Dealing with Moldy Basement Ceilings & Basement Floor Joists Mold Removal
Here at Mastertech Environmental, we get a lot of calls concerning visible mold growth on basement walls or foundation walls. However, something that commonly gets overlooked is the framing system of the basement — meaning the floors joists and subflooring. South Jersey homeowners often just refer to the framing system overhead as the basement ceiling. Moldy basement ceilings, floor joists and subfloors often get overlooked because when we see water flooding at the ground or water seeping in at the walls, we don’t think to look up.
Moisture problems like seepage, flooding or other foundation related issues are often visibly apparent, and property owners tend to focus on and look at the damp cinderblock walls for mold because it is the water source and is often at the direct line of sight. However, the real mold damage often overhead. As the water evaporates, the vapors rise and cling to the floor joists and subfloor. As the moisture soaks into the porous fibers of the wood joists and wood subfloor, mold begins to develop and spread. If you know you have a history of moisture issues like basement flooding, foundation wall seepage and high humidity, be sure you check your floor joists and subfloor for visual indicators of moisture and mold.
Basement Mold: What to Look For on Floor Joists
Mold growth on basement floor joists and subflooring can be white, black, gray, brown or green in color. Basement mold can be accompanied by dark staining from water leaks in that area. The texture of mold is often powdery or splotchy. It often appears on floor joists, sub-flooring, foundation walls, framing members and interior finished walls. It can also develop on furniture, contents or personal belongs that are stored in the basement.
Pro Tip: From a straight-on perspective, mold growth on basement floor joists can appear to be just dust, staining or discoloration. However, a look at basement mold from an angle, with a flashlight, reveals a whole different story. From an angle, we can often see the shadows casted by the fungal growth.
Professional Basement or Crawl Space Floor Joists Mold Removal
Moldy floor joists and moldy subflooring often need professional remediation. Mold spores at the surface and mold roots trapped in the wood fibers need to be actively removed while under the proper containment to ensure the thorough restoration of a clean and safe environment. Because mold is considered a biohazard, professionally trained mold remediation technicians in New Jersey use personal protective equipment, follow strict safety regulations and follow specific remediation protocols.
Mastertech’s professional floor joists mold removal for basements and crawl spaces includes:
- Containment of the areas of concern, along with covering and protecting all floors and belongings present in the area. This prevents cross-contamination to unaffected areas of the property.
- HEPA filtered air filtration is used to keep the indoor air quality safe and clean during remediation.
- HEPA vacuums are used to remove surface mold spores from contaminated building materials.
- An antimicrobial agent is used to destroy surface mold. This assists in the process of cleaning the surface of the contaminated area.
- Application of a concentrated hydrogen peroxide solution to remove embedded mold roots. When there is mold present, the solution bubbles up. This is repeated until there are no roots left and it is no longer bubbling.
- Treated areas are thoroughly scrubbed and wiped down to clean all contaminated building materials.
- Re-HEPA vacuuming to remove any remaining spores & roots, ensuring that nothing was missed during the process.
- Mold-resistant coating is applied in order to prevent mold regrowth.
Mold and moisture issues won’t go away on their own. In fact, mold and moisture problems only become worse with time – leaving South Jersey property owners with more damage and more repair expenses. In order to return clean and safe conditions, all surface mold, embedded root systems and airborne mold must be actively removed from the indoor environment. Basement floor joists mold removal should always be completed under the proper containment with necessary HEPA-filtered air filtration. Following remediation, property owners need to address the moisture source that caused the mold in the first place. Removal of the moisture source will ensure that fungal growth does not happen again in the future.
Basement Mold Prevention for South Jersey Buildings
In an ideal situation, you want to take every measure to prevent mold development before it begins. There are plenty of steps you can take to prevent moisture and mold damage on floor joists. You just need to know where to look. Moisture control is the best thing you can do to prevent mold in your basement. Keeping the moisture levels in your basement controlled can go a long way in preventing extensive damage. As previously mentioned, basements tend to be more moisture prone compared to other areas of the home. Employing the use of a dehumidifier can help prevent excess humidity in the area. The ideal humidity level in most properties is between 35% and 50%. Another step you can take is to ensure proper air circulation. This helps to prevent warm, moist air from becoming stagnant in the area. Keep the air flow regulated throughout the area.
In the event of a flood or leak in your home, the best thing you can do is dry out the water immediately. As we discussed previously, mold can grow rapidly if moisture is left to seep into your building materials. Mold preventatives and moisture control don’t have to be as intimidating as it may seem. Protecting your basement and floor joists from mold doesn’t have to be such a daunting task. Simple, affordable adjustments to your home maintenance routine go a long way in making your basement less vulnerable to mold.