Seven Tips for Preventing a Mold Infestation in the Basement
Blog Summary: When homeowners have to deal with mold growth in the basement, they can turn to SERVPRO of Media, a local leader in restoration, remediation, and cleaning.
The damage restoration and cleaning technicians at SERVPRO of Media have the training and expertise to remediate mold in a home, including in the basement. The connection between basements and mold growth is understandable, considering how damp, dark, and poorly ventilated most basements are. Listed below are some measures to prevent a major infestation in the basement.
- Eliminate sources of dampness to lower humidity.
Mold thrives in moist environments where the humidity is above forty-five percent. Since the typical basement suffers from poor ventilation, moisture levels tend to be above this level. Humidity levels can be monitored using an inexpensive household digital hygrometer. Basement humidity levels can be controlled with a high-quality dehumidifier, which may range in price from $200 and up. The typical basement scenario does not require a commercial-grade dehumidifier to solve humidity issues.
- Clear out the clutter.
Clothing, shoes, furniture, stuffed animals, holiday decorations, and books restrict airflow and provide food for mold. Solutions include conducting a major cleanout, as well as storing items in plastic containers that take up less space and do not restrict airflow.
- Make sure rainwater and snowmelt flow away from the home’s foundation.
Adequate ground slope – 1 inch per six to ten feet – around the home’s perimeter, as well as free-flowing gutters and downspouts, can go a long way to prevent water from seeping into the basement. Mold needs water. Cut off the water supply, and mold growth will decline dramatically.
- Wrap or cover exposed pipes with insulation.
Condensation on cold water pipes acts as an irrigation system that invites mold growth around the pipes. Pipe wrap or foam pipe sleeves inhibit condensation and mold growth on the pipes.
- Mop up spills and leaks.
Promptly repair pipe and drain leaks. Mop up any standing water to prevent slip-and-fall injuries and to reduce the humidity in the basement. If the spill or leak is limited to a small area of flooring or carpeting, use a wet-dry vacuum to extract the water. Fans, a dehumidifier, or a hairdryer can be used to dry out carpeting, upholstery, or other items soaked by the spill or leak. Open windows and doors to increase natural airflow. If the flooded area is large and unmanageable, bring in a water damage restoration company.
- Install an exhaust fan and run it periodically.
The improved airflow will dry out humid basement air after a period of rain, snow, or high humidity. An exhaust fan is an affordable tool to keep the basement dry and reduce the potential for mold growth in the basement.
- Make sure the basement is waterproof.
Foundation leaks are a constant source of moisture in the basement. Seal cracks and holes in the walls and floor. Replace carpet and wood flooring with a non-porous surface. Consult with a waterproofing professional for advice on a comprehensive strategy to reduce water intrusion issues related to the foundation. A sump pump with a backup may be needed.
Why choose SERVPRO of Media for basement mold remediation?
SERVPRO of Media has the Applied Microbial Remediation Technician certification from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. This certification testifies to the team’s proficiency in remediating mold.
When clients call SERVPRO for mold remediation services, they will receive an inspection and mold damage assessment in accordance with local and state laws. SERVPRO can advise customers on the documentation protocol process and provide guidance based on the customer’s unique situation.
Technicians carefully inspect the home or business for visible signs of mold and utilize technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources. The SERVPRO professionals use various containment procedures, such as negative air chambers, to prevent the spread of mold during the remediation process. Specialized equipment filters microscopic mold spores from the air, and powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums prevent the spread of these spores during the mold remediation process.
Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from growing. The SERVPRO technicians will remove mold-infested porous materials where needed. These contaminated items such as drywall and carpeting will be disposed of safely and properly. Restorable items affected by mold will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. The mold remediation specialists are also trained to remove odors associated with a mold infestation.