How to Prevent Basement Mold

Basement Mold is not only an unsightly nuisance, but can pose a health hazard for people and pets. This is because mold spores circulate through the air in your home, causing suboptimal indoor air quality. They can trigger respiratory issues, especially asthma and allergies in sensitive people. Additionally, mold can produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins, which have been linked to liver disease and cancer. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent basement mold, including maintaining proper ventilation and keeping food and trash in sealed containers.

Most of the time, when a person sees black or green patches on their basement walls or floor, they assume they have a mold problem. While these molds are not uncommon, they are usually just mildew or fungus. Mold spores are quite small and light, making them easily carried by the current of the air. If spores make it into a basement with an organic food source and sufficient moisture, mold growth will begin.

Oftentimes, the moisture that causes basement mold comes from outside the house, through cracks or gaps in the foundation or wall. It can also come from a leaking roof or from pipes in the basement that are leaking or have been damaged over time. Additionally, the grading around your home may be such that rainwater is constantly running toward or into your home rather than away from it.

While some forms of mold are less toxic than others, all molds should be removed as soon as they appear in order to avoid contamination and the risk of a more serious health problem. If the mold is particularly thick or widespread, it is best to call in the professionals. Additionally, if the mold is caused by contaminated water or appears to be reoccurring after cleaning, it would be wise to call in a professional to take a closer look.

If you suspect you have a mold problem in your basement, open the windows and doors of your home to provide proper ventilation. Turn off the furnace and air conditioning to prevent carrying mold spores through your system. Then, blast your air purifier to help eliminate any spores, bacteria, and mycotoxins hanging in the air.

Finally, when it is time to clean up, be sure you have the proper equipment and knowledge before beginning. It is recommended that you wear a HEPA N95 mask, goggles, and a hooded disposable coverall while working on a moldy surface. It is also a good idea to have a wet/dry vacuum on hand as well as a dehumidifier. Lastly, before starting to work on the area, it is a good idea to put plastic over the area and tape it down to prevent any accidental mold spores from making their way into other areas of your home. This is the first step towards preventing future mold in your basement. After all is done, be sure to keep the moisture level low in your basement, and regularly inspect for leaks and structural damage.