Preventing Mold in the Basement: The Most Common Places to Look for Mold in the Basement
Mold occurs anywhere and acts like nature’s recycling bin, breaking down organic matter. All it requires to thrive is an organic material and a source of water. While this is great outdoors, indoors it can decompose drywall, flooring, and cabinets. As the lowest point, basements are one of the most common spaces for mold in any property. Whether from a burst pipe, flood, or leaky hot water tank, your basement is likely to collect and retain water. In order to prevent mold in the basement, you need to identify and prevent these common basement water problems.
How to Prevent Mold in the Basement
Take these steps to prevent mold in the basement and keep the area dry.
Check Pipes and Appliances
Visually inspect your pipes and appliances regularly to prevent mold in the basement. Follow your water pipes from the main water shut off valve until the disappear into the floor. Look for leaks, mineral build ups, or signs the pipes are deteriorating. Check your hot water tank, HVAC system, and washing machine as well. Look at the pipes, hook ups, and drain lines and make repairs if they are damaged. If you have a finished basement, look for water stains or weakened, spongy surfaces.
Improve Your Waterproofing
Improving your waterproofing helps eliminate moisture on the walls, which prevents mold in the basement. While exterior waterproofing is the most common, you can also waterproof your basement from the inside. You can do interior basement waterproofing yourself, however it is labor intensive and less effective than exterior waterproofing. Another alternative is to install a sump pump. This will help prevent basement flooding that can lead to mold.
Address Moisture Issues Immediately
Basements are also prone to higher humidity levels. Use dehumidifiers to draw excess moisture out of the air. If you have a basement bathroom, install and use an exhaust fan to improve ventilation and prevent condensation. Avoid leaving water on the basement floor or in wash tubs for an extended period, as mold may develop and spread.
Clean and Inspect Regularly
If you use your basement for storage, avoid unnecessary clutter and use water tight containers. Even if you don’t use your basement regularly, take time to clean it monthly. In addition to inspecting your plumbing, check your basement for signs of water or damage that may lead to water issues. If you have a water event, make sure you clean up, dry out, and disinfect the area immediately to prevent mold in the basement.
What to do if You Have Mold in Your Basement
There are a few steps you can take if you already have mold in your basement. For areas less than a few square feet, you can likely clean mold by yourself. For larger areas or if the mold has spread to flooring, walls, or ceilings, you should hire a local mold removal company.
- Repair or remove the water. Remove the water or make repairs to prevent mold from returning.
- Wear protective gear when cleaning mold. This includes pants, long sleeves, gloves, goggles, and a face mask.
- Remove and dispose of any item that is damaged or cannot be disinfected. Make sure the area is completely dry before beginning cleanup.
- Never mix cleaners or chemicals. They can produce potentially fatal gases.
- Cleaners and other chemicals can produce toxic fumes, so work in a well-ventilated space when cleaning mold.
- Clean surfaces with a mild detergent then use fans, air movers, or dehumidifiers to dry the area quickly. Use clean towels to dry smaller items.
- Disinfect the area with a hospital grade sanitizer in a spray bottle or other spray dispenser for the highest level of disinfection. Although bleach and water will kill mold, bleach can stain carpeting, fabrics, and other surfaces.
- Never cover mold with caulk, paint, and stains. This is only a temporary solution and the mold will return.
Basement Mold Removal Near You
Restoration Local can help if you need mold removed from your bathroom. As the nation’s #1 network of restoration contractors, we can connect you with a local mold removal company. Find a mold remediation company near you or call 1-888-443-3110 now to talk with our on-call mold removal company nearest you. Our on-call mold remediation contractors offer 24-hour emergency services, 30-minute response, and a free estimate on mold removal services.