How do I get rid of white stuff on the surface of basement walls?

Josie Blixt
by Josie Blixt

Is it mold?? How can you tell? should it be washed down with vinegar or vinegar? How can I stop it from returning?

  8 answers
  • Kelly Denoyer Russell Kelly Denoyer Russell on Jan 11, 2020

    Sounds like moisture. I get it on the outside stone from water in one spot where the gutters are not efficient. If it’s in one area check outside gutters and drainage. White generally isn’t mold. You could start with vinegar and then bleach. Do walls feel damp? Is your basement damp? Some areas I hand those bands that pull water out of the air.

  • Kelli L. Milligan Kelli L. Milligan on Jan 11, 2020
    It could be. What is the surface? Concrete? Drywall? Stone? Yes. Wash down with vinegar. Then add a dehumidifier to address your moisture problems. If it I still happening after you tried to lower the moisture you may have to call in a foundation company to make sure it's not seeping water thru your walls. You may only have to seal the walls. But get opinions first so as to not trap water and really cause issues. Hope the humidifier works.

  • Betsy hit the nail on the head. Here are a couple more sites on basement efflorescence.

    I have it on some of my concrete walkways but it is outside and doesn't bother me and can easily power wash it.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jan 11, 2020

    Vinegar will kill mold. I would buy a dehumidifier. We had this issue and using damp rid products helped but it was too much for them. I was having to vinegar clean monthly. After we bought a dehumidifier, problem solved. Even in Alabama summers where humidity is super high.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jan 11, 2020

    Efflorescence is probably what you are seeing. This means water is coming in from outside, all the way through the wall. This will not stop, no matter how much you clean the wall. These are the salts and minerals in the wall coming through the wall.

    The water infiltration must be stopped, dried out and then it can be finally cleaned up inside.

    Today, put extensions on all your downspouts another 4’ away from the house, min.

    Today, clean out the gutters so they drain down the downspouts and don’t hold the water.

    Look at the dirt angle within a 2-3’ perimeter around the house. It needs to slope at 4%, by Code.

    In the Spring, consider if you need to clean out French Drains or add them.

    Water infiltration will cause mold and mold spores have no problem getting into the rest of the house.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Jan 12, 2020

    This is one time I suggest you call in the pros. Any type of mold or related substance has the potential to make you and your pets very sick. If there are dangerous substances, they can be safely removed. Better safe than sorry.

  • Homeroad Homeroad on Jan 14, 2020

    You could seal your walls with a basement waterproofing paint.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 17, 2020

    Hello there,

    Sounds like fosferescence caused when damp comes through a wall. The room should be tanked if you intend to use it for accomodation......Best wishes.