Your basement is an ideal place for mold and mildew to grow. Basements contain organic materials, heat and moisture – all being major requirements for mold growth.
In the basement, the most common places for mold to be found are the walls and wall cavities, wooden building frames, the ceiling and floor, insulation and pipes, the ducts and vent, storage boxes and furniture.
Tips for Preventing Mold in the Basement
The experts at Mold Busters love to share what they’ve learned over their years preventing, inspecting for and removing mold. The following are some trusty tips that will help you prevent mold in your basement:
- Never allow water to accumulate near the basement. Make sure that the ground outside your home slopes away.
- Avoid having carpets in your basement.
- Keep condensation in your basement to a minimum. To do this, wrap cold surfaces like basement pipes with insulation. To make windows air tight, use a sealant around them. You can also increase the temperature in your basement.
- Humidity, which is the main cause of mold growth, should be kept as low as possible in your basement—preferably, below 60 per cent. Use a hygrometer to take regular measurements of the relative humidity in your basement. Installing a dehumidifier is also a good idea. Control dampness by promoting air circulation in your basement. This can be done by keeping the basement windows open or by opening the doors leading to the basement.
- Running a fan for one to two hours daily in the basement is also helpful. This promotes air circulation, replacing humid air with fresh air. Installing an exhaust fan in your basement is also a good idea. For ventilation purposes, Mold Busters recommends the E-Z Breathe ventilation system, the latest technology that has revolutionized the ventilation industry.
- To avoid wet floors and standing water in your basement, install a sump pump and a perimeter drain.
- Never dry wet clothes in the basement. Also never vent such appliances such as dryers, stoves, heaters, and air conditioners inside the basement. Rather, exhaust them to the outside.
- Every spring when the snow melts, water seeps into basements through cracks in the foundation. Fix problems (that often remain unnoticed) such as leaking foundation cracks, pipe leakages, leaking basement walls, sewer backups, and spills as soon as possible to avoid water intrusion in the basement. Cracks in walls or floors can be sealed with a sealant or waterproof coating. It is recommended to use ceramic tile set with waterproofing compound for basement floors. Using hydraulic cement as the tile grout is also helpful.
- Keep the basement clean and free of clutter. Discard any badly damaged or extra materials stored in basement. This improves air circulation and ventilation. Also clean your basement regularly. Don’t allow dust to settle there, as dust attracts mold. Consider getting a HEPA vacuum to vacuum your basement.
- Avoid wood flooring in your basement.
- Never store wooden materials, fabrics, paper, books or any materials that provide food for mold in your basement. If you do have such items, store them in plastic tubs.
- Never grow plants in your basement as they provide good food for mold and mildew.
However, if you suspect there’s mold, the best thing you can do is to get your basement inspected professionally. For this, call an experienced and reliable mold inspection and removal company like Canada’s Mold Busters. A thorough and professional mold inspection can save you from big structural damage and costly repairs in the future.