Mold is a wretched thing to have in your home. Whether it’s outside your home on your porch or lawn chair, or inside on your furniture, no one wants mold anywhere near them. The worst place for them to grow is in the basement.
Mold comes in different shapes, colors, and severities. There’s white mold, green mold, and black mold.
White mold is commonly found on food that is rotting in your fridge or pantry. It can also be found on water-laden materials in your basement. Although they’re not likely to produce mycotoxins, they can create allergic reactions and breathing problems.
Green mold is also commonly found on food. They come in different colors and can maneuver throughout the home with ease. Sometimes mycotoxins are present in green mold but they will always cause allergy symptoms.
The most dangerous kind of mold is black mold. It’s common for black mold to grow in basements and is the most troublesome due to the adverse health effects they cause. It is mostly found on basement walls, carpets, and wood. Depending on how severe it is, you might need to call professional help.
So why are basements great for mold? It’s simple. Basements are poorly lit and poorly ventilated, making them a breeding ground for mold. In a place where there are little light and potential for moisture, mold growth is bound to thrive.
In order for mold to grow in the first place, it only requires two things: material and moisture. Mold can grow on pretty much anything. Although they are more prone to grow on porous materials such as fabrics on furniture or clothing.
Mold growth can begin anywhere. Mold spores are always present in homes. So, once water is added to this equation, it will most likely turn into a mold problem, and once left untreated, it can become an extensive and expensive issue to deal with.
So, what materials can mold grow on? In your basements or homes, you should be wary when you see wet spots on any material. Mold actually thrives on many kinds of surfaces such as drywall, wood, fabrics, HVAC ducts, and even pipes, drains, and faucets.
Fabrics such as clothing or towels might be slightly easier to clean but wood and carpets might take a lot more effort. Wooden materials might not be able to survive mold infestation due to their intricate pathways and patterns.
Our homes are filled with so many different types of materials. We have a variety of furniture and oftentimes, we use our basements as a place to store things we don’t need or in some cases, a space to relax in.
If it’s a space for storing things, it’s likely that we don’t check on it often and there might be underlying issues we don’t notice. When we’re in a room filled with so many things, it’s impossible to check everything one by one. So, here are our tips to help you keep your basement mold-free.
1. Check pipes for leaks
Leaky pipes are one of the main culprits for moldy basements because basements are usually the location of many pipes, drains, and faucets for your home systems. These pipes are usually for general basement drainage, washing machine, and dryer, wet bar, or a bathroom.
They’re quite hard to spot since leaks tend to be small in size. So, to prevent mold growth and water damage, it’s important to regularly check your pipes for leaks and routinely monitor them. If you are unsure how to check or if you’re not sure where the source of a leak is, getting a professional to help is a good idea.
2. Use fans and dehumidifiers
Due to its lack of ventilation and light, basements have a tendency to become moist and humid. This can propel mold growth even further or worsen a moldy basement. So, if your basement is lacking in ventilation, bringing in fans or dehumidifiers can help keep the area dry.
When it comes to cleaning or preventing mold, cutting off the source of the moisture is the first thing to do. By having fans or dehumidifiers, you are cutting off the moisture source, making it a bit easier to clean the mold.
3. Clean your drains regularly
Your drains can collect debris and become clogged easily if it’s not cleaned properly. This can be a perfect place for mold to grow since things that go down the drain are usually fluids, rubbish, and debris.
Once a drain is clogged, water flow can be slowed down and mold growth might develop. By cleaning your drains regularly, you will be able to prevent mold growth and keep your drains clean.
You can keep your drains clean by making sure big pieces do not go down the drain. Another way is to use a cleaning agent to clear out your clogged drains. By cleaning it out regularly, it will decrease the chances of clogging and possible mold growth.
4. Check for cracks
Check your basement for any cracks in the walls or foundation. When heavy rainfall happens, water is dumped from the roof and downspouts to the ground near your home. This force of water is powerful enough to break through basement waterproofing systems.
Once this happens, it can cause cracks in your foundation and walls, leading to flooding and eventually mold growth. A way professionals check for mold growth is by drilling a hole into the wall and using a tool to test the mold. Once they find mold in the walls, they might suggest you replace the drywall or wood framing.
Basements are the foundation of a home and having a mold problem in a basement can affect a home in many ways. Some types of mold are more harmful than others but any type of mold can have adverse health effects on those exposed to them.
Mold can endanger the health of homeowners and anyone exposed to it and contaminated furniture or parts of a home might never recover from mold growth if not taken care of properly. By following these four tips and reading a guide on mold, you can decrease the chances of having a moldy basement and protect your loved ones.
Diana R. is the business community manager at Basement Guides which is a perfect place for all basement related problems and projects. She helps spread the word about useful and updated guides for anyone interested in basements and restoration.