In your basement, mold can be hard to find, particularly if you don’t use the basement for much other than storage. Black mold, one of the most dangerous forms of toxic mold, likes to hide out in the dark and unpleasant places where people don’t usually like to look – crevasses, crawlspaces, cracks in the foundation – and stay there until it grows enough to cause structural damage and health problems. Basement mold is relatively easy to prevent, though, particularly if you’ve enlisted the help of a good basement waterproofing company. But here are five simple ways you yourself can prevent basement mold from becoming a problem:
1. Vent appliances that produce moisture
Clothes dryers and stoves produce plenty of moisture by creating steam. If it’s not vented, steam has nowhere to go but onto your walls and ceiling. And if the appliance in question is being used repeatedly, it’s spitting out moisture onto the same spot over and over again – creating the perfect conditions for basement mold.
2. Buy a good dehumidifier
Buy two if your basement is especially large. Your basement is potentially the most humid room in the house, situated as it is below ground. You don’t need to keep it running all day, but turning it on for a few hours, four or five days a week, should keep basement moisture to a minimum, making it difficult for basement mold to find purchase on your walls, floor and ceiling.
3. If there are faucets or a shower in your basement, vent them
If nothing else, open the windows and use a fan to blow the hot, damp air out of the basement.
4. Fix those leaky pipes
Having smooth, efficient plumbing is key to keeping basement moisture to a minimum. In your basement, mold has most of the food it needs, as long as wood and drywall are present. If you’ve got leaking pipes providing a steady supply of water, basement mold has everything it needs to survive.
5. Don’t overwater your plants.
You may not keep plants in the basement at all, but if you do, make sure watering them doesn’t result in a wet floor. Basement mold loves a wet floor.
6. Cover cold surfaces with insulation
This includes pipes and walls. Without insulation, these cold surfaces can create condensation, which can increase humidity in the room.
7. Use a sealant around windows
This will ensure that the windows are airtight, reducing the risk of condensation.
8. Monitor the relative humidity in the basement
Mold loves humidity, as we’ve mentioned. A top-of-the-line humidity monitor usually doesn’t cost more than about $30. Make sure the relative humidity in your basement is always at 55 percent or less.
9. If you have dirt-floor crawlspaces, cover the dirt with plastic
Make sure the crawlspaces are well-ventilated as well.
Right Way Waterproofing serves clients with basement waterproofing, basement remodeling and mold remediation needs throughout the Delaware Valley: In Philadelphia, Delaware and New Jersey, throughout Bucks County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Burlington County, Mercer County and Delaware County, including Langhorne, Newtown, Yardley, Bensalem, Warminster, Morrisville, Lower Makefield, Trenton, Newark, Wilmington, King of Prussia, Newtown Square, the Main Line and Bala Cynwyd.
We perform all our basement waterproofing, basement finishing and mold remediation services in the following ZIP codes:
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