You have probably seen white mold on your walls and wondered about its origin. White mold is likely to occur on any form of masonry. Notably, neither the humidity nor the concrete is a food source for the mold.
Mold growing on concrete occurs when moisture seeps through the concrete, pushing the minerals in concrete outwards. The growth of white mold usually occurs in areas where there is a lot of contact with water. This explains why they are common in and around bathrooms and toilets.
Mold requires food and moisture to survive. Even if there is stagnant water on concrete, it is likely to evaporate after some time. The minerals and salts initially dissolved in the water re-crystallize and remain on the surface. This is what provides nutrients for the mold to survive.
How to get rid of white mold on concrete
The first best option you will probably take is to wipe off mold on concrete surfaces with soapy water. Simply spread some detergent on the visibly infected areas and let it settle for 2-3 hours. Then clean the area with a soft brush in order to scrape off the mold completely.
Mold eradication usually necessitates the application of a fungicide as well as physically scraping the mold off from your concrete surfaces. Although the fungicide will disable and destroy the mold spores, stains and color distortion will almost certainly persist.
1. Scraping and cleaning
HEPA vacuum cleaning, scouring, steam cleaning, abrasion, and other methods frequently help combat this situation. Dry ice blasting is sometimes applied to eradicate mold from concrete in big commercial settings.
While removing active growth from concrete is generally simple, there is a possibility of dealing with permanent stains. Stains are common when dealing with the development of black mold. It can be tough to eliminate the pigmentation the mold leaves behind.
It is crucial to realize that this discoloration is not harmful to you and will not make the mold grow back. They are just harmless stains that can either fade away with time. There is no urgency in removing them unless they are ugly and you want to re-do the whole surface.
While some may be thinking of using sealants, it is not the best way to go when dealing with a serious leakage. Sealants can only work in situations where there is a single leak from a visible fissure.
Unfortunately, sealants and coatings are generally poor choices for preventing water penetration, especially in the basement. If you are experiencing a lot of water pressure coming in from the outside, it must eventually find its way in.
3. Lower humidity levels
In-room humidity is another silent cause of mold growth on concrete inside your house. Humidifiers are excellent in maintaining reasonable humidity levels inside your home. Mold requires moisture to grow, and eliminating the moisture creates an unfavorable environment for mold growth.
In the absence of a humidifier, you may want to leave your windows open as one way of ensuring that you get as much fresh air as possible circulating in your living space.
Air circulation helps in regulating humidity. Please note that the warmer the environment in your house, the higher the humidity levels in the air. Warm air has a better capacity to hold moisture than cool air.
4. French drain and an inside footing drain
If the above methods do not work, you will have to choose between a French drain and an inside footing drain. French drains are an excellent choice for a home’s initial construction or shortly afterward. Since the foundation block is already visible, not much excavation is required.
After a house is built, the excavation must contend with everything within a few feet of the home’s perimeter. It is possible if there is only one unobstructed wall. However, in many circumstances, it is prohibitively expensive.
An interior footing drain is the greatest option for existing homes. It works in the same way as a French drain; only it is built within the house at the concrete wall’s base.
5. Eliminate food source
The first approach to preventing mold growth on concrete is eliminating the food source. Unfortunately, it will be difficult to eradicate the food source for mold on concrete unless you are ready to wipe down your concrete frequently. However, you might be forced to do so to ensure the safety of your concrete walls or slabs.
“Prevention is better than cure” is a very common phrase. Its impacts may not be easily noticeable until a disaster befalls you. In light of this, it is essential to know that if their food sources are eliminated, they will not survive.
6. Keep the concrete dry
The other option is channeling the water that may collect near or on your concrete slabs to prevent it from seeping through the concrete. Remember, concrete is porous and will always absorb water over time.
You may also consider building your concrete structures away from areas prone to being water-logged. You may need to consider a geotechnical surveyor to advise you on the best areas to construct your house or other concrete structures.
Another good option that is most commonly practiced is sloping the ground away from your walls. Doing so ensures that the excess rainwater runs off from the walls, reducing the chances of soaking.
If you have a concrete slab for your roof, consider creating sloppy water flow channels to facilitate the run-off of rainwater that may collect on your roof. You may also consider using PVC flooring material designed to prevent water from seeping through the concrete surfaces.
Dangers of white mold on concrete
Most people find mold on concrete irritating as it may sometimes prove costly to manage. For instance, it is one of the most common causes of paint peeling off your walls. Without proper strategies to prevent further mold growth, you may have to contend with repainting the house regularly.
The main challenge that mold causes when it grows on your concrete walls is that it may weaken the whole structure over time. Often, the mold usually grows near the base, where more moisture concentration is likely to be found.
Additionally, it is likely to appear on concrete roofs that gather water from various sources like leaking rooftop water tanks or even rain. You can imagine the horror of a concrete slab falling on you or your property.
It is essential to eliminate and prevent further mold growth on your concrete to avert such dangers. You also do not want to lose your house over an issue you could have prevented from happening.
It is important to note the most probable areas for mold growth. Some of such sites include behind furniture kept near walls, behind the refrigerator or cooker, and in water-prone areas like the restroom and in the kitchen.
Once there is mold on your concrete and it is spreading, it means that you never caught the situation early enough. It is also probable that your concrete surface soaked and retained moisture on it. You need to clean all the surfaces on which the mold grows to remove it and stop further spreading.