Mold can grow anywhere where there’s air, moisture and organic material to feed. It’s particularly likely to flourish in damp, humid areas of the home. It’s no surprise that basement mold is a common problem for homeowners.
Mold is a type of fungus. There are up to 10,000 varieties – the most common indoor molds being Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. These are notable because they are linked to a variety of respiratory problems. They can also be the source of that “musty” smell.
A fourth variety, Stachybotrys chartarum, more commonly known as “black mold,” is the most dangerous kind of household mold. It is often present in homes after flooding because it needs moist conditions for several days to begin growing. Black mold is dangerous because of its severe health risks including breathing problems, fatigue and depression.
Sources of Basement Mold
Basements are an ideal breeding ground for mold; they get little sunlight, are often humid and have very little ventilation. If you have experienced any water problems, they generally flow into the basement and it takes a long time to dry out. We also don’t spend a lot of time down there, so if there’s a tiny leak, we are likely ignoring it.
If your basement experiences flooding, even if it’s only once in a while, it’s a candidate for basement mold growth. Recurring leaks in your basement walls, floors, or ceiling are a hassle to clean up. This creates a damp environment and serves as a breeding ground for mold and wood rot. Mold growth can seriously damage your basement walls, your possessions, and even your indoor air quality. Not to mention, a home with a wet basement becomes much more difficult to sell. In fact, a wet basement is one of the most serious “red flags” that deters potential buyers and lowers your home’s value.
Even a basement with an effective waterproofing system can still develop moisture, mold problems and feel damp. Concrete walls and floors continually absorb moisture from the soil and release it into the air in your basement. Consumer-grade dehumidifiers simply aren’t strong enough to solve the problem.
Other Sources of Moisture Leading to Mold
• Keep an eye on leaky faucets or fittings around washers. Even a small drip can turn into a large mold problem if you ignore it.
• If you have a poorly designed egress window, water can fill up in the window well and leak into the basement.
• Pay attention to the landscaping in your yard. Water building up around the basement can cause water problems, especially if the ground is sloped toward the house.
• You can have issues with mold after a small leak from a water heater or bathroom, rain coming in a basement window after a big storm, a major flood event, or an overwatered plant.
How to Mitigate Basement Mold
Mold remediation can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It’s wise to keep mold on the run by adopting a watchful eye (and, nose) on potential basement mold contributors.
• Get your basement waterproofed to prevent flooding. If you have a water issue, clean it up quickly. Ventilate the area until it is dry. Remove and discard water-damaged building materials like drywall and insulation, plus any wet carpet, and furniture.
• Keep the humidity in the basement as low as you can – between 30 – 50%. This will ensure that excess humidity doesn’t cause any new mold growth. Dehumidifiers will reduce the humidity in the basement, and circulating drier air in the basement can also help.
• Make sure your egress window is properly sealed and the window well is properly draining.
Basement Mold Solutions
Thrasher Foundation Repair offers many services designed to protect your basement from mold. Your family will enjoy healthier air and won’t need to worry about mold spores circulating throughout your home.
With more than 40 years of experience, Thrasher has a reputation for providing high-quality, long-lasting basement waterproofing solutions. We have access to more than 30 patented basement repair products and warrantied solutions designed to keep your basement clean, dry, and odor-free.
Improve the air quality in your home with the help of a basement dehumidifier like the SaniDry Sedona. This powerful system eliminates damp, musty odors in your basement or crawl space by drying and filtering the air.
When you replace old, outdated basement windows with new, energy-efficient ones, you add comfort, value, and energy efficiency to your home. When the time comes to make the upgrade, we have the long-lasting, energy-saving solution you need. With every egress window we install, we include a sump basket inside the window well to protect against water intrusion. It controls and redirects water to an interior drainage system or sump pump if available.