Friday, April 12, 2024

Simple Steps to Prevent Basement Mold and Mildew

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Everything in nature has its place, even mold and mildew. However, that doesn’t mean you have to endure it in your home. Mold and mildew are the cause of several health issues, and they include stuffiness, sore throat, colds, coughs, allergies, and infections. And they can grow in certain areas of your home.

These areas include the kitchen and bathroom, which explains why there is a constant need to clean these areas. However, the basement and crawl spaces in our homes are areas where they thrive too. But these areas are not the top of our concern!

Of course, lots of people say these areas are difficult to clean or that they are barely even there. But when mold thrives in these areas, they can spread out much easily to other areas inside the home too. As a matter of fact, due to the stack effect created in a built environment that causes air to be drawn upwards from the lowest levels of a home or building, mold growth in a basement or crawl space DOES affect the breathing air in the more lived-in and frequented spaces too. Here’s some simple steps to prevent basement mold and mildew.

Use Water-proof Concrete
Moisture problems can happen anywhere, but basements and crawl spaces are areas where seepage can often occur. This can happen when the ground water level rises around the foundations after a storm or a heavy rain. Moisture can also appear as invisible water vapor that can go through porous concrete walls and floors.

In these cases, it’s best to use water-proof concrete during the construction of your basement or crawl space. This ensures that water vapor will not penetrate the area, and seepage will not happen even in the strongest of storms.

You can also reduce humidity and water condensation when you deep seal the concrete. Using a sealing agent can seal the basement and the walls against water seepage and prevent mold growth.

Use Anti-Mold Cleaning Products
One way to remove mold and mildew is cleaning. But bleach and other cleaning equipment requires direct contact with the spores to remove them completely, and even then there will be spores in the air that will create another colony once the ideal conditions set in.

It’s best to use an anti-mold cleaner, or an antimicrobial and antifungal cleaner that will kill all mold and mildew on the surface. This will specifically target mold and will continue to work even after a long time.

You can then use a mold fogger with an antifungal solution. This mold fogger will kill mold spores in the air, removing the musty smell of mold and mildew. The solution will break down spores in the air and on any surface, leaving a cleaner and much more breathable air in your basement or crawl space.

Repair Cracks and Gaps
If you find cracks in your basement walls or crawl space, you need to repair them immediately as they can be the cause of moisture and water seepage. Any gaps in these areas need to be sealed tight, and these include the following:

Foundation wall cracks
This can lead to water seepage after a storm or a flood. Use a crack injection kit if the crack is small enough.

Basement Flood cracks
Floods can increase the water pressure in your basement floors, and water can push through the flooring. Depending on the size of the damage, you can use a concrete repair kit, or rebuild the damaged floors and seal them properly with water-proof concrete and sealer.

Control joints and floor to wall joints
These allow vapor to enter the basement and cause flooding. You can use a self-leveling caulk or a joint sealant to prevent vapor and water moisture from coming in.

Pipes and Form Ties
Conduits, pipes and form ties should be sealed properly, as they can also leak moisture into the basement. Use urethane foam to seal them properly.

Crawlspace
If you have exposed earth in your crawlspace, it can be a huge source of moisture and cause mold growth. You need to install a liner or pour water-proof concrete in the area.

Make Your Home Mold-free
Your home is your castle, but you can’t have it as cold and as damp as a castle! Simple cleaning techniques with the right tools can prevent mold and mildew from growing in your basement and crawl space, making your home truly fit for a king!

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