Mold/Damp Basement

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Question
Hi Daniel,

I have a end unit townhome with a semi below grade basement (on 2 sides).  It can get pretty damp down there.  A dehumidifier seems to help a lot but I was thinking about putting some Kilz on all the exposed cinderblock (in the unfinished portion of the basement).  Will this help with humidity?  If there is any mold on the cinderblock, will this kill it?  Is it better to use the oil-based version?

Thanks,
Chris

Answer
Hi Chris, it sounds like there is moisture coming in through the concrete blocks of your foundation and the dehumidifier you have isn't keeping up with the amount of moisture coming into the basement. You may want to either increase the capacity to remove moisture from the air or get an additional dehumidifier and put it somewhere else in the basement. I would not paint the inside of the blocks with any paint at this point. The solving of the moisture coming through the blocks should be from the "outside" of the blocks.  I know that may be expensive and impractical but it is the best way to have a dry basement. Short of that is to dry out and maintain heat in the basement so mold doesn't grow. You likely have mold spores already on the blocks and that should be remediated by cleaning and an antimicrobial treatment of the blocks. You can log onto www.epa.gov/mold and see what they have to say about cleaning and treating mold in basements. Another helpful web site is www.cdc.gov/mold.
Do dry & heat up the basement air, don't paint the walls because that will not solve your problem!
That is my best advice to you from what I know of the problem as per what you told me. Daniel

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Daniel Cetrone

Expertise

I am probably able to help you understand the mold problem you are having, why it is happening and what to do about it! Most mold problems small, thus easy and simple to remediate. Large mold problems are a different case! They can cause an entire home to be unhabitable!

Experience

I am a residentail contractor with 29 years or experience remodeling, repairing and building homes. Throughout many of those I handled insurance damage restoration and remediation projects.

Education/Credentials
Fitchburg State College, Secondary Education Major, Industrial Ars specialty 1975 Water Damage Restoration certification from (IICRC) Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification 2000

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