We’re all familiar with the fact that mold can grow on wood, sheetrock and carpet. But can mold also grow on concrete? The answer to this question is yes, and mold growth on concrete can be unsightly and potentially dangerous. Mold growth on concrete surfaces is usually the result of a combination of a lack of air circulation and moisture build-up. The spores that cause mold can be drawn to concrete because it is porous and holds water. Once the spores have drawn to the concrete, they can begin to breed and multiply. This can eventually lead to the formation of a mold colony on the surface of the concrete and, in extreme circumstances, cause serious health issues for humans and animals that come into contact with it.
It is not uncommon for mold to form on concrete that is located inside a home, especially in basements. It can also happen outside on concrete patios, sidewalks, driveways and walkways if they are shaded by trees or other buildings. Typically, these areas of concrete grow mildew because they don’t receive much direct sunlight and don’t dry quickly after it rains or gets wet.
When the mold spores are drawn to the concrete, they begin to breed and multiply and then start to discolor the surface of the concrete. The type of mold that grows on concrete can vary, and the color of the mold will determine what kind of cleaning process will be necessary to remove it. Some molds may be black, while others may be a light green or even white. Black mold is usually the most hazardous because it can produce toxic fumes that can make people sick.
There are a few different ways to clean concrete that has mold on it, but the most effective way is to scrub the affected area with a mold-killing detergent, such as RMR-86 Instant Mold & Mildew Stain Remover, or a simple solution of bleach and water. This should be done in a well-ventilated area, and a mask should be worn to ensure that the mold spores don’t get into the eyes or nose. It is also a good idea to wear rubber gloves while you’re working on this task.
The best way to prevent mold on concrete is to eliminate the key element it needs to thrive, moisture. This can be accomplished by cutting back the foliage that creates shady areas on concrete patios, driveways and walks or by using an acrylic sealer designed for outdoor use on the concrete to block moisture from penetrating the surface. In homes, the best way to prevent mold in concrete is to fix any leaky plumbing or air conditioning ducts that are causing condensation and allowing moisture to seep into unpainted concrete walls and floors.
While it is possible to remove mold from concrete, the underlying material is durable and will not be damaged if it is left alone. However, it is important to know that the underlying concrete should not be covered with a layer of carpet or other material that could trap moisture and promote mold growth.