Home Improvement

Basement Mold and Mildew – Everyone’s Problem

Basement mold and mildew can pose a potential health hazard when it gets established and starts to grow. Mold and mildew love an environment that is moist and the right surface to grow on, such as wallpaper, drywall or padding for carpet. When you are going to purchase a home, carefully examine the basement and inquire if there have been any leakage problems in the past. Leaks in piping or the foundation can create a constant source of moisture for mold to grow.

When looking for mold in your basement, a musty smell will often indicate its presence. It will also appear as a fuzzy growth that is slick. To get rid of mold, you start by getting rid of the source of moisture. Locate the leak and have it repaired. Surfaces such as drywall and carpeting with mold on them may need to be replaced. When cleaning it off of a solid surface, you want to wear a mask, safety glasses and use gloves. Mold spores in the air are not healthy for you to breathe in. The Environmental Protection Agency states that you should use an N-95 respirator while cleaning. This item can be purchased for a reasonable price at your local hardware retail store. You will want to use a wet sponge and a mixture of water and ten percent bleach to clean with. When doing this, you want to make sure that you have plenty of fresh ventilation.

To prevent mold from getting a grip in the first place, you can keep an eye on particular areas in the basement, such as the moldings on any windows, areas near piping and especially in the bathroom if you have one located there. Keep these areas clean and keep a watch for any growth starting. Another spot where mold likes to grow in a basement is on wood. When you check for mold in areas such as this, you may have to look behind molding or paneling if you detect a musty smell. If you have a lot of wood surface material in your basement, the best prevention is to regularly check for leaks and keep your plumbing in good repair.

If you have water damage in your basement, you need to get it dry within one to two days to keep mold from getting started. If mold does appear, and you have followed the proper steps to clean it up, you should check the spot again in a short time period to see if the growth starts again. You will know it is gone if there is no mold to be seen and there is no musty odor coming from the area. If anyone in your family complains of allergy like symptoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing and irritation in the eyes it may still be present.

Reducing moisture, keeping areas that could be susceptible to mold clean and maintaining your plumbing properly will help you keep the mold level in your basement down. If the problem is continual and seems to get worse, then it is time to consult with a professional and have your home tested for mold. This individual will be trained in dealing with severe mold issues and can help you to remedy the problem. Vigilance on your part will help to keep your basement mold free and your family healthy.