Spring is a common time to find mold, and the basement is always one of the usual suspects. Noticing a musty smell in the air? Do things seem a little more damp than they should be? You may be experiencing basement mold. There are many ways to prevent it or at least nip it in the bud, and today we’re here to give a quick list of solutions to make your springtime breezy and carefree.
Fix the source
Mold and dampness go hand in hand, so if water is entering your basement, it’s imperative to find out where it’s coming from and why, in order to prevent any further leaks or flooding. Common causes of basement flooding are leaky pipes, backed up drains or sewers, mistakes like leaving a tap running, or lack of a functioning sump pump to drain water away.
Don’t delay the cleanup- and don’t DIY a serious issue
The onset of mold from a flooded area can be as brief as 24 hours, so you should contact a professional as soon as possible to begin drying the area and repairing any damage. Small spills are nothing to panic over, but any significant dampness is a job for someone who is professionally trained. Untreated or undiscovered mold can become airborne and spread even further, causing structural damage and health issues in the long term.
Remove everything that’s wet or contaminated
If you have a serious flooding event in the basement, you don’t want to leave behind any amount of damp or damaged material, because as you’ve already learned, this can lead to serious mold growth over time. Although many home insurance companies only recommend removing the top layer or the wet parts that can easily be seen, it’s much cheaper in the long term to address these issues right away and save yourself time and headache later trying to figure out where new mold growth is coming from after your basement has already been declared “all clear.”
Take your time
If your basement has flooded severely and been gutted, don’t begin repairs until everything is a 100% dry. This is for the same reason as above- because even a small amount of dampness can cause a big problem. We know you want to get back to normal, but rushing isn’t worth the costs it could cause later! A third party test of air quality and humidity levels is recommended before you begin rebuilding to ensure you’re starting with a clean slate.
Invest in simple solutions
A dehumidifier is a relatively low-cost option to keep dampness out of your basement in the long term, and there are many different models and options available. In addition, you should seal cracks in the walls and floor with waterproof sealant to prevent dampness from getting inside and beginning to grow. You can also open windows in the basement during the evening, when the temperature is naturally cooler, to create a flow that will prevent excess moisture and keep air circulation up.
If moist air leaks into the insulation in your basement, it will create a dark, damp environment, and I think you’re well aware by now what loves to grow in that kind of space! Warm air rises, while air closer to the floor is cooler- a natural phenomenon that takes place all throughout your home and can lead to moisture when the warm air rises and meets the cooler area. You should use close cell spray foam insulation, or rigid foam insulation, which will stop hot from meeting cold and helping moisture get in. If you’re only using foam insulation boards, they should be perfectly sealed at all seams, corners and joints to create a similar thermal break and prevent moisture from entering.
If you have any other questions about basements or even mold in general, feel free to give us a call at the Flood Medix. We specialize in just these issues, and we’re always happy to lend you our expertise for any issue, big or small. So keep your basement ventilated, refer to these tips when needed, and have a happy spring!