Are you worried about the red, slimy ‘mud’ or ‘mold’ that is growing in your basement? You may have something called, iron bacteria, that produces a biofilm capable of damaging your plumbing and appliances. This bacterium is naturally found in soil and can sometimes make its way into the home. It isn’t harmful to humans but can do a number on the house. What can you expect with this red biofilm in place?

How Iron Bacteria Can Wreck Your Basement

If the iron levels in your soil are high, it could also have elevated levels of iron bacteria. Unfortunately, the bacteria can make its way into you home through cracks in the basement walls, through the plumbing, and in minor floods. Once inside a wet basement, the iron bacteria will grow, feasting on any sources of iron available. 

Naturally, this causes several potential issues for homeowners in various areas:

  • Plumbing: The iron bacteria can accumulate in massive colonies that clog up your pipes causing backups and overflowing water.
  • Sump Pump: Your sump pump can also become clogged with iron bacteria biofilm and stop working. 
  • French Drain: Just like the plumbing and sump pump, the red biofilm can grow in the French drain causing it to clog up or just look unattractive.
  • Concrete Walls and Floor: If you have any moisture in the basement walls or on the floor, it could provide a place where iron bacteria can take hold and begin growing.

Potential Fixes for Iron Bacteria

If you do have the dreaded red slime in your basement, there are many things you can do to get rid of it. Homeowners can perform some simple maintenance and clean-up of the biofilm to get their basement looking better. However, they will probably need to continue with regular cleaning up of the biofilm to keep it under control. 

At Basement Waterproofing Systems, we offer several potential solutions for homeowners who have iron bacteria or are worried about it entering the home. Some of these include:

  • Looping Dead End Plumbing: Keep the bacteria from accumulating in dead end pipes by looping them to keep the water flowing and anything in it moving constantly. 
  • Flushing Lines: Technicians have had some success with flushing out pipes and wells with 140-degree Fahrenheit water. The heated water kills the bacteria and helps break up the biofilm.
  • Apply Chlorine: Homeowners may be able to prevent some iron bacteria growth and remove current biofilm with chlorine to sanitize and break up the biofilm. 
  • Repair French Drains: If the French drain gets clogged up, you’ll need to use the flushing process or manually dig it up and replace the pipe. 
  • Replace Water Heater: When iron bacteria gets into the water, it can build up and clog or interfere with different appliances, like the water heater. Your best bet may be to install a new water heater when you get rid of this unpleasant bacterium.
  • Install Basement Waterproofing: Keep moisture and iron bacteria out by installing basement waterproofing or choosing foundation sealing. The helps keep your walls and floors dry too.
  • Install Water Filters: Some water filtration systems can help by reducing the iron in water and by removing bacteria too.

Find Out More About Our Home Waterproofing Services

Are you tired of slimy, red stuff growing in the pipes? Does it have a funny rotten vegetables or moldy smell? Stop living with the slow decline of your home and call one of our partners at Basement Waterproofing Solutions. Give us a call or fill out our online form to get a free quote for any maintenance or foundation repair needs today.