Home CleaningPost-construction cleaning 5 Easy Ways to Clean Basement Walls for a Brighter Tomorrow

5 Easy Ways to Clean Basement Walls for a Brighter Tomorrow

By Albert G. Croley
1.9K views 1 min read

Basements can be sources of nightmares for many. Some people are scared of going down into the darkness, while some are scared of the strange noises.

But let’s talk about something much scarier in basements.

Any guesses? Well, mold it is!

Moldy basements can cause a number of health risks, and they just smell awful.

That’s why, in the following discussion, we are going to talk about how to clean basement walls in the most effective way possible. So you can finally get rid of this dust and dirt once and for all.

Read on to find out!

 Key Takeaways:
Ventilate the basement adequately before, during, and after cleaning.
Ensure walls are thoroughly dried before applying waterproofing paint or sealer to prevent future moisture issues.
Consider professional assistance for large areas or extensive mold growth.

Tools and Materials You Will Need

  • Ropes and tapes to remove any furniture
  • Old towel, cloth, or sponge
  • Water-resistant covers to avoid dampness
  • Cleaning solutions such as vinegar, clean water, detergent, hydrogen peroxide, and others
  • Protective gear such as rubber gloves and hair caps
  • A toolkit with crowbar, spray bottles, and screwdrivers
  • A vacuum cleaner for removing dust and dirt

Preparing Basement Walls for Cleaning

Before you start the cleaning process, make sure the area is ready to be cleaned and redecorated. All the required cleaning materials to remove mold should be assembled before you can get started.

Clear the Area

Lots of tools may lie haphazardly in the basement, and they can cause obstruction when working. So be sure to clear up enough space for you to clean.

You need to follow some procedures when cleaning basement walls. Hence, remember these tips before you start the process:

  • Keep all required materials and tools close at hand so they are within easy reach.
  • Clear any unnecessary objects, such as chairs, tables, laundry baskets, etc.
  • Move any frames or items hung along the walls so there are no obstructions.

Protect Surrounding Items

Some items can’t be removed or carried out of the basement. So you need to cover up such objects to protect them from water or the cleaning solution.

If there are any countertops, chairs, or tables, make sure to cover them with waterproof plastic or a coat.

Use tapes or ropes to tie down any furniture that might be upended or displaced during the cleaning.

Ventilate the Area

It’s normal for basements to not have windows or any form of ventilation as they are at an underground level.

Ventilate the Area
Ventilate the Area

Some basements may have windows positioned above the ground, but if your basement is at a lower level, ventilation is difficult.

In these cases, keep the basement door open before the cleaning starts. Also, remember to keep the door open during cleaning and after finishing work as well.

Wear Protective Gear

If you’re cleaning up basement walls, there will be several crevices and closed spaces that are hard to reach. These areas may fester with black mold, dampness, and dirt.

So, wear rubber gloves before touching these regions, and carry a dry stick to remove any fungus formations or insect infestations.

Test the Cleaning Solution

It’s best to keep a wide variety of options open when deciding on a cleaning solution for basement walls and the floor.

Bleach is a common go-to for cleaning mold and general washes. But make sure to have some vinegar or white vinegar, clean water, detergent, and a hydrogen peroxide solution on hand for a thorough cleaning.

How Do I Clean Basement Walls?

Home organization and cleaning can be a bit daunting, especially if it’s your first time. But no worries, here is a step-by-step guide to cleaning basement walls:

How Do I Clean Basement Walls?
How Do I Clean Basement Walls?

Step 1: Remove Dirt and Debris

Let’s start by clearing away any dirt and debris clinging to the walls.

Grab a broom or a vacuum with a brush attachment to sweep away loose dirt and cobwebs. And if you spot any larger debris, like chunks of old insulation or random items, toss those out too. After all, we want a clean canvas to work with.

Step 2: Treating Mold and Mildew

Next up, if you see any spots, it’s time to tackle them head-on.

What to do?

Mix up a solution of equal parts water and bleach in a spray bottle. However, be sure to wear gloves and a mask for this part, as bleach can be potent stuff.

Afterward, spray the affected areas generously and let the solution sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with a stiff brush. And then, simply rinse with water and pat dry.

Step 3: Removing Stains

Stains can be stubborn little things, but we won’t let them win.

