Basement mold is a common problem in homes that have damp, dark basements. Mold is a fungus which grows fast in moist, humid conditions. Once it establishes a presence in your basement, mold is very difficult to eliminate. Mold causes many health problems such as asthma, infections, cough, rashes, congestion and allergies. The best way to prevent mold growth is to control humidity and moisture in your basement.
Monitor Humidity Levels
High humidity levels provide the perfect growing environment for mold. You must ensure that humidity levels within your home, especially the basement, are within acceptable levels. Use a hygrometer to measure the humidity level. A humidity reading of 45% or more is high and can be conducive to growth of mold.
Use a Dehumidifier
If you detect high moisture levels in the basement, buy a high quality dehumidifier. This appliance is quite effective at keeping humidity levels under check.
Avoid Growing Plants Indoors
Plants in the basement provide a good diet for mold and mildew. Only grow plants in sunny, airy locations in your home. Avoid the basement for cultivation of any sorts.
Reduce Congestion in the Basement
Keep your basement free of 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. Store minimal quantities of such items away from direct contact with the floor or walls.
Avoid Storing Wood in the Basement
Wood is another ideal habitat for mold. Never store wood in the basement. An open, airy location is the best location for storing wood.
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. In such a situation, mold is almost inevitable.
Take Care of Spills and Leaks Immediately
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.
Insulate Water Pipes in the Basement
Generally, cold water pipes in the basement show condensation on the exterior. Insulating such pipes reduces the humidity levels in the basement.
Use an Exhaust Fan
Air out stale, humid air and allow the intake of fresh air with the use of an exhaust fan. Try to open doors and windows to the basement regularly.
Reduce Humidifying Factors
Avoid drying wet clothes in the basement. Make sure appliances such as dryers, stoves, heaters, and air conditioners exhaust to the outside, or else the humidity can rise significantly. Avoid carpets and wood flooring in the basement.