Molds are found everywhere and usually grow where moisture is available. In homes, basements are generally where molds are found. This comes from the fact that basements are damp due to the trapped moisture in the area caused by poor ventilation. While molds are generally non-toxic, microscopic mold spores are still known to cause respiratory problems and trigger allergic reactions. Severe mold growth can also make homes uninhabitable. That is why it is crucial to address this problem for you and your family’s health and peace of mind. Here, we listed tips on how to get rid of molds in your basement.
Common Causes of Molds in Basement
Leaks in your roof and wall are the leading causes of basement mold growth because leaks supply water and add moisture to your basement. Moreover, pipes in your basement ceiling make perfect places for mold growth due to the drywall and insulation around them. Severe mold growth on your lines will most likely spread on your basement walls and ceiling.
Bad Gutter Drainage
One of the leading causes of moisture through the basement walls is poor gutter drainage, where the rainwater falls against the edge of the house and collects against the basement walls in the soil. Cracks in the foundation, broken water pipes and leaky plumbing running underground can also cause mold infestation.
Condensation from appliances is the culprit of molds in your basements. Some common devices that usually condense are refrigerators and air conditioners. Condensation on windows can also be a pain, especially during winter, because it may facilitate the growth of molds.
Basements with poor ventilation are often damp because of high humidity. This is a perfect culture for mold growth as they usually thrive in crawl spaces and moist environments. Uncleaned filters in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) can also cause molds.
High Indoor Humidity
Steamy gadgets such as humidifiers and air vents can also contribute to the growth of mold in basements. When the vent’s cool air mixes with the room’s warm atmosphere, condensation happens, which causes moisture to build up.
Basements are prone to flooding, which leads to the accumulation of excess water. Water infiltration makes the floor wet and increases your basement’s humidity levels, leading to heavy mold growth.
Wet Clothes and Sweat
Wet clothes and sweat affect indoor air quality and humidity. If you keep wet clothes in your basement, molds are more likely to be attracted to them, even for just a short period. Moreover, when you exercise a lot in your basement, your sweat becomes water vapor. This will eventually add to the basement’s moisture once the vapor reaches its saturation point, increasing the potential for mold to grow.
Carpet over the concrete floor is also susceptible to mold growth. When the temperature in your basement rises, the heat causes the moisture trapped on your floor to condense, making it a breeding ground for mold. That is why it is vital to perform testing of carpet routinely to check for any moisture buildup and if molds have already grown underneath it.
What does a basement mold look like?
Molds are slimy fungi that come in various colors, depending on the type of mold. They can be black, brown, green, white, or yellow. Mold colonies often grow in circular patterns.
How to detect mold in the basement
If your basement has a moldy odor, then more than likely, you’ve mold growing somewhere on your basement surfaces. Molds emit a musty odor, usually smelling like wet dirt or old, wet clothes. You can use these moldy odors to track where molds have grown.
There are also multiple tests available to detect mold in the basement. The first test is surface testing. The recent technological developments now allow homeowners to conduct sampling for mold independently. While the actual testing is still performed in laboratories, the surface tests already include a prepaid mailing envelope that you can use to send the samples to the laboratory.
Another test is vapor emissions testing, which is used for moisture testing. Concrete walls and surfaces are highly porous, meaning that water vapor can get trapped under the coating or flooring on the surface, and moisture can build up. This can result in moldy basements. You will know the amount of moisture moving over concrete slab surfaces through vapor emission testing and determine whether your basement is already serving as a culture for a colony of unsightly mold.
Can you get sick from mold in the basement?
Most molds can cause various respiratory illnesses, including asthma, allergic rhinitis, coughs, and shortness of breath. This is because mold spores can enter your nose and infect your respiratory system. In some cases, a specific species of mold called black mold may cause more severe reactions from your body, such as chronic fatigue, persistent headaches, and rashes.
What happens if you have molds in your basement?
When you have molds in your basement, their spores will spread through the other parts of your home via a process called the stack effect. The stack effect pushes warm air upwards. As the air rises, mold spores are also taken along with it, causing them to spread in other previously un-infested areas.
How to get rid of mold in the basement?
Dry out damp spaces
Molds are caused by humidity and moisture. When drying out damp spaces, you also take the excessive humidity out of your crawlspace, making it less viable for molds to grow in.
Mold removers are chemicals made for basement mold removal. Pour the mold removers on the read where molds have grown and scrub them with a bristled brush. Make sure to discard the brush you used after use to avoid future contamination. If you were on a budget, you could scrub the basement mold with bleach.
Waterproofing will prevent molds from growing or even appearing in the first place. This is because, with water and dampness, molds will not thrive. As long as the moisture source is stopped, so does the growth of mold.
Mold prevention starts with good batt insulation. Through batt insulation, you will control the building’s temperature and moisture, which are the primary agents for mold growth.
Preventing mold in the basement: When to call a basement remodeler
Preventing mold in the basement can be painful, especially if it keeps coming back regardless of whatever you do. You should hire a basement remodeler if you want to ensure that the removal of molds in your basement is done effectively. Basement mold removal should be carried out with the utmost care and attention because it already concerns your family’. Professional basement remodeling contractors have the relevant experience and necessary tools and equipment to effectively carry out basement mold removal.
If you are looking for a professional remodeling contractor, you are already in the right place. Paragon Remodeling has provided top-notch basement remodeling services in Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland areas for over 15 years. We ensure that our basement remodels ideas and services will make your investment worth it. The projects we work on are not just renovation projects for us. We want to provide you with the comfort, warmth, and safety you deserve.