Mold can grow anywhere. But they specifically love damp, humid, and dark environments. Yes, that means of all the parts of your home, the basement is a perfect spot for mold. For them, your basement is their little heaven. And even if your basement seems dry, mold and mildew can still be lurking behind the walls and carpets, and underneath your furniture. There could be mold on drywall in basements too. Mold in basement is a real problem.
Add the fact that a freshly poured foundation takes five years to completely dry. This means even if there are no leaks or water problems in your basement, the likelihood of mold buildup is incredibly high. And before you know it – these nasty fungi have already invaded your home!
The presence of black, green, yellow, or white mold in basements should be dealt with immediately before they get worse.
The problem with mold is that aside from the fact that they look disgusting, they can be highly toxic. If you’re like most homeowners and you are using your basement as your kitchen, living room, or entertainment area, you could be exposing yourself and your family to so many health problems associated with molds, such as allergy, asthma, and respiratory diseases.
Basement mold removal is something that is better left in the hands of professionals especially if there is already an infestation. It is common to see mold on basement walls, floors, and ceilings. If these surfaces are infested, mold under houses is very likely too.
Causes of Mold in Basement
The major cause of household mold is moisture, regardless if it originated in the basement or any other part of the house. But where does this water problem come from?
Moisture in basements, where mold in houses usually begin, can come from external sources such as rainwater or flood. Basements are below grade, which means they are susceptible to water seeping in from foundation walls and window wells. Proper grading should help prevent water from getting into your basement. Additionally, you should make sure that your gutters and downspouts are properly installed and are free from debris that could clog and cause more water damage issues in your home.
Excess moisture can come from factors within your home too, such as plumbing leakage, humidity, excess steam from showering and cooking, and poor insulation, among others.
Proper ventilation is one way to reduce the moisture inside your home, particularly in your basement. Areas that produce more moisture are bathrooms, kitchens, and bedrooms should have windows or exhaust systems to lessen the humidity.
How does mold spread in your house?
Sadly, mold spreads easily. They reproduce by means of super tiny spores that travel through the air. Once they land on a damp spot in your home, the mold starts to thrive. They can grow big in as quick as 24 hours.
Basement Mold Prevention
They say prevention is better than cure. Sure, it is. Mold spores in basements can multiply easily and grow on various surfaces. So, before they come to that point, you should take proper measures to prevent mold from entering your basement.
How? Follow these steps.
- Control moisture and humidity in your basement
The best way to get rid of mold in basements is to fix the moisture problems. Start by monitoring the humidity levels. You can do it by installing a hygrometer. A humidity reading of 45 and above suggests that the humidity in your basement is high enough for mold spores to propagate.
- Install a dehumidifier
If your basement has high humidity, a dehumidifier is a great, inexpensive way to prevent the onset of black, green or white mold in basements.
- Check for sources of leak and fix them right away
Cracks in the foundation, poor insulation, and plumbing leaks are major sources of moisture in your basement. It is better to have your basement inspected by a professional and fix moisture problems right away.
- Promote proper ventilation
Avoid congestion in your basement. Adding too many items can block the free flow of air in your basement, leading to poor ventilation. Avoid storing wood in the basement too as they are a breeding ground for mold.
Once you notice signs of mold infestation, address it right away. Mold usually land on walls. To learn how to remove mold from concrete basement walls, keep reading.
Types of Basement Mold
You might think that all mold looks the same. Well, there are so many kinds of mold that can damage your home and put your family’s health at risk.
Below are the most common types of mold in the basement.
- White Mold
Many species of mold appear in white colors, such as Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Cladosporium. Take note that some mold appears in white during the early stages of development and then, later on, turn into grey or black mold. White mold is often mistaken for Efflorescence and mildew. However, they are three different things. White mold is more dangerous because it penetrates through porous materials such as wood and drywall, causing damage to them.
How do you get rid white mold basement? For minor infestation, treating mold in the basement may simply involve the use of a detergent solution. For more serious growth, you can use basement mold spray and stronger chemicals. However, to address major infestations, a basement mold cleaning is better done by professionals.
- Black Mold
As dangerous as it looks and sounds, black mold easily thrives within homes. Not all black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) species are toxic. Those that are highly dangerous are deep black in color. While the presence of black mold within homes and buildings is less common, it is not rare. Black mold can cause an array of allergic reactions and health problems. Exposure to it can cause symptoms such as headache, fever, skin irritation, rashes, sneezing, and chronic coughing.
How to Kill Mold in Basements
- Spray mold-killing chemicals on surfaces affected by mold. Wear gloves, mask, and proper clothing when handling chemical products.
- Remove items that are heavily infested by mold. Discard them immediately. For objects that can still be recovered, make sure you clean them thoroughly.
- Dry the surfaces. Ensure proper ventilation after cleaning the mold to ensure it doesn’t grow back. Use air movers, fans, or simply open doors and windows to facilitate faster drying of your basement.
Your basement is one of the most important areas of your home. It can be converted into something that adds more value to your property, such as a living room, kitchen, or place for entertaining.
But mold problems in basements are very common. Not only do moldy basements smell old, dirty, and musty, they are also a source of health problems in every household.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent, control, and eliminate the presence of mold in basements.
Begin by addressing the major causes of moisture in your basement. Once the source has been fixed, it’s time to deal with the mold build-up. You can follow certain basement mold removal DIY steps like the ones provided in this guide. However, if the mold infestation is too serious, consider hiring professional mold cleaners to do it.