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Mold and mildew have always been a problem for anyone who has an unfinished basement that tends to get damp or suffer from leaks. Basement waterproofing projects can be very expensive–especially if exterior footer drain systems are involved–and many homeowners can’t afford anything more than a simpler interior solution to getting rid of mold and mildew problems.
Black mold is every homeowner’s worst nightmare, since it’s both dangerous to your health and can drastically decrease your property value. Luckily, however, most mold problems in leaky or flooded basements are of a much less hazardous variety, although it can still be a pain to get rid of.
Getting rid of mildew and mold for good can only be accomplished with a thorough internal basement waterproofing project. But don’t worry: this isn’t as difficult or expensive as you might think. Here are a few tips for repairing cracks and leaks in your basement walls and getting them dry and clean again.
All of the materials you’ll need can be found at your local home improvement or hardware store. Get a sturdy wire brush, some bleach and a spray bottle, a painter’s mask, and basement waterproofing paint that includes a compound that kills black mold and mildew.
At home, start out by spraying the existing mold on your basement walls with a solution of water mixed with bleach. This should kill any existing mildew. Then use the wire brush to get rid of old, chipped paint, making sure to wear your mask and have the proper ventilation in place.
Finally, use the basement waterproofing paint on all exposed block walls. Don’t be afraid to use a second coat once the first has dried, if you have enough product remaining.
If your basement walls have substantial cracks, buckling or crumbling, there is little you can do internally. Only external waterproofing can remedy these severe problems, and putting it off will only cause it to get worse over time. Remember: paying a little extra now can save you a lot of money in the future.