Here’s the simple secret to preventing basement mold: Mold can’t grow without water! Therefore, preventing water damage and buildup of excess moisture is the key to preventing basement mold growth!
This list of 9 tips to control water and moisture so that you can prevent mold from growing in the basement of your home or work environment.
- Keep the humidity levels in check-especially in the Summer months: Ideally humidity levels in your basement should be less than 50%. To maintain this, use a dehumidifier. Remember to install the kind that has its own pump so that it can drain automatically into a sink or sump pump. That way you don’t have to run downstairs and empty the bucket – or worry about it if you forget.
- Do not grow plants inside the basement.
- Keep your basement clutter free and clean! Clutter disrupts the free flow of air in your basement and traps humidity-making it a breeding ground for mold.
- Use only plastic storage, air tight boxes & bins. The cellulose and glue in cardboard provides the perfect food for mold when it gets damp allowing it to grow quickly!
- Say ‘No’ to wood! Make sure that you are not storing wood or organic materials in your basement or your crawl space. Wood also makes an ideal food for mold to grow quickly.
- Use an exterior exhaust fan to vent stale and humid air out and let fresh air in- especially if you have a newer home that is rated for energy efficiency. Energy-efficient homes with finished basement might be easy on the electric bill, but they’re hard on ventilation and air flow. Which leads to damp, humid air getting trapped in basements, this can fuel mold growth. Make sure your make up air is processed through the HVAC system for conditioning and drying.
- Always insulate water pipes. Cold water pipes cause condensation and lose efficiency. When water collects on the exterior of cold-water pipes, it can increase the chance mold will grow by providing it with that much needed moisture.
- Use gutter extensions to drain water away from the foundation of the house so storm water won’t flow into your basement. You can also make sure the grade of the land is away from the home.
- If you do have a flood in your basement- no matter what the source (i.e., burst washing supply hoses, burst water heater, over the ground flooding) get it dried as quickly as possible! It won’t dry on its own fast enough! So wet vac, open windows, turn on fans, take items outside to dry, use the dryer, and so on.
If something gets wet inside your home and it’s not dried within 72 hours, bacteria and mold will grow. So maintaining a dry environment is the best way to avoid mold and the sicknesses it can cause.