Probably one of the largest projects on our list right now is cleaning out our basement. After living here for 2 years, the basement’s gotten to be the place where things go to be out of the way. Except now pretty much everything in the basement is in the way. Plus, the basement occasionally floods when it rains hard and for long periods of time. The most recent time it flooded, we noticed some mold growing on a small divider wall midway into the basement. Now, we are not fans of the mold, so the mold had to go. So the first step in cleaning out the basement quickly became getting rid of the mold.
Before I got in there and just started tearing things down, I did a little preparation. First, I called the professionals who get rid of mold in homes to see what they would do, how much it would cost, and if I could get rid of it myself. After talking with one of the owners of the business, I felt pretty good about taking care of the problem myself as long as I did step two. Step two: I had to make sure I took all sorts of safety precautions. Since I’m not currently in possession of a hazmat suit (not that the pros suggested I use one or anything), I used a facemask to keep me from breathing in any mold, rubber gloves that kept me from touching it, and clothes that I washed as soon as I was done. I also sprayed the parts of the wall I planned to knock down and get rid of with water (so less particulate moldy stuff would be flying around in the air).
Here’s what I started with:
That’s just the bottom half of the divider wall where the mold was. I took off the board with the holes in it for hanging tools, and then basically slowly pushed the sheetrock off of the wall. The bottom half of the wall came off much easier than the top half, but none of it took too much convincing to let go of its nails.
Also, on the other side of the wall you see above was a work table that we’d put some saloon swinging doors (longish non-related story), windows, and yard equipment on. I had to move this table before I could knock the mold wall down, and when I did (move the table) it pretty much fell apart. I was freeing up space left and right.
The trash pile at the side of the road included: mold wall, saloon doors, two old non-working PA speakers (which I’d already taken apart (another longish non-related story)), and leftover linoleum rolls.
There’s still quite a bit left to do in the basement, including sweeping (which will happen this week, I promise), but at least the mold wall is gone:
You can kind of see the the end of the table that fell apart. It’s hitting the road this week too. Next up for cleaning out the basement is getting rid of things we don’t need/use/are broken. Kristen (whose favorite thing to do is get rid of things) will be a big fan.
So getting rid of nasty stuff (mold) in your basement doesn’t have to be hard, but you do want to make sure that you talk to the professionals first, and, if you’re able to get rid of it yourself, make sure you’re using the appropriate safety attire.