If you’ve ever noticed that musty smell in the basement, the reason is basement mold. Not only is that moldy basement smell unpleasant – it’s also unhealthy. Basement mold can cause people to have headaches, respiratory problems, and feel tired. It’s been named the number one cause of chronic sinus infections. It’s particularly bad for children with asthma.
The reason basement mold grows so readily is because of the humidity. If the humidity in an area is over 50%, house mold will grow easily. The best thing you can do to inhibit the growth of mold in the basement is to place a dehumidifier there. This will help control not only mold, but also dust mites. Basements are not the only area that can be plagued with mold. Bathrooms, laundry rooms, and even kitchens can have problems with mold, too.
In addition to the heath problems mold can aggravate, it can also cause the structure of the house to deteriorate. In order to keep this from happening, measures need to be taken to prevent basement mold. The first thing that needs to be done to prevent mold is to dry the basement out completely. Then a dehumidifier needs to be turned on in the basement.
When basement mold is already a problem, using a steam cleaner is a first step in cleaning. The heat of the steam can kill the mold spores without having to use toxic cleaners. The basement then needs to be dried thoroughly and waterproofed. Filters for heating vents and central air conditioning need to be changed often. HEPA filters are especially good for filtering allergens, such as mold spores, from the air.
A particularly insidious form of basement mold is black mold. This is a slimy black mold that grows on a variety of surfaces, including insulation and sheet rock. You can tell you have black mold if the black spots feel moist and smear when rubbed. For small areas, a bleach solution made of 1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water can be used to disinfect the area.
In order to keep black basement mold from reappearing, you need to find the source of the moisture feeding the mold. It is probably a leaky pipe or something similar. Fix the leak and you can keep the mold from reappearing. Another good measure to take is to paint the basement with mold inhibiting paint.