Basement mold is more than just unsightly. Its presence in your home can compromise your family’s health. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to prevent mold growth in your home. You can also work with the professional basement and foundation repair contractors in your area to help eliminate conditions that allow mold clusters to thrive in your home.
Where should you start?
Why Does Mold Flourish In Basements?
First and foremost, why does mold seem to thrive in basements? Consider this: mold needs little to survive. At most, it requires access to a dark, damp space for a short festering period. What will encourage mold’s growth in your basement will be its easy access to organic materials. Mold will readily feast on your wooden supports, carpet, and drywall if you let it. Combine that ready access to a food source and the dampness that comes with an un-waterproofed basement, and you’re looking at the perfect recipe for a mold-friendly habitat.
How Can Mold Impact Your Health?
Mold is unpleasant, yes, but is it really a risk to your health? More often than not, yes. If you already have allergies or are otherwise sensitive to your environment, mold clusters in your basement can exacerbate your existing symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of mold exposure include:
- Watering or itching eyes
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- An increased number of illnesses throughout the year
Mold, however, tends to affect each person differently. Not only that, but these symptoms will often only make themselves known over time. If you’re not paying close attention to your health or to your home, these symptoms may set in without you quite realizing what’s going on.
What Signs Should You Look For When Searching For Mold Clusters?
If you opt not to waterproof your home, you’re at a higher risk for basement mold. There are, however, symptoms that give mold growth away throughout your home. Some of the most obvious signs of basement mold include:
- Cracks in your walls and floors
- Standing water
- Water damage
- The smell of rotting wood or excessive mustiness
- Warping doors and window frames
- Bowing walls
- Higher electric and water bills
It’s worth noting that many of these symptoms are also indicative of a damaged foundation or cracked basement wall. Mold, on its own, is often a sign that your basement may be leaking. If you find mold clusters in your basement, you’ll want to reach out to the professional contractors working in your area. These contractors will be able to go through your basement and determine whether it’s just moisture that’s causing mold growth or more significant damage.
How Can You Prevent Mold Growth In Your Basement?
It’s easier than you might think to keep mold out of your basement. The best way to start is to remove mold’s footholds in your home. If you’re looking for a good place to start, consider:
- Cleaning your gutters regularly
- Investing in dehumidifiers to limit your basement’s humidity
- Frequently cleaning your air conditioner’s vents and ducts
- Quickly sopping up any standing water in your basement
For a more comprehensive anti-mold action plan, consider waterproofing your basement. Most contractors have a broad catalog of waterproofing options available to you. Some of your options will include:
- Interior drainage
- Sump pumps
- Vapor barriers
How Can You Remediate A Moldy Basement?
If you opt not to waterproof your basement, or if the moisture in the air overwhelms the efforts you’ve made, you’ll need to remove existing clusters from your basement. Luckily, this isn’t an impossible task. Some home remedies, including baking powder and vinegar, can safely remove mold clusters from the corners of your basement.
Some methods, however, are less safe than others. You can, for example, use bleach to remove mold from your basement, but you risk exposing yourself and your family to the fumes. Similarly, some combinations of cleaning supplies can release deadly toxins that can further compromise your health.
When in doubt, reach out to the experts. To remove mold clusters from areas like your basement, you will need to contact a mold remediation specialist. But also keep in mind that the local basement and foundation repair contractors operating out of the Winston-Salem, NC, area will be able to help you prevent the growth of mold in your home with trusted basement waterproofing solutions.
Ready to get started? Your local professionals at Tar Heel Basement Systems will be able to provide you with a home inspection and a free quote on potential services.