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Strange basement growth

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Strange basement growth

Postby chadzeilenga » Sat Jul 26, 2008 3:37 am

Hello all,
Annie & I are finally getting our house ready for the big move-in and have the dehumidifier running full force in the basement. It has been doing a great job of getting all of the dampness cleared up and the dust on the floor is finally dry enough for me to clean up!
After cleaning out the basement and running the dehumidifier for about a week we did notice a strange growth on the basement floor between the old & new boiler. It is looks like there is a bunch of white cottonwood in a 2 sq ft area. It is purely white and very whispy. I think it might be mold, but wouldn't we see that when the basement was wet? It is in an area where there was no moisture before. I tried to sweep it up and it just matted down and some stuck to the broom. Before I left that day I sprayed it down with some Chlorox.
Any thoughts?
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Re: Strange basement growth

Postby KJShea » Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:21 am

We had that happen when our area had it's hundred year flood earlier this summer. We sit on a hill, so stayed pretty dry, but the ground was so wet that it leached up through the basement floor. At first we thought it might be minerals, but then wondered if it was mold, too. One way or the other, I wasn't walking on it in bare feet! :shock:

Break out the Clorox!
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Re: Strange basement growth

Postby Texas_Ranger » Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:36 pm

It's supposed to be some mineral. We have that kind of stuff on the plastered brick walls of the former cow stables and it's claimed to be urea. Nothing dangerous. We'll probably have to replaster to get rid of it though.
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Re: Strange basement growth

Postby djbradle » Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:59 pm

Efflorescence: Water that infiltrates masonry and pulls mineral salts out causes it.
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Re: Strange basement growth

Postby asiedydd » Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:03 pm

If it looks like this, it's probably efflorescence.

Image

If it looks like this, it's probably a mold or other fungus.

Image
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Re: Strange basement growth

Postby chadzeilenga » Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:10 pm

It looks like Pic #1. How do I get rid of it. The dehumidifier is running in the basement continuously and it is very dry down there.
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Re: Strange basement growth

Postby asiedydd » Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:49 pm

chadzeilenga wrote:It looks like Pic #1. How do I get rid of it. The dehumidifier is running in the basement continuously and it is very dry down there.


The efflorescence is from moisture drying AFTER it has passed through the concrete. A dehumidifier won't eliminate it - it just dries the air after the moisture has evaporated into it. You'll need to investigate the source of the moisture.
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Re: Strange basement growth

Postby kec01 » Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:41 am

You can brush it and alot will come off, but I agree that you have to stop it at the source. The water is likely on the outside of the basement and is working it's way in....is your soil particularly wet?
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Re: Strange basement growth

Postby utopia13 » Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:41 am

This is a coincidence...I just had my bug guy check my place yesterday for termites & I have a spot like pic #2 in my coal bin area. It's a dirt floor, no insulation & it's "growing" where the floor joists & concrete wall meet. He told me the area needed to be treated with (I believe) borax & I need a vapor barrier on the floor & Insulation up top.

Does this sound right? I agree I need the insulation, since above that space is my office & my pantry & those 2 rooms are really cold in the winter time. I figure this might be something I can address on my own...rather than pay them. The estimate was $700. ! :shock:
ca 1916 Craftsman Bungalow
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