Mold is most likely to grow in the spring and summer. So why talk about it in January? Because as the snow piles up in January and February, the spring thaw will create moisture and leaks, which will cause mold to fester and grow in the warmer months. Follow these prevention tips to ensure your basement remains mold-free this year.
Moisture and heat are the two ingredients that mold needs to grow. You may not always be able to control the heat in your basement, but you can definitely control the moisture level. Every year, you should check your basement for leaks. While the cause of the leak could be an issue with your foundation or just a window, it needs to be fixed. Fix the leaks and you will help to keep water from seeping into your basement.
Another useful tool in moisture control is a dehumidifier. There are several great options for buying a dehumidifier, and depending on the size of your basement, you may not need to spend a lot of money to help keep it dry.
Does your basement have more than one window? If so, great, you have a great way to ventilate your basement naturally. Just open these windows periodically to increase airflow and also help keep it dry. However, be sure not to leave them open during rain or snow storms, as this can be counterproductive. Also, you can install window air conditioners in these windows to help the process.
If you do not have windows in your basement, you can still work to ventilate it by using floor fans and a dehumidifier. The dehumidifier works in keeping the basement dry and also increasing ventilation.
If you are looking for a more comprehensive solution, you can also have exhaust fans installed that connect to the windows in the basement. These new systems often come with sensors that automatically trigger the fans when moisture is detected.
If you are building a new home, choosing mold-resistant materials can help to keep mold remediation off your list of costs for the years to come. Treated lumber and waterproof wallboard can be used to prevent you from needing mold remediation service in the future.
Even if your home is already built, you can use mold-resistant materials in a remodeling project or when finishing your basement. There are even certain paints that can help with keeping mold from growing in your basement.
Storing items on the basement floor is surefire way to grow mold. Boxes and other items should be kept on shelves to prevent moisture from being trapped under them. Also, when it comes to your basement floor, using inorganic materials such as linoleum or engineered wood would be a better bet than hardwood flooring.
Buying a moisture sensor is a cost-effective way to keep your basement dry and mold-free. A sensor can detect moisture buildup and give you an idea of when to check the basement for leaks. As we discussed earlier, many basement ventilation systems now come equipped with these sensors that then trigger the fans to help keep the basement dry.
You can find these sensors on Amazon or at retailers like The Home Depot for under $100. Much less expensive than mold remediation services.