Mold spores spread easily and it is very difficult to eradicate them completely. Basements have always been a cool area to store essential items, and act as a significant extension of a home. However, they are the most common places you can expect to find mold because they provide favorable condition for growth and existence. If you are experiencing a mold problem in your basement, it is important for you to learn why it grow so easily. In this article, we will be looking at the main reasons why molds grow in basements and how you can prevent them from occurring.
Causes of Mold in Basement
The basement has many sources of moisture and the level of humidity is known to be very high. Since it is the last place you can find maximum sunshine, any water problem will definitely take a long time to dry out. As days go by, it creates a favorable environment for the growth of molds because of little ventilation, darkness and dampness.
Molds begin to grow on basements and spread rapidly over time without anyone noticing because most people spend less time in these areas. It is also a fact that most people are lazy to clean their basements, which speeds up the growth of molds due to excessive dirt and dust. Some of the main reasons why molds grow in basements so easy include:
Flooding is one of the major causes of mold in basements because trapped water stays there for a long period before being noticed. Furthermore, it takes a long time to dry since basements lack enough amount of sunlight. The toxic black mold, also referred to as the Stachybotrys usually grows after heavy rains that cause flooding in the basement.
Another cause of high growth levels of mold in basement is the presence of cold temperature combined with high humidity, causing high levels of condensation. It usually accumulates in cold concrete basement floors, cold metal pipes and on the walls. This fulfills some of the conditions necessary for growth of molds.
Water Leaks in Basement
If you are not used to checking in and out of your basement, it might take a long time for you to notice any signs of leakages. Water leaks may come because of heavy rains that start penetrating inside walls over time. It can also be caused by bursting water pipes that tend to run underground.
Since the cracks on walls and basement floors will be trapping water, they facilitate growth of molds and spread over a large area if nothing is done to mitigate the problem. It can also worsen the crack causing further damage to the basement as well as the whole building.
Use of Green Board
Cellulose is the most common food for molds and most often, we tend to see it as paper. Wood is also made of cellulose, which means that it provides a favorable condition for growth of molds. Growth of molds in basements can be facilitated by the use of green board. Most contractors and homeowners assume that green board is a form of drywall that is water-resistant, and one that cannot be affected by molds.
However, green board is still paper and molds do not consider its color as long as it meets one of their requirements for growth. Instead of using drywall, experts recommend using wooden paneling in basements to prevent molds from growing. You can also use fiberglass-faced drywall as your first wall course that is closest to the floor.
Preventing Mold in Basements
The only way to minimize mold in your basement is to cut off their conditions for growth including moisture and high levels of humidity. Fix any water problems that might be coming from the cracks on your walls or on the floor. This can be any leaking pipes, ceiling or condensation. Remove any carpets or mats that have soaked through, as they are more likely to cause growth of molds. Use dehumidifiers to keep the humidity levels below 55 percent and clean the basement at least once a week to prevent mold growth.
Moisture and lack of sunlight are some of the reasons why molds grow in basements very easily. Solving this problem requires wiping out any conditions that accelerate the growth of molds including high levels of humidity. It is also important to clean your basement and allow free circulation of air to prevent a stuffy environment. It is also important to hire a professional to help in mold removal to avoid exposure to the toxic substance.