurs on masonry surfaces, and never on wood.

Is White Mold Dangerous?

When it comes to mold in the house, people usually pay more attention to black mold than white mold, due to the belief that black mold is the “toxic” one.

However, white mold can still be source allergen for susceptible people. Long exposure can also be dangerous, especially if a person has fragile health or from vulnerable age group, such as the elderly or babies.

People with existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma or pneumonia, are also susceptible to any kind of mold at home. For these people, white mold poses the same health risk with any other mold types.

Also, if you let white mold to release pores, the health hazards will be the same with other types of mold.

The most common symptoms of mold exposure include:

  • Coughing and sneezing.
  • Exhaustion and dizziness.
  • Signs of eye irritation (redness, teary eyes, itchiness).
  • Sore throat.
  • Wheezing breath.
  • Allergic reactions (blocked nose, rashes, fever, sneezing).

If these symptoms continue even after taking medications, you must start getting suspicious about the possibility of mold growth at home.

White Mold on Wood

When you see white spots on wood, they are almost certainly white mold, since efflorescence cannot appear on wood.

The mold usually appears first as small, dust-like white spots. If you let the mold grows, it can become bigger white blotches, and even into fiber-like component (if the mold colony grows too large).

White mold may grow on wood due to various causes, from humidity to leakage problem. Wood is one of white mold’s favorite habitats, just like its outdoor counterpart.

The appearance of white mold on wood can reduce the aesthetic and spread health risk.

White Fuzzy Mold on Plants

In the outdoor, white mold is a common name of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, a type of parasitic fungi that attack plants. This mold has been known to attack more than 360 species of plants, including vegetables and garden flowers.

White mold can appear on various parts of the plants, such as leaves, stalks, pods, or blossoms.

The first sign of white mold infection is often hard to see with naked eyes. The plants may look alright, but the stalks may look a little like soaked (even if there is no rain or watering session).

There are also wilted parts on stems, and you may also see a little discoloration or tan lesions on them. Finally, fiber-like mold will grow from these dark discolorations.

White mold on plants requires hard work to remove. Farmers or garden owners must remove the infected plants and replace the soil.

Sometimes, the infected soil may have to be covered or separated to prevent further infestation, such as with mulch or plastic.

White Mold in Basement

Basement is one of the most ideal habitats for white mold. Darkness, humidity, and warm temperature are characteristics that white mold loves.

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Also, since the basement is dark, the growth of white mold is often unseen until it reaches a serious level of infestation.

If you often do your laundry in the basement, or store a lot of wet objects, the white mold may grow on certain spots.

The growth can happen in hidden places, such as behind furniture item or in the corner of the floor. This is why homeowners must invest in proper basement management to prevent mold from growing.

The same problem can happen in other dark places at home. Ceiling, storage, under the sink, or behind the walls can become an ideal place for white mold to grow. The problem can get worse if there is undetected leakage or plumbing problem.

White Mold on Concrete

Previously, we have found that salt deposit or efflorescence is a common occurrence on concrete, and it is often hard to distinguish from a mold.

However, you should not neglect the risk of mold growth. Efflorescence is caused by moisture that carries salt from inside the concrete structure. Therefore, efflorescence is an indication of moisture problems, which can lead to actual mold growth.

Also, even though the white deposit on your concrete is a salt deposit and not mold, it can still bring problems. The presence of efflorescence is often a sign of high acidity level in the soil. It can lead to slow corrosion on your concrete.

Whether it is the salt deposit or white mold, it is just the same, because they can damage your property and lower its market value.

How to Get Rid of White Mold?

White mold is usually quite harmless for healthy people, and it is easier to remove than dark mold, especially if does not release spores yet.

Removing white mold requires slightly different treatments, depending on what objects that get attacked. Here are some tips to get rid of white mold:

Cleaning upholstery

If fabric like upholstery and curtains have light white mold problems, vacuum it first and immediately throw out the vacuum content.

Wipe the mold stain with a mix between a cup of warm water and a cup of rubbing alcohol. Wipe again the second time with a wet sponge. Do not rinse, but dry the objects immediately.

Cleaning walls

Remove the first signs of mold as soon as you see them. Mix a cup of bleach with a gallon of water. Apply the solution with a brush before waiting for 15-20 minutes.

Rinse the cleaned part with water and dry it quickly (use an electric fan to help the drying process).

Cleaning wood surfaces

The mixture of bleach and water may be too harsh for wood, especially soft wood. Instead, vacuum the surface first, preferably using a soft brush.

Throw out the vacuum bag content. Mix dishwashing detergent with water, and use it to wipe the surface, before repeating the process with a wet sponge.

If you worry about warping on the wood surface, you can prevent it by drying the wood surface quickly. Use paste wax to protect the wood surface and make it shine again.

Cleaning shower curtains, rags, and towels

For washable objects like bathroom products, you can brush the mold using a stiff wet brush. Dry them under the sun, and then soak them in water mixed with non-chlorine bleach. Wait for thirty minutes before you rinse and wash them like usual.

When trying all these methods, remember to wear gloves. Always throw away all the things you use to clean the objects, such as the sponge, cleaning towel, and brush.

Check all the suspicious spots to see if there are moisture or leakage problems, because they are the root of mold problems. If mold comes back even after vigorous cleaning, you need to do throw away or replace the objects.

White mold can cause various problems on a building structure, furniture, plants, and health, especially when it starts to release pores. Never neglect the early signs of mold problems, and do removal steps as soon as possible to avoid infestation.

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