04:08AM | 08/13/03
Member Since: 08/12/03
3 lifetime posts
Good Morning:

I hope you can help enlighten me.   I just bought a modular home
(prefab), with a prefab basement.  We had the house built and we are doing the
finishing work.  This home has a septic system and a sub pump in the basement, we also have a very high water table.  We have ran drains and used a barrier before
having the basement floor poured.  We moved into the home in a rush because we
had to be out of our townhouse by the end of the month.  We moved and it rained
real hard, we did try and cover most of the items but I am sure something's got
wet. A lot of the stuff was packed into a one car garage and the rest was put
into the dining room and living room, which had plastic on the carpets. I
couldn't stand the house this way and started to move the boxes into the
basement.  I live in NJ and this past summer we have had a lot of rain. I did
not notice the smell right away.  I have allergy problems and due to a couple
operations I am usually the one person who can smell things a mile away. The
basement is not finished and does not have any insulation yet nor was the floor sealed yet. I really didn't go down stairs into the basement much because I had a lot to do upstairs.  I did go down on a couple of occasions just to move the maybe 150 boxes from one wall to another, due to inspections.  A couple of weeks ago I did start to smell a musty order I just chalked it up to the rain we've been having. Last
week I went into the basement to start to bring the boxes up and get them
cleaned out.  I don't know if by doing this it might have made the problem
greater; I shut all the basement windows.  Now, I opened one of the boxes to
find mold a green fur like growing on some of the things I had in the
box, it looks like the kind you get on bread. I then almost had a fit because I am a neat freak and this made me almost crazy. I went down stairs to check it out better and now saw mold on the wood furniture I had down there and on a lot of the boxes.  I opened more of the boxes to find that it now is on a lot of the items I had down there.
The past two days we spent taking all the boxes out to the garage.  I had boxes
in the garage but they were OK, so I moved them into the house and the ones in
the basement in to the garage.  I threw a lot of the furniture out into the
trash. I know that a lot of my things are covered with this and I am afraid to
keep any of it.  I have things in there that were given to me that I cannot replace.  My Mom passed away when I was 18 months old and I have pictures and
things that were given to me that were hers.  I am at a loss, I have
been cleaning everything with a disinfect from Lysol and then using alcohol, white vinegar, to wipe it down, again, I am not sure if I got into all the little cracks and if
its safe to keep any of this? How do I know if this mold is toxic?   I am
also afraid that when we go down there to bring things up that we are now tracking
the stuff onto the rugs and floors and if mold can grow from what we bring into
those rooms.  I wash every towel and all the clothes we wear in hot water to
make sure I kill the mold.  I got this cleaner called TPS and a sealer paint to
do the floors.  I have not removed everything from down there due to the fact I have no place to put it all. I did get a dehumidifier, and an exhaust fan which I am using 24 hours a day now but the cleaning of the mold I didn't not start yet.

Once I clean the whole area and seal it, if I put the thing's that I can clean into plastic bins and keep them off the floor would mold still be able to grow inside the bins?  Can hold be airborne; because I also noticed that a lot of the boxes have a fine green mist almost like when dust collects on
things but the color is green?

I would appreciate any help anyone might be able to give me.  I am overwhelmed by this whole ordeal.


05:42AM | 08/17/03
Member Since: 05/19/03
457 lifetime posts
If you clean your things up that you want to store and put them in the plastic containers and make sure the lid is tight and everything of course is dry you should have no problem storing this anywhere you want and not get mold on them.


05:06AM | 08/18/03
Member Since: 09/16/02
251 lifetime posts
I stored stuff like you and had the same problem only not nearly as bad. I found that as I moved cardboard boxes the cement was a different color because it was absorbing so much moisture from the cement. Luckily for me the stuff had not been in there long and I was able to save most of my stuff. I did however put pallets on the floor which provided circulation. I probably would not pack on the outside cement walls either for the same reason. As far as the mold problems I wouldn't take my chances. Some of the pictures that are important to you, take to an office supplystore and see if you can't get a color copy of it on photo paper. It's a little expensive, but the photos will last longer than the ones that are already 40-50 years old. My wife and I have had good luck reproducing pics that way. If they are small pics tape them toa 9x11" paper before you go and you may get 5-10 on one copy. As far as clothes I would get rid of as many as I could. You may want to talk to your health department about how safe it is.

How much did the new dehumidifier cost you???

You did go out and buy one, didn't you?

Good luck,



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