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What To Do When You Have Basement Mold

It’s ugly, it smells funny and it ruins your food and your basement too: mold.  Whether it’s the fuzzy substance slowly taking over last week’s leftovers, or the ominous black spots on your basement wall, mold needs to be dealt with as soon as it appears.  But what exactly causes mold?  And how do you get rid of it?  This article will tell you the common causes of mold in your basement, how to find it, and how to safely remove it. 

Causes of Mold in Your Basement

In short, mold comes from moisture. 

But there are many potential sources of moisture in the average basement. What's more, most wet basement repair issues usually take a long time to tackle, due to the fact that basements rarely received any sunlight.  They also generally don’t get much in the way of ventilation and are often humid. 

If that doesn’t sound bad enough, mold can be a silent killer in your basement, often going unnoticed for a long period of time.  People rarely spend time in an unfinished basement; as such, dust and dirt build-up can quickly contribute to your basement mold issue. 

Mold loves building materials, especially drywall, wood, and insulation. 

Here are some common causes of mold in your basement:

  • Condensation: humidity and the cold temperatures found in most basements can create a lot of condensation.   Condensation collects on the cold metal pipes, concrete floors (even if carpet is over top) and on walls.
  • Flooding: if a house is flooded, water runs down to the basement.  Toxic black mold can start growing in flooding conditions, since it requires materials to be wet for several days before it can grow.  The best way to prevent mold in this instance is to contact BEST’s London Ontario basement waterproofing specialists for an expert in-home consultation. 
  • Leaks: leaking pipes can lead to mold growth.  Water in the ground can find its way into the basement through cracks in the walls.  Check regularly for any wet basement repair issues. 

Signs of Mold in Your Basement

A major sign of mold is the smell.  Due to the stagnant air in the basement, odours build up and can become very noticeable.  If you sense a musty or moldy smell, don’t hesitate to contact our London Ontario basement waterproofing services to investigate.

If you’re looking for mold in the basement, first start by trying to find signs of moisture.  Areas where there are signs of water damage or leaks are also likely to contain mold.  Mold likes to grow on objects made from organic substances, such as:

  • Drywall
  • Wooden building frames
  • Carpet
  • Insulation
  • Wallpaper
  • Furniture
  • Cardboard boxes

Common places you’ll find mold in your basement include:

  • Walls
  • Wall cavities
  • Wooden building frames
  • Ceiling
  • Floor
  • Insulation
  • Storage boxes
  • Furniture
  • Pipes
  • Ducts and vents.

Stopping Wet Basement Repair Issues Before They Start

The obvious conclusion is that to prevent basement mold you must first minimize moisture.  However, there are a lot of potential sources that could require additional investigation from a trained waterproofing specialist.  Let’s take a look at the most common.

  • Leaking basement walls:  if there’s water seeping through the walls, you can try to apply sealant to walls or floors.  But your best bet is to contact BEST Plumbing and Drainage for wet basement repair services. 
  • Humidity: keep the humidity in the basement below 55% and any humidity won’t lead to mold growth.
  • Clean: vacuum your basement at least once per week.
  • Landscaping: water build-up around the basement can cause problems, especially if the ground slopes towards the house.  If necessary, re-landscape the ground so it slopes away from the home.

It’s best to hire a professional to remove mold in the basement, especially if the growth area is large.  For more information on wet basement repairs, contact BEST Plumbing and Drainage today. You’ll be glad you did!