Basements are notorious breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. Anytime you have an area with a high amount of moisture buildup and little to no ventilation, you can expect an onslaught of mold. People may attempt to clean their basements in order to prevent mold growth, but this can be difficult with newer homes because they have so many organic materials in them. These are the kind of materials that mold loves to feed on. Once that happens, the mold will spread onto places like concrete walls, ceiling, carpeting, furniture, and any other organic material that may be around. You will notice mold immediately when you see it in your basement. It will have the appearance of multiple black spots that are closely bunched together. There will usually be a distinct odor that will even travel through your home through the furnace and HVAC. It is challenging to remove mold with typical household cleaners after it has started to spread. You need to use commercial quality disinfectant to do the job right.
The first step is to examine the moisture problem in the basement. Mold depends on moisture for its growth. Water often leaks into basements from the rain outside. There may even be condensation from the appliances that are installed in the basement too. A thorough test from Bactronix Nova of your basement will determine if moisture is a contributing factor to your mold problem. The water heater and HVAC system need to be inspected, especially the ductwork. Any contamination in the air ducts will cause mold to spread into every room of the home. This will be a much worse problem. Finally, inspect the water pipes which run all throughout your basement. If any of the pipes are in poor condition, they may be leaking water. In serious situations, it could even flood your basement and make it inhabitable. That is why you’ll want to find the leak before it makes the mold problem worse.
Now that your basement inspection is complete, the next step is to stop any existing leaks so that you don’t have any more water added to your basement. This means repairing the water heater, HVAC system, furnace, piping, or other appliances responsible for the leak. If there are leaks coming in through the walls because of flooding or extensive rainwater in the soil, then cover the walls with some type of basement wall sealer. You can use silicate concrete or acrylic water-resistant paint to seal your walls from any further leaking. Be sure to kill any existing mold on the walls first. See step # 6 for more information on that.
Your basement should have a sump pump installed to regularly remove excess water away from the foundation. If your pump breaks or if there is just too much water for the pump to handle, then you’ll need to remove the flooded water from your basement with a separate utility pump. These can be purchased at most home improvement stores. Bactronix Nova offers customers various drying equipment.
After the leaks are stopped and the excess water is removed, you need to remove the existing moisture still present in the basement. A dehumidifier is the best tool for this task. You may want to have a few dehumidifiers spread throughout your basement, depending on its size. This will help make the air dry, which is not friendly to mold. Bactronix Nova offers customers industrial dehumidifiers.
A big reason for condensation and humidity in the basement is poor ventilation. There are special basement ventilation systems that you can have installed which sends cool air to the basement just like the rest of your house. It would be a good idea to think about getting some kind of ventilation like this for your basement. As long as your insulation is secured, you’ll have a cool dry basement all year round.