10 Tips to Protect Your Basement from Mold

Does your basement ever flood? Is your basement ever damp? If so, you may need to inspect your basement for mold, and possibly remodel it to remove the mold.

You may suspect hidden mold if your basement smells moldy, but you cannot see the source. You may know there has been water damage, but not think there is mold. Mold may be hidden in places such as the back side of drywall, behind wallpaper, or paneling, the top side of ceiling tiles, underneath carpets and pads, etc.

Mold could also be hidden around leaking pipes, or pipes that are constantly covered with condensation. Heat and air conditioning ducts also can hide mold that can affect your family.

You may want to hire an experienced professional when investigating in your basement for mold, because sometimes when looking for mold, spores can be released that are dangerous for your health. You would be amazed at how many mold spores can be released when pulling off basement wallpaper.

Conventional construction materials used in basement remodeling and basement construction in the past are perfect for mold growth. Since they frequently contain wood and paper based products, they provide a great food source for mold, as well as soaking and holding water for long periods of time.

Here are some tips for preventing mold growth in your basement:

  1. Control mold growth by acting quickly when water leaks or spills in your basement. Make it a goal to have any basement leaks or spills to be completely dry in 24-48 hours.
  2. Make sure the ground outside your home slopes away from the building, so water is directed away from the house instead of collecting and leaking into the basement.
  3. Purchase a humidity meter at the hardware store, and keep basement humidity below 60 percent.
  4. If you see a lot of condensation on your basement pipes or basement windows, work fast to reduce humidity and dry those surfaces. Lots of condensation can be a sign of high humidity in your basement.
  5. Run a dehumidifier in your basement. It will do wonders to pull moisture out of the air, preventing mold growth.
  6. Make sure clothes dryers are vented outside of the basement, not inside. The moisture from drying clothes stays in the air and can encourage basement mold growth.
  7. If you have a shower in your basement bathroom, install an exhaust fan to pull moist air out of the bathroom while the shower is running.
  8. Cover cold surfaces like cold basement water pipes with insulation to prevent basement condensation.
  9. Increase the temperature of your basement. Hot air can hold more moisture without causing condensation on basement surfaces.
  10. Use fans to keep the air moving. A well ventilated basement will be less likely to become moldy.