Mold loves your basement. It’s likely setting up house there right now. The number one thing various types of molds thrive on is moisture, which is the obvious reason why mold loves basements. And since mold loves moisture, it stands to reason that controlling moisture in your basement is the best way to prevent mold from growing in it. So the question ‘how to prevent mold in the basement’ now becomes—how to prevent moisture in the basement. Here are some tips from mold inspectors in New Jersey that will help you to prevent moisture from forming in your basement, which will in turn help to prevent mold from growing there as well.
Find the moisture
When it comes to any type of prevention, finding the source of the problem is always key. There are a number of places in your basement that can build up moisture, and all of them can bring mold growth. These are the most common basement areas where moisture can build up:
- Leaky pipes
- Structural problems such as foundation cracks
- Leaking sinks and toilets
- Groundwater seepage
- Poorly functioning humidifiers and air conditioners
- Inadequate subsurface drainage systems
- Areas surrounding water coolers and refrigerators
Prevent the moisture
Repairing all leaks, controlling humidity, and promoting proper air circulation throughout your home are three of the most effective means of preventing moisture in your basement, thereby preventing mold from growing there. First, do a thorough search of your home for leaks. Repair all leaky appliances, pipes, appliances, roofs, faucets, and all other places where water is getting in and causing excess moisture. Next, consider purchasing a dehumidifier, as this will aid in removing moisture from the air. When you’ve performed these steps, it’s important to make sure air is circulating properly throughout your basement. If you purchase a good dehumidifier, this will also help to recirculate air throughout your basement. Additionally, you can open windows whenever possible in order to keep that fresh air circulating and get that stale, damp air out. Mold loves darkness, opening windows and curtains will bring in sunlight.
Get rid of carpets. Areas in your basement that are prone to excess moisture should never be carpeted. Too often homeowners lay carpeting in basements, particularly if they’ve included a media room, ‘man cave,’ or a game room down there. Though coziness is important in your home, basements are not the place to have carpets because they cannot be lifted and dried out easily. Place large areas rugs instead that can be periodically cleaned and even left outside in sunlight when necessary when your basement floor becomes wet.
Correct structural problems. Sure, fixing cracks in the foundation can run you into some expense, but not doing it will be even more expensive. Foundation cracks and other structural deficiencies in your home can have a considerable impact on moisture in your basement, allowing a number of different types of unhealthy and even dangerous molds to begin growing on the surfaces of your home. Consult with a mold inspector in your area who can check these and other areas for cracks and other inadequacies in the foundation in order to isolate excess moisture.
Treat all mold. As you located areas where moisture is building up in your basement, you may also find mold. It’s vital at this point to not only dry out that excess moisture and find ways to bring in more sunlight; it’s also important that you treat the mold. Contact a mold inspector in your area who will be able to treat the mold and prevent it from returning.
More than 1,000 mold species have been identified to date. Though not all of them will enjoy living in your basement, it only takes one to grow on your walls and send its unhealthy spores through the air to cause you problems. Fortunately, because we have also identified moisture as the main thing molds love, controlling moisture in your basement will help to prevent or even eliminate mold from growing there. For more information on the various types of molds in existence, which species are harmful to your health, and how to prevent mold from growing in your New Jersey home, contact a mold inspector near you for a consultation.