Let’s be honest, you probably have a bunch of stuff in your basement right now. While it’s reasonable to neglect your basement from time to time, doing so can trigger mold growth in the long run.
This can create a bigger problem, so below we’ll discuss how basement mold grows, what causes it, and how to clean and prevent it.
How Does Mold Grow?
Unlike animals, mold reproduces asexually. This means that it doesn’t need a mate to conceive an offspring. This makes mold a rapidly-producing organism that can give you a headache, both literally and figuratively along the process.
Like bacteria, mold thrives in moist and humid places. Since your basement lacks proper sunlight and ventilation, it can serve as a breeding ground for mold if not taken care of properly. If your basement is made of organic materials like wood, the more likely that mold will grow in the same area.
Although mold can grow practically anywhere moist, here are ten of the most mold-prone areas in your basement:
- Floors including carpets
- Storage areas
- Vents and Ducts
- Wall cavities
- Walls including drywall and wallpapers
- Wooden building frames
What Causes Mold Growth?
Although moisture is the general cause of mold growth, it can be divided into two sub-causes—condensation and flooding.
For starters, condensation is caused by the combination of high humidity and cold temperature. Since it can reproduce on its own in moist places, your basement can be a breeding ground for mold in no time.
Knowing that your basement is located in the lowest part of your home, even the slightest flooding can be dangerous. You must also take note that stagnant floodwater stays longer in your basement compared to other parts of your home.
How Can You Treat Basement Mold?
While most people will easily suggest cleaning your room upon finding mold growth, doing so isn’t that simple. Want to put an end to your basement mold problems? Here’s a fool-proof way to do it:
1. Dressing the part
Despite its tiny and harmless appearance, mold can be toxic to humans. This is why wearing protective gear like goggles, overalls, gloves, and face mask is a must before doing all the dirty work.
2. Do a basement clean-up
For a faster mold removal process, it is ideal to empty your basement first. However, make sure to keep any mold-infested furniture as is. This will keep all signs of mold growth in your basement alone.
3. Perform a mold inspection
Now that you have all the space for yourself, it is now time to check the root cause of the problem. Since mold thrives in moist areas, look for signs of leakage within holes, cracks, and pipes inside your basement walls.
Since it is highly likely that your basement is enclosed, you can easily smell the bad odor of mold from afar. To give you an idea, mold smells musty or moldy. Since your basement’s airflow is slow, it causes different odors to accumulate and gradually become noticeable.
Doubting whether you’ve made the right assessment? Don’t be afraid to schedule your basement for mold testing. This can either be done by a professional or you with do-it-yourself mold test kits.
For starters, mold testing samples both air and surfaces for symptoms of mold spore growth.
4. Complete all needed repair work
Remember the wall defects you’ve inspected earlier? Now is the time to fix them. While you’re at it, don’t forget to replace any exposed wooden materials if mold has gotten through them.
On a related note, did you know that you can mix waterproofing in your concrete use? By doing so, you can get rid of any concrete hole present in your area.
5. Start cleaning the area
Upon removing and fixing everything, you can start scrubbing the mold away from your basement. With this, you can either use commercial mold removers or a solution made of hot soapy water, tea tree oil, grapefruit, and vinegar.
However, make sure that your basement is well-ventilated if you’re about to use chemical-based mold removers.
While entirely removing the carpet would be the most ideal option, you can also try using a steam cleaner or a mold cleaner to preserve your carpet.
6. Return your furniture to the basement
Upon checking that no furniture is infested with mold anymore, you can start returning them into place. Although you might have already checked them more than required, you’ll never know when you’ll mess up. This is why keeping multiple records of your project is a must.
7. Purchase and install a dehumidifier
Now that you’ve experienced all the hassle of mold removal, you might now want to do it all over again, right? With that, you can easily get the best solution would be to buy a dehumidifier. This will remove all retaining moisture in the air – a lot better than heaters and windows.
8. Don’t be afraid to contact a mold removal company
Is your basement mold too severe to handle yourself? Then you might also consider hiring mold remediation services that can do all the work for you. While there is a cost, doing so would be better than risking the only basement you have.
Can You Prevent Basement Mold Growth?
There’s only one way to remove the possibilities of mold growth in your basement, and that is to prevent it. As mentioned, this can be done with a nice dehumidifier.
The Next Step
Now that you know the basics of mold growth, the choice on how to tackle your basement mold is yours. Save yourself the hassle and don’t let your house, especially your basement, be ignored.