LESLIE: Kelly in Indiana needs some help in the basement. What’s going on at your money pit?
Mineral Deposits in the Basement
KELLY: Hi. A few years ago we had some waterproofing done and where they seamed the new concrete to the old I have mold growing and I can’t kill it and I was wondering what I need to do to kill that mold. It’s white mold …
TOM: (overlapping voices) OK, that’s not mold.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Oh, that’s not mold.
TOM: That’s not mold.
KELLY: Oh, it isn’t?
TOM: No, it’s mineral salt deposits. What that …
KELLY: Well, it gets – it’s fuzzy-looking, though.
TOM: I know, I know. It’s mineral salt deposits. I’ll prove it to you.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Because it’s the salt crystal like sticking outward on itself.
TOM: Go take some white vinegar and water. Mix up a solution, spray it; you’ll watch it melt away.
KELLY: White vinegar.
LESLIE: And water.
KELLY: And water.
LESLIE: You’re going to have to do it again and again but …
TOM: What’s happening here, Kelly, though is that the reason you’re seeing that is because it’s evidence of moisture.
TOM: So you still have moisture in there and you know we generally don’t recommend waterproofing surfaces because they’re almost never needed. I know Indiana has some pretty wet areas but unless it’s a high water table you don’t need it. If your basement got wet after a rainstorm, then it’s always curable with improvements in grading and drainage outside; extending gutters, downspouts, that sort of thing. I would look to the exterior and make sure that all that is in proper order: the gutters are clean, the downspouts are four to six feet from the house and the soil around the house slopes away with no obstructions. You need to reduce the amount of water to slow down that mineral salt deposit.
KELLY: OK. Thank you very much for your help. I really appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.