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Question DetailsAsked on 1/23/2017

can mold spores in basement go up the stairs?

there is some mold on walls of basement; there is an open stairwell from there , up 4 flights. Can the mold spores travel in the air upwards and cause mold growth in other areas? There is no venting in the stairwell, but there is a door on each floor. exiting the stair well. So while removing the mold, must there be a barrier to prevent spores from travelling up to other floors?

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1 Answer


Yes - there will be at least some air circulation regardless of whether the basement is vented or in the air circulation system or not. So yes, taped visqueen barrier at a minimum.

FAR better to rig a fan in a window or outside basement door (visqueen taped around the frame to ensure the air does not just short-circuit back to the fan from outside) to vent it outside, creating a negative pressure in the work area in the process.

Course, when cleaning mold, you should be trying to minimize aerosolization anyway by using only wet/damp removal methods - both to restrict the amount moving around to land elsewhere in the adjacent areas, but also to make it safer for you to work there - because start getting the spores airborne in quantity and your mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth, ears) and lungs become targets of opportunity for the mold to take hold and grow. And of course wear appropriate personal protective gear, and remove and bag the clothing worn during the work (if into serious mold removal, not just a spot or two) at the perimeter of the work area when done and put it into the wash with bleach or borax powder or other mildewcide immediately. And immediately take a shower to avoid spreading spores all over. If heavy mold work, best to use disposable tyvek hooded overalls for $5-10 each.

Bear in mind there are millions of mold spores in everyday air but you don't get loads of mold growth because the humidity is too low (below roughly 55%) or they land in areas expeosed to significant light (especially sunlight) so they do not thrive, so it is not like you are preventing a contagious disease from spreading - but obviously if you spread a lot of them around the chances of some finding a happy growing ground elsewhere in the house increases.

IF you go to the Home > Mold link in Browse Projects, at lower left, you can find a lot of previous questions with answers about mold remediation issues. Here is a link to probably the most-responsed to one from that list -

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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