A flooded basement can cost as much as $20,000 in damages and create the ideal environment for mold to grow unchecked. Here are some easy-to-follow tips on how to keep your basement mold-free in the future by preventing flooding and cutting off sources of moisture.
Check For Outdoor Sources of Moisture
Mold can take hold in your home remarkably fast if you allow the right circumstances. If the right conditions are present, including a moisture source and the right temperature (between 41 degrees to 100 degrees Fahrenheit), mold can start to grow in as little as one to two days. Eliminating possible moisture sources is one good way to prevent this from happening, as mold can’t attach itself to anything without a moisture source. Check the seals around any windows and doors to the basement to ensure they are not allowing moisture in. Patch any small wall cracks that allow water to leak in from outside, too. Even a few drops can be enough for mold to grow. If you have a floor drain in the basement, check to make sure it allows water to flow freely and does not hold on to the moisture.
Insulate Key Basement Areas
Without proper insulation, appliances and pipes can give off moisture caused by condensation when they are used and this moisture ends up going into the air, where mold particles can easily attach to it. You can use pipe sleeves to insulate the surface of the pipes, which keeps them at the same temperature as the rest of the basement and keeps the condensation from forming in the first place. If the basement is unfinished and the walls are not insulated, it’s worth your time to finish them and seal them. This protects the inner surface from mold growing inside the walls, which can easily lead to disaster. Since it is dark and cool inside the walls, once mold has taken hold, it can be very hard and expensive to remediate.
Remove Carpet and Other Unnecessary Textiles
Getting rid of carpets in favor of hardwood or tile flooring in your basement keeps the home cleaner overall, and it gives mold one less place to grow. If your basement ever sees flooding, the carpet is one of the hardest pieces to dry out, and one of the most likely to encourage mold growth afterward. It may seem excessive to change your flooring to prevent mold from growing, but remember that some 70% of homes have mold present in them. Since around 28% of people are genetically predisposed to mold-related health problems, the appearance of mold in your basement is likely to have adverse effects on a friend or family member of yours. If the basement is a space you often use for family fun, you don’t want to allow mold to get in there and make everyone sick.
By following these tips and staying vigilant about not letting water come into the basement from any source, you can keep it mold-free and help promote good health in your home. If water does come in despite your best efforts, the best way to proceed is to remove all the furniture and any extra items and allow the basement to dry out naturally.