Moldy Basement Carpet
LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Chuck in Indiana about a basement problem. What’s going on?CHUCK: Yes. I have a – our home is fairly new. It’s only about seven years old. But in the back – what we call the back room; the storage room area – it’s just concrete wall and concrete floor. But we have furniture back there and it seems to have, I guess it’s mold – what I call – that forms at the bottom of the furniture legs. And we have central air. We have a dehumidifier back there and the basement is actually dry all through. And I don’t understand why I still get this mold that seems to be on the legs because I have the furniture sitting on pieces of carpet also.TOM: (laughs) Well, see now; therein lies your problem. You don’t want to put …CHUCK: Oh, that’s the problem?TOM: Yeah, you don’t want to put the furniture on top of the carpet because the carpet is mold food. You’re probably encouraging the mold by doing just that. See, what happens with the carpet is, first of all, generally it has an organic back; like a jute back. Secondly, it traps a lot of dirt and dust and skin cells and other things that mold can feed on.LESLIE: And it sucks up the moisture.TOM: And it sucks up the moisture. So with all that going against you, you’re probably feeding the mold problem. So I would get rid of that carpet. I would …LESLIE: Now Chuck, is it just carpet pieces or do you have the whole floor carpeted?CHUCK: No, it’s just pieces of carpet because it’s a concrete floor and I thought probably the moisture from the concrete floor would be causing that on the furniture.TOM: Well, the moisture from the concrete floor is getting sucked into the carpet …LESLIE: And then sitting there.TOM: … and that’s giving you a nice moisture source from which the mold to grow. So I would get rid of the carpet. You know, if you want to put some wood blocks or concrete blocks or something to make sure you have a little air under that furniture …LESLIE: Get those plastic furniture blocks that – you know, even like those glide-and-slide pieces. Get those little furniture bottoms. Some of them are rubber, some of them are plastic. This way you get something that matches the leg of the piece of furniture that you have and it’s inorganic so you’re not going to transfer the moisture and then cause mold to grow.TOM: Now is the furniture wood or what is that’s …?CHUCK: Yes.TOM: OK. So you’re going to want to treat that mold that’s on it right now and, to do that, you could simply mix up a bleach-and-water solution – about one part bleach and about four parts water; spray it on there, let it sit just for a little while and then wipe it clean so you get rid of anything that’s growing on there right now.CHUCK: Alright, thank you very much.TOM: You’re welcome, Chuck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.