10 Tips to Protect Your Basement from Mold
by Chad Kimball
Does your basement ever flood? Is your basement
ever damp? If so, you may need to inspect your basement for mold,
and possibly remodel it to remove the mold.
You may suspect hidden mold if your basement smells
moldy, but you cannot see the source. You may know there has been
water damage, but not think there is mold. Mold may be hidden in
places such as the back side of drywall, behind wallpaper, or paneling,
the top side of ceiling tiles, underneath carpets and pads, etc.
Mold could also be hidden around leaking pipes,
or pipes that are constantly covered with condensation. Heat and
air conditioning ducts also can hide mold that can affect your family.
You may want to hire an experienced professional
when investigating in your basement for mold, because sometimes
when looking for mold, spores can be released that are dangerous
for your health. You would be amazed at how many mold spores can
be released when pulling off basement wallpaper.
Conventional construction materials used in basement
remodeling and basement construction in the past are perfect for
mold growth. Since they frequently contain wood and paper based
products, they provide a great food source for mold, as well as
soaking and holding water for long periods of time.
Here are some tips for preventing mold growth in
- Control mold growth by acting quickly when water
leaks or spills in your basement. Make it a goal to have any basement
leaks or spills to be completely dry in 24-48 hours.
- Make sure the ground outside your home slopes
away from the building, so water is directed away from the house
instead of collecting and leaking into the basement.
- Purchase a humidity meter at the hardware store,
and keep basement humidity below 60 percent.
- If you see a lot of condensation on your basement
pipes or basement windows, work fast to reduce humidity and dry
those surfaces. Lots of condensation can be a sign of high humidity
in your basement.
- Run a dehumidifier in your basement. It will
do wonders to pull moisture out of the air, preventing mold growth.
- Make sure clothes dryers are vented outside
of the basement, not inside. The moisture from drying clothes
stays in the air and can encourage basement mold growth.
- If you have a shower in your basement bathroom,
install an exhaust fan to pull moist air out of the bathroom while
the shower is running.
- Cover cold surfaces like cold basement water
pipes with insulation to prevent basement condensation.
- Increase the temperature of your basement.
Hot air can hold more moisture without causing condensation on
- Use fans to keep the air moving. A well ventilated basement
will be less likely to become moldy.
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