Author Topic: Basement water / mold issues  (Read 3004 times)

younggunner

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Basement water / mold issues
« on: December 02, 2015, 06:15:54 PM »
Hello all-

My home is from 1943.  I have a few issues that I wanted to seek some other opinions before I call a professional of some sort.   The home has a concrete floor in the basement with unfinished drylocked block walls.  Near the center of the floor, there appears to be an old floor drain that doesn't actually drain.  We seem to consistently get either a moisture / black mold on the concrete all around the hole.  FWIW, there also are a couple of spots that do sound hollow under the concrete if you stomp on it, about 5-10 feet away towards the center of the room. 

Being unsure of if it was actually black mold or not, I scrubbed it with some bleach to see what effect it would have on it and it looks great ! (I attached before and after photos)  However, I dont want to have to keep bleaching the floor every week.  Over the summer the problem wasn't as bad, but we ran the dehumifier 24/7.  ($$$)


Additionally, Rainwater leaks in where the floor meets the walls in a room under the front porch.  I think it is unrelated to the other issue, but thought I should add.  This water that comes in when it rains, is about 30-40 feet away from that issues around the old floor drain. 


My question is:  is this definitely black mold absorbing from the concrete? Is that from a moisture issue?  What can be done to fix it?

Thanks



« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 05:13:43 AM by younggunner »

Greg

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Re: Basement water / mold issues
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2015, 09:46:54 PM »
What is your question?

younggunner

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Re: Basement water / mold issues
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2015, 05:14:52 AM »
What is your question?

I apologize for not making it clear, I edited post.

I am looking for another opinion on what it looks like, and what I can do to fix it or help it.


CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Basement water / mold issues
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2015, 06:50:16 AM »
Mold issues are a problem in a damp environment. Get rid of the dampness and the mold issue goes away.

Looks like you have a water infiltration problem.
Like all water issues fix the outside of the house first. Make sure that water does not stand near the house
  • Make sure gutters are clean
  • Gutter downspouts drain at least 10 feet away from house
  • Grade around the house so that it slopes away from the house. 1 inch for every 5 feet should do it
  • Go out after a rain and see if you see any standing water. Grade that area so water moves away from the house

After you have done this, next look into sealing the basement.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 06:51:58 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

lthenderson

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Re: Basement water / mold issues
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2015, 07:54:45 AM »
I think the first order of business is to get the drain snaked so that it does drain. Once that happens, then the mold will stay away.

Greg

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Re: Basement water / mold issues
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2015, 09:05:02 PM »
"Black mold" is often used to describe a specific kind of toxic mold.  How it differs from mildew I don't know for sure.  Mold needs the right environment to grow; food, moisture.  Get rid of either and it will not grow.

I agree with others that if you fix the moisture problem, the mold will be fixed also.  The moisture could be coming from the ground around the drain under the slab, or other areas.  Some moisture testing will help.

Dragonstrike

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Re: Basement water / mold issues
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2015, 02:11:47 AM »
How deep is the ground floor of the concrete in the foundation?  If its a foundation issue, you could be getting mold coming from the bottom up. In that case, you will need to start looking into a sub-pump to funnel the water out of the foundation and away to the drain.

younggunner

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Re: Basement water / mold issues
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2015, 04:11:07 PM »
thank you all for your thoughts.  I will triple check all gutters downspouts etc are clean.  It does look like the one downspout could be clogged.  Given the proximity of the mold to the the old drain, I think it probably would be wise to get the drain snaked and functional as well.  All of these remedies should all atleast help with some of the moisture problems.

How deep is the ground floor of the concrete in the foundation?  If its a foundation issue, you could be getting mold coming from the bottom up. In that case, you will need to start looking into a sub-pump to funnel the water out of the foundation and away to the drain.

I have no clue about how deep it is.  All I can say is that its 1943 block walls with a poured concrete floor that looks like it was all finished by hand.  I do agree, and it does appear that it could be coming from the bottom up, and that is kind of what I am afraid of.  That seems like that would be a much bigger problem.($)   I suppose I will look into the other issues first as they are more basic homeowner maintenence and then if all else fails, look into installing a pump...

Dragonstrike

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Re: Basement water / mold issues
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2015, 06:27:29 PM »
Actually, it shouldn't be that much of an expense.  First, you should check the house's original construction paperwork, which should be on record with the local city hall I would assume.  Second, if that doesn't work do research on the time period of the house and see if they did a standard gravel/rock bed sediment prior to pouring the concrete.  If they did, you most likely have years of moisture accumulated down there.  Sub pumps aren't expensive at all and as long as you have a dedicated outlet, enough space for the ball bopper to activate it when water gets too high, you should be good.

Now here's the tricky part:  installing the sub pump required you drilling into the floor, taking a chunk of it out to expose the space between the foundation and rock bed, and putting the pump down there.  Not cool, I know, but its the easiest fix to the problem and can save you headaches from later on.

Get expert advice first and see if you can find a better way if you don't DIY it yourself.  Hope this helps.