Mold is the enemy of all basements. Once mold starts to form it’s not only costly to remove but can cause serious health problems like asthma, infections, cough, rashes, congestion and allergies (not to mention the smell). The best way to fight mold is through prevention. Here are some tips to ensure that your basement stays mold free and that your family can breathe easy.
It all starts with humidity
Mold thrives in environments with high humidity. One tell tale sign that your home is too humid is condensation on the interior of your windows is a direct result of water vapor buildup inside. Wet stains can also appear on ceilings and walls when moisture in the air is heavy. The best way to tell if your home is too humid though is to buy a hygrometer to directly test the humidity levels. A humidity reading of 45% or more is high and can be conducive to growth of mold.
If your basement does have high humidy levels here are some ways you can help bring it back to normal:
- Buy a dehumidifier – this appliance is a great tool for lowing moisture levels in a basement.
- Make sure there’s good air flow – inspect your clothes dryer vent and ventilation fans located in the kitchen and bathrooms to make sure they lead airflow directly to the outside of your home.
- Another good idea is to open the door to your basement at least once a month and run an oscillating fan in the basement for between 1 and 2 hours to promote air circulation.
- Avoid standing water – If there are any leaks in the basement, take care of them immediately. Wipe the water from the area and dry it thoroughly. Use of a dehumidifier and heater to accelerate the drying process.
- Ensure that water is directed away from your home – the boundary around your home must be sloped in such a way that snow and rain are directed away from the house. Otherwise, and moisture will pool around the structure, increasing moisture and leakage problems.
- Make sure to clear any snow buildup by basement windows to prevent the moisture from leaking inside.
- Avoid keeping plants in the basement – Plants are great food for mold and mildew. Only grow plants in sunny, airy locations in your home.
- Clear the Clutter – Too many objects and storage items block the free flow of air and reduce ventilation. Items such as clothes and books stored in the basement are food for mold and mildew. Try to keep basement storage to a minimum and make sure your items aren’t stored with direct contact to the floor or walls.
- It’s also best to avoid drying wet clothes in the basement. If you do line dry your clothes indoors make sure you hang them in a well ventilated area.
- Keep wood elsewhere – Wood is another ideal habitat for mold so you should never store wood in the basement. An open, airy location is the best location for storing wood.
- Check pipes and consider insulation – Generally, cold water pipes in the basement show condensation on the exterior. Insulating such pipes reduces the humidity levels in the basement.
If you suspect that your home has already developed mold it’s best to consult a professional about removing the mold from your home. Hopefully with our tips you can prevent a mold problem before it even starts!
For more information about Meramec Valley,
or to find an agent near you, visit