Fungus growing in your basement is probably a form of mold or mildew. However, it is not uncommon for mushrooms -- also a form of fungus -- to grow on basement walls and floors. Fungus such as mold, mildew and mushrooms thrives in areas that receive very little light, are continuously damp and have a high level of humidity. If left untreated, the fungus can quickly take over the basement, leave possible permanent stains and fill the area with an unpleasant musty odor.
Things You'll Need
Safety Goggles Without Vent Holes
Don a pair of rubber gloves, safety goggles without vent holes and an N-95 respirator. These items will keep your skin from coming in contact with the fungus and prevent you from breathing in its spores.
Remove all items from your basement. Place hard items -- such as furniture, containers and toys -- outside on a plastic tarp and wash with a mixture of 1 gallon water and 1 cup oxygen bleach. Launder washable items such as cloths and bedding as you normally would, except add 2 cups of white vinegar to the wash. Discard porous items such as papers, cardboard and pictures that have fungus growth present. You cannot salvage these items.
Remove any mushrooms growing in the basement. Either sweep them up with a brush broom or manually pull each mushroom off the walls and floors. Place the mushrooms in a garbage bag, secure the bag closed, and place it in an outside trash can.
Fill a 5-gallon bucket with 2 gallons warm water. Add 2 cups oxygen bleach, and mix with a spoon. Saturate a brush broom in the mixture. If a brush broom is not available, use a scrub brush with an extension handle.
Scrub the basement walls. Begin at the top of the walls, and work your way down toward the floor. Dip the brush broom back in the mixture whenever it becomes soiled or dry. Continue scrubbing until the walls are thoroughly cleaned. Let the mixture sit on the walls for 15 minutes before rinsing them clean with a water hose. Use the water pressure of the hose to direct the water toward the basement drain.
Saturate the brush broom in the mixture, and begin scrubbing the basement floors. Start at the area of the floor that is farthest away from the entrance, and work toward the entrance. Let the mixture sit on the floor for 15 minutes before rinsing the floor with a water hose. Direct the water toward the basement drain.
Let the basement dry completely before placing the items back in.
- Ask The Builder: Mold
- North Dakota State University Agriculture and University Extension: Remove Mold for a Healthy Home
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Mold and Moisture
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Cleanup and Remediation
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Basic Facts