Moldy Rug in your Basement; what do I do?

When dealing with any style of mold the first thing to do would be to throw out the object(s) that is supporting the mold; in this case the rug. Letting anything sit and decompose because of mold isn’t healthy. The mold that will grow on that rug adds many pounds of allergens to the air each day.

Second thing to do would be to scrub down the floor with a mop using a 50/50 mix of bleach to water and let dry.

Whenever you work around mold, whether you’re sensitive to mold or not, make sure to wear proper eye, hand and clothing protection in order to not let your skin or eyes become irritated. If your skin does come into direct contact with mold, make sure to wash your skin with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds.

Thirdly, this is the time to have a very thorough basement inspection. Ask yourself: where is the water/moisture coming into the basement? Am I running a dehumidifier to help filter the air and regulate the RH (relative humidity) in the basement? What other organic objects (boxes, bookshelves, wood, clothing, paper, etc.) is down here that might be feeding the mold?

By removing all the mold food you can easily gain control back of your basement. But don’t neglect the basement because of one small rug being moldy. This rug was a definite sign of issues in your basement that needed to be handled.

Contact your local basement-waterproofing expert in order to fully control any and all moisture in your basement. Controlling the moisture is a sure way to limit and even eliminate the mold content of your basement.

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Books for the Basement Condition Minded

Women, Plumbers, and Doctors; or, Household Sanitation. By Mrs. H.M.Plunkett, 1885

Farm Drainage.  By Henry F. French, 1859

Both of these books listed above are indeed over 100 years old. In sharing them with you I hope that you in turn then use the links, read at least small parts of these books, and revisit the age of “sanitary enlightenment”. 

It was an exciting time in the 1800s where science was gaining credibility, they were discovering causes and effects of the microscopic world, the fungal world, and were now applying this knowledge to the home.

Much of the information is considered common knowledge at this point. I would even consider them the base of what our standard practices in the home as far as sanitation.  Both of course tie in sanitation with the working state of the basement, not only as a storage place, but also as a living place. Many house servants used the basement for a living quarters; one could only imagine.

My pressing cause for spreading the word, the urgency, and the necessity of maintaining proper conditions in the basement is not because it’s what I do…but as an asthmatic, as someone with allergies, as someone who’s very sensitive to sanitary conditions both at home and abroad, I experience and understand the need for this type of work and wish to share with my readers the fact that this is not new knowledge.

If they knew about stack effect in the 1800’s why are we only now doing things to correct our basement environments? Why hasn’t the government done research and mandated stricter building codes in which to protect us while living there? They are questions to ask your self.

Vapor Barriers and Why you do need them.

There’s a lot of talk circulating around forums and interest boards about basement waterproofing. A standard question comes up about this topic about Vapor Barriers: Do I need one and how do I install it?

 

Simple:

 

Traditional techniques dictate that the location of the Vapor Barrier should be placed outside of the studs, covering both the studs and the insulation. The drywall is then installed on top of the Barrier. It’s the right idea in the wrong order.
That style of technique is wrong because it allows any of the moisture that’s trapped from the barrier to sit behind it. If it’s coming in contact with regular fiberglass insulation you’re then adding that moisture to the fiberglass which can propagate mold and mildew. The second problem is that the barrier isn’t connected to a draining system. The water has no where to go. Typically the barrier sometimes doesn’t even reach the floor and won’t stop water from coming into the active living space. It allows the water to find the drywall and wick up the back of it to cause more damage.

 

A very simple solution can solve all this issue.

Place the vapor barrier ON the concrete wall, run it to a drainage system that can handle the water/moisture that the barrier traps.  Install BasementShield 1″-2″ away from the barrier and you’ll be completely protected and insulated properly from any style of moisture/vapor/water that could seep/leak/wick through the concrete walls and infect your areas.  

 

So: YES, you need a vapor barrier to keep moisture/V.O.C.s/radon/water out of your living space. You install it directly on the concrete.  You then need a drainage system to actually help remove the water from behind the barrier.  Next you need to install non-organic construction like BasementShield 1-2″ from the barrier in order to remove food for mold and mildew to feed on.  The barrier is for your health, to protect from water damage, to restrict the effect of radon and other V.O.C.s from affecting your air quality, and to protect the rest of the investment in the basement finishing that you’ve put your equity into.  

 

TAKE NOTE:

Most, if not all, 4mil vapor barriers are not fire rated.

 

The Vapor Barriers that are used by Pioneer Basement are all 6mil plus in thickness.  The most important thing is that Pioneer only uses Class A Fire Retardant barriers.  That means that the barrier won’t ignite in contact with fire, but will melt and smolder itself out. We then added anti-microbial to the barrier to greater enhance the effect it has on eliminating mold and mildew from growing as well as the creeping of Iron Bacteria up the vapor barrier

 

 

Acton, MA Customer Happy with Pioneer Basement

Every now and again we receive letters from customers talking about how happy they are with Pioneer Basement’s system, installers, customer service and drainage performance.

I like to share these letters in hopes that people who are doing research about Pioneer Basement Waterproofing in Westport, MA might stumble upon them and take them into consideration as they look into some of our references.

More letters from customers can be found on: http://www.pioneerbasement.com/forum/blog.php

“””””

Acton, MA 01720

July 3rd, 1997

Dear Mr. Andras,

I am taking the time to drop you a letter to express my appreciation for the job your installation crew performed today in my home. The work was accomplished professionally, quickly and neatly. I was especially pleased with the care taken to route the drain piping which was complicated by the peculiarities of my basement. There was no noticeable debris left behind and the work was accomplished in a very workmanlike manner. There was no damage to my lawn, garden or shrubbery or to anything inside the basement, including water and oil lines in the area of the work.

Your crew carried themselves in a professional and courteous manner at all times.

Your project manager, Pat R, did a very creditable job of explaining options and working with me in selecting a design matched to the needs of my home.

I have not yet had the opportunity to see how the systems works long-term, but my initial experience with your company was very positive. By the way, one of the reasons I decided to select Pioneer was the Better Business Bureau reliability report indicating that you have had no complaints over the last three years.

Yours truly,

James D.”””””

Basement Waterproofing Intro

Me personally? I’m a project manager here at Pioneer Basement in Westport, MA. My job in writing to you in blog form is to help you get more of and idea, to create transparancy in our business with our customers. I’m here to answer questions, provide solutions, links, topics and go into more depth about them then you would with your Project Manager about your Basement Waterproofing Project.

There are some things you can do as a DIY project, but the majority of all basement waterproofing and basement finishing projects, to have consistent quality and craftsmen-ship, most projects demand professionals to take care of them.

Here I’m hoping to address some major questions, techniques and better, newer technology that will help you to find the waterproofing and finishing systems that you’re looking for.