Mold in Basement - Need Advice
We just discovered we have mold in our basement. The basement is an old finished basement with wood paneling. We removed a panel piece for electrical work and discovered mold on the drywall behind the wood paneling. I have no idea how long the mold has been there (we purchased the house 4.5 years ago). How much mold we have (we have only removed one section of the paneling so far). There are other areas that are not paneled and I do not see any mold.
My husband now wants pay someone to "get the mold out of our house" and refinish the basement.
My concern is to make sure we finish the basement correctly and do everything we can so the mold doesn't come back.
Basement details: Half the basement is a 4 foot high crawl space (the crawl space ground is covered in concrete). The other half is the "finished" basement section. Basement walls are cinderblock and I believe the floor is a concrete floating slab. The basement currently is finished with fiberglass insulation rolled between the wall framing (right up against the cinderblock wall). There is no vapor barrier. The floor has a thin low pile carpet with black foam backing epoxyed directly to the concrete floor (not happy about that).
Water in the basement has not been an issue. We live high on a hill with land sloping away from the house, gutters are cleaned 4 times a year, and downspouts point away from the house.
I beleive the issue is humidity, but I am not sure. Again, I don't know how long the mold has been there and if it was an old problem or if it still is an issue. The basement doesn't smell musty and the joists actually look splintered and dryed out. When we purchased the house the home had a 30+ year old furnice with a broken water valve that was shut off, so in the winter we had no moisture. It was really horribly dry. Since then we have purchased a geothermal system. Last night our hydrometer showed 56% humidty (April 27 - rainy day). We live in a very wooded area in southeastern PA.
When refinishing the basement what methods & materials should we use? Do we use a paint or XPS type vapor barrier? Insulation? Floor materials? Drywall? Also what do we do with the crawl space area?
I would like not to have to run a dehumidfier. We are trying to be energy efficient (why we got the GeoThermal system) so I really don't want to have a dehumidifier running constantly. Is that possible? We don't run one now and I hate to have to do that. Plus since we never go down into the basement I would forget to empty it anyway.
I would like to make this an inexpensive project. We were not planning on finishing the basement. We really don't use the basement at all, but we purchased a house with a finished basement...so we don't want to de-value our house by ripping it out and not putting one back in.
Thanks in advance for the advice.