In Canada, around 13% of households noticed mold or mildew in the last year of residence.
This may not seem like a huge number, but keep in mind that these are the households that actually noticed the mold and mildew. There may be a much higher percentage of homes that have mold, but the residents just haven’t noticed it.
Not only is mold unsightly, but it’s bad for your health as well. To keep your family safe and healthy, here are 10 ways you can prevent mold in the basement.
1. Check for Leaks
Go through your basement and check every inch of your walls. Is there water coming through at any point? Then you probably have a leak.
You can quickly fix it by using a sealant or waterproof filler, but only if the leak isn’t big at all. If it’s very noticeable, then you may have to have a professional come waterproof your walls. This will prevent any leaks from getting through to your basement.
2. Clean Your Basement Regularly
You may think of your basement as someplace where you just throw things in for storage, then barely step foot in. While it may be such a space, this doesn’t mean you should forego regularly cleaning.
Make sure you clean and vacuum your basement at least once a week. Not only should you vacuum, but you should also ensure that you’re using HEPA filters. Not only will these help eliminate mold, but they’ll also get rid of other allergens that may be making your family feel unwell.
3. Use a Dehumidifier
Mold thrives in damp and cold environments, which means if the humidity levels are high in your basement, then mold might grow rampant.
To prevent this from happening, try to keep your basement as dry as possible. You can purchase a dehumidifier to run in your basement so it draws out any moisture while it’s on.
4. Get Good Ventilation
Again, if the humidity rises in your basement, it’ll promote mold growth. You can fight against that by providing good ventilation in this space.
For example, you should leave the door open so air can circulate and won’t go stagnant inside the basement. If there’s a window in there, you can also crack it open so fresh air gets in and the old air gets outside.
5. Keep Your Basement Clear of Clutter
Yes, the basement is usually used for its storage space. But if you leave everything scattered around, this provides some good places for mold to get into and grow in.
For instance, if you pile things within close proximity to one another, this will reduce effective airflow and ventilation.
Also, materials like paper and cloth will attract mold. If you must store clothes and books in your basement, make sure you do so in proper containers and store them away from both the floors and the walls.
6. Insulate Your Basement Pipes
Chances are, you have pipes running through your basement. When the weather gets cold and you have cold water going through these pipes, you’ll get condensation on them. As a result, this will raise the humidity in your basement, which will promote the growth of mold.
Do yourself a favor and take the time to insulate your basement pipes. You’ll see a huge difference in the humidity level once you do so.
7. Don’t Keep Plants or Wood in the Basement
While plants are great for having indoors for improving your air quality, one area you shouldn’t have them in is your basement. Because you have to water them, and the soil retains lots of moisture, mold can easily grow and multiply in these containers.
Because wood is an organic material, it can absorb moisture and create a good breeding ground for mold. Consider storing your firewood upstairs in a more open, drier area.
8. Don’t Dry Your Clothes in the Basement
You may have lots of extra space in your basement, so you think it’s a great idea to set up your clothes rack in there, out of sight upstairs. But the thing is, your laundry is nice and moist, which, again, will raise the humidity of your basement and make mold very happy.
Consider drying your clothes either during a time when you don’t have visitors or set up your clothes rack in a room that’s temporarily not being used.
9. Clean Your Gutters Regularly
When it rains or snows, your gutters need to be clear to ensure the water flows away from your house properly. If they’re clogged with leaves and debris, it can prevent the water from draining and it can get into your basement instead.
While cleaning out your gutters, make sure your downspouts are pointed correctly as well. Proper water flow won’t really matter if the downspouts are pointed toward your house and cause water to build up in your foundation.
10. Check the Slope of the Ground Outside
In addition to proper water flow for your gutters and downspouts, you’ll also need to check that the ground outside has the right slope.
If it’s level to your home or higher, this may cause the draining rainwater to flow back into your basement. In this case, you’ll need to speak to a landscaper about redoing the slope of the ground outside so water won’t drain back into your basement.
Prevent Mold in the Basement With Our Tips
After reading this article, you now have plenty of ways to prevent mold in the basement.
However, mold is quite stubborn, and sometimes, despite your best efforts, you just can’t seem to get rid of it. For that, you need to call the professionals, such as CleanFirst. We have over 25 years of experience, which means you can trust our professionals to help get you peace of mind.
Do you have stubborn mold that needs removing? Then get in touch with us. We offer free mold inspections here in Toronto.