Molds are microscopic organisms that thrive in damp places with poor ventilation. Mildew is mold at an early growth stage. Mold performs an invaluable role in nature's regeneration process. Without mold, dead organisms would not decay. Unfortunately, mold often shows up in such areas as concrete basements, bringing with it the potential for significant damage to your health and home. Removing mold and preventing its return are imperative for any homeowner who recognizes mold's damp, pungent odor in the home.
Put on the mask, goggles and gloves. Identify areas of mold growth. Only mold grows on concrete blocks, so identifying mold is simple. Look for dark, hairy-looking spots (mildew), jelly-like growths and small mushrooms. All are forms of mold.
Scrape away all surface mold and mildew, and place the scrapings in a plastic garbage bag.
Clean the area with a stiff brush and a mixture of hot water and detergent. Rinse with clean water and dry the area with paper or other disposable towels. Put the towels and scraper in the plastic garbage bag.
Open the windows if you are inside. Disinfect the area with a mixture of bleach and water (1/2 cup of bleach per gallon of water). Allow the area to dry naturally. Do not mix bleach with an ammonia-based cleaner; mixing them causes toxic fumes.
Apply a coat of clear concrete sealer to prevent the mold from returning. Search for leaking pipes or other sources of water. Repair any leaks and explore options for increasing ventilation in the affected space. Dispose of the trash bag.