Basements Are An Invitation For Mold
Damp Basements Are An Invitation For Mold
Basement Mold Will Grow Even If There Have Never Been Flooding or Leaks.
Many people associate mold in basements with flooding. Although flooding, leaky pipes, leaky roofs and clogged gutters are certainly contributors to mold growth, many times the main culprit is excessive basement humidity. Regardless the air temperature, there will always be cold concrete floors and wall materials that take on the ground temperature of the soil around your home. A damp basement can provide an inviting environment for mold growth. Mold grows the fastest in your basement when there is lots of moisture. It can grow on many surfaces, including walls, floors, carpets, ceiling tile, wallpaper and insulation.
- Have you ever opened the basement door and noticed the musty smell of your basement even though it looks completely clean?
- No matter how much you vacuum floors and clean surfaces, do you find that the odor is still there?
The most common place for mold growth is beneath carpet, behind drywall and behind insulation. Basement mold grows directly on the concrete floor, cinder block, brick or concrete walls and beneath pipe insulation.
Molds are microscopic organisms that are a type of fungi. There are over 100,00 species of mold and mold spores are so minute that as many as 250,000 can fit onto the head of a pin! Besides negatively affecting your health, molds can damage your home. They can eat through basement insulation, wood framing, carpeting and other organic matter. When molds eat this organic matter they emit volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that contribute to poor air quality.
You can usually detect mold in your basement by smell or sight. Spots on walls, floors and carpets are indications of mold infestation. Molds produce a highly noticeable damp, musty odor that in extreme cases can be overpowering. Peeling paint and stained wallpaper are other indicators of mold growth. Many homeowners make the mistake of painting over mold. Out of site out of mind doesn’t apply here. Painting over mold is a poor mold remediation solution because mold will feed on the paint itself.
If you do have mold in your basement don’t feel alone. The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that 60% of U.S. homes have wet basements. Even well built and sealed basements that would not have mold under normal circumstances can develop mold growth from high humidity. Many basements feature concrete walls and floors. Unfortunately, concrete is a porous substance that can trap moisture and provide a home for mold growth. Wet basement walls and floors are usually signs of condensation caused by high humidity.
The optimal humidity level in your basement should be below 50%. You can check the humidity level in your basement with a humidistat. The best way to accomplish 50% or less humidity is with a good quality basement dehumidifier. The Dri-Basement dehumidifier can handle the heavy moisture loads in large, damp basements. By removing the moisture from the air in your basement, you deprive mold a suitable environment to live in. This commercial grade basement dehumidifier can keep your basement dry and mold free.
When you install the Dri-Basement dehumidifier there are things you can do to help its performance. Make sure all windows and doors to your basement are tightly sealed to stop outside air from entering. Remove any wet or damp items from your basement. It is also very important to vent your clothes dryer. Unvented dryers create a warm, humid environment conducive to mold growth.
Use a Dri-Basement dehumidifier to make your basement a more clean and comfortable area. Remember, a dry, clean smelling basement not only provides additional living and storage space, but it can increase the value of your home.