Mold needs three conditions to exist: water, a food source, and the right temperatures. Food sources are abundant since any organic material such as wood, leather, or paper will fit the menu. Drywall has a paper covering on each side. Also, most paints have an organic composition. The gypsum and the paper absorb available moisture, the paper provides the food, and temperature does the rest. The best control for mold is to eliminate one of the three conditions. Moisture elimination is usually the best option. Mold inhibitors (poisons) are at best temporary and rarely 100% effective. You can kill mold with a mixture of chlorox, water, and soap but the mold will return after application.
Before you cover your basement wall with anything, be completely sure that you have stopped ALL moisture contributions from the walls. I visited the Radonsealer web site and noticed that they never guarantee that their product will STOP moisture or radon. What they offer is a MITIGATION warranty. Mitigation means "to lessen the severity or intensity of". Therefore, they only guarantee that the levels of moisture or radon will be LESS than before, but never say how much less. In my 30 years of experience I have found it EXTREMELY difficult to stop water/moisture from the inside surface after it has permeated the wall. It is best (but most difficult and expensive) to stop the moisture from the outside surface. This calls for trenching, sealers, and french drains. This is more than most owners want to do.
Most basements were never intended to be finished spaces. If you cover a damp wall, mildew will grow. Unless you plan to continuously heat or cool the basement (like the house above) it is not a good idea to cover the wall with anything. That being said, you can CONTROL the moisture after it has penetrated the wall. First, seal the wall as best you can but expect some amount of moisture to still get through. Next, construct your gypsum/stud wall so that the studs stand off of the masonry or concrete wall a few inches. You want an open cavity between the new wall and the basement wall. Lastly, provide forced air ventilation through this cavity that continually moves dry air from the heater or from a conditioned room. Do not use cooled air as this encourages mildew. Furnace heated air is the best because it is dry, but furnaces don't usually run all year. For instance, from a conditioned room above you could circulate air through the wall cavity and back to the room above. If the basement room is continuously conditioned, get the air from that room. The air should move from the bottom of the wall cavity to the top and should be evenly distributed the entire length of the wall. Not a weekend project!
Gypsum/drywallIs Gypsum a source of food for black molds or n... 3 REPLIES