For oil-based stains, a mixture of dish soap and warm water should do the trick. Just scrub gently and rinse with clean water.

On the other hand, for tougher stains like rust or mineral deposits, you might need to break out the big guns with a commercial cleaner.

However, make sure to follow the instructions carefully, if you want those stains to disappear once and for all.

Step 4: Cleaning the Walls

Now that the tough stuff is out of the way, it’s time to give those walls a good scrubbing. Fill a bucket with warm water and a mild detergent, like dish soap or a gentle all-purpose cleaner.

Afterward, grab a sponge or a soft bristle brush and start scrubbing from the top down. Work in small sections, rinsing your sponge frequently, to avoid streaks.

Step 5: Drying and Sealing the Walls

Once your walls are squeaky clean, it’s important to let them dry thoroughly before moving on to the next step.

Open up any windows or doors to encourage airflow, and consider using a fan or dehumidifier if you need to speed up the process. Once dry, you can seal the walls with waterproofing paint or sealer to help prevent future moisture issues.

When to Call a Professional?

Sometimes the work area may be too big to tackle alone. Or the mold spores in your basement may have gotten out of hand and formed several structures. If that’s the case, you might want to call for professional help.

When to Call a Professional?
When to Call a Professional?

Besides, professional assistance staff will clean the basement properly and even take precautions to avoid any future mold buildup. After all, they are the experts in this field who know very well how to do their work.

How to Prevent Mold and Damage?

Mold can be a real headache. However, the good news is that with a few handy tips and a bit of regular TLC, you can keep your home mold-free and in tip-top shape.

They are as follows:

  • Wipe down wet surfaces like countertops, sinks, and showers regularly. Also, don’t forget to dry off those forgotten corners where water likes to linger.
  • Make sure your bathrooms, kitchen, and laundry areas are well-ventilated. For example, you can use open windows or exhaust fans to kick that moisture out.
  • Always keep an eye out for any signs of water leaks and fix them immediately. This will not only prevent mold, but it’ll also save you from potential water damage down the line.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier for those extra damp areas of your home, like basements or crawl spaces.
  • Be mindful of your indoor greenery and only water as needed. You can also add a thin layer of gravel to the top of your plant soil to help prevent mold growth.
  • Make it a habit to inspect your home for any signs of mold or water damage. Catching it early can save you a ton of hassle and money in the long run.

Recommendations for Humidity Control

The best way to prevent mold growth and mildew formation in the basement is to prevent dampness. Here are some recommendations you can follow:

  • Keep the basement area well-ventilated, with open windows and doors.
  • Maintain a regular clean-up routine for the basement when you wipe all the surfaces to prevent dampness.
  • Keep some fans in the basement to facilitate faster drying.
  • Invest in a dehumidifier to control humidity levels in the closed space.

Wrapping Up

That’s all regarding how to clean basement walls with complete ease.

However, the actual cleaning part is a hassle in itself, but it also takes quite a lot of mental preparation to actually get started.

So before you start cleaning the walls and the floor, observe your basement area properly. Take extra notes on any furniture that needs to be removed and surfaces that should be covered.

Always remember to keep the basement walls and floor dry. Use a vacuum cleaner for regular dust cleaning, and keep the door open for ventilation. Practice caution when moving heavy objects. After all, we don’t want any accidents.

Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Often Should You Clean Your Basement?

Normally if your basement is an abandoned space only used for storage, cleaning it twice a year should be enough. However, if you use your basement as an additional living space, monthly cleaning is advisable to maintain functionality and hygiene.

What is the best cleaner for black mold on concrete?

Bleach only cleans the surface area of concrete. This means mold spores remain in the concrete pores. Vinegar has acetic acid, which is deadly to mold. So it is best to use vinegar for cleaning black mold on concrete.

Is black mold on concrete toxic?

Yes, black mold is a highly toxic fungus that reproduces on damp concrete. It can lead to allergic symptoms and respiratory problems. And even lead to lung infections and other harmful diseases, in the worst-case scenario.

Can you pressure wash the basement walls?

It’s not recommended to use a pressure washer on concrete walls, as excessive water can lead to water damage. If the walls are too dirty, it’s best to seek the services of professional cleaners rather than risk further complications with a pressure washer.

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