Every homeowner who has ever had to deal with a flooded basement can tell you that it is not a picnic. Unfortunately, ruined carpets, decorations, or furniture are not the only damage floods usually cause. In fact, even after the water has been removed from the basement, consequences may remain, mostly in the form of mold.
This fungus loves moist and warm places, which makes a flooded basement its perfect habitat. Even after you have dealt with excess water, the basement will remain moist, and that is when the mold spreads like wildfire. If you want to know whether you have this problem on your hands and how to solve it, keep reading.
Is There Mold in Your Basement?
If you have noticed yellow or pink stains on your drywall or wallpaper, we have bad news for you. This is often a sign that there is mold in that room, so pay attention to other indicators. Mold is slimy and dark, and its colors can vary from green to dark gray. It usually grows in round patterns, and you can easily spot it. Another way you can check your basement for mold is by using your nose, or more precisely, your sense of smell. Mold has a specific musty and earthy scent, so you will easily be able to detect it. If you walk into your basement and are greeted by a musty scent, you have new slimy pets living under your house. Keep in mind that some types of mold are very toxic and can seriously damage your health, so getting rid of it should be your primary task.
How to Deal with Basement Mold
Mold can have harmful effects, and if you or your family members have been exposed to this fungus, you may experience symptoms such as nasal and sinus congestion, respiratory problems, cough, throat irritation, and sneezing. The longer you live in a place infected by mold, the bigger your health problems can become. Therefore, this is an issue that requires immediate action, so don’t put off solving the problem hoping it will go away on its own. If you have noticed mold in your basement, you must take the necessary steps ASAP.
The first thing you will need to do is call a professional mold removal company to remove the fungus and disinfect the basement. Mold may have grown not only on your walls but on your drapes and furniture as well. If mold has spread, it might be better to get rid of things it has infested than to try to clean them. One of the ways you can be sure you have solved the problem is to completely tear out the infested areas and replace them. When the professionals come to remove the mold, they will use commercial removers to do it, and they will clean up the air with HEPA vacuums. If space still smells a little bit earthy, they will deodorize your surfaces.
Preventing Future Problems
Once you have encountered mold problems, you will wish to avoid this type of issue in the future at all costs. To achieve your goal, you will need to keep your basement dry at all times. After all, mold loves damp places and if you don’t keep your basement dry, you can expect that the mold will regrow. To reduce moisture levels, it is recommended that you install a dehumidifier. Also, if your basement floods every now and then, don’t hesitate to invest in an interior drainage system and sump pump.
If you are busy with landscaping, make sure you are grading slopes away from your home, not toward it. This way when it rains or you water your plants, the water won’t be directed toward your foundation. This project may require some excavation and leveling, but it is money well spent.
In addition, as soon as you can go down to your basement and inspect the walls. If they have any cracks in them, they need to be fixed ASAP or they could let water in and cause mold infestation. If the cracks are not small, you may need to invest in foundation repair to fix your home and prevent any further leakage.
Another thing you can do is install a durable vapor barrier on the walls of your basement. This will help prevent moisture buildup and mold growth so you won’t have to deal with infestation anytime soon.
Water damage is a result of many things, and rainwater is just one of them. Your basement can also flood due to leaking pipes, so check those that go through your basement. However, sometimes it is not easy to spot a leak. This is why you should also pay attention to the color and structure of your walls. If there is discoloration or dampness on the parts of the wall that are close to the pipes, you have a problem.
If you have a basement with windows, you need to make sure water cannot get in through them. In case the windows are old, you need to check the seals and see whether they are loose or damaged. If the windows are damaged, you need to fix them right away, or the next rain might leave you with a flooded basement.
It is also advisable that you create a perimeter drain around your home. This way, the groundwater won’t be able to enter the house through cracks on your basement floor.
If you are concerned that you are only one storm away from a flooded basement or you wish to talk to a professional about your mold problem, contact your local basement waterproofing expert to schedule a free home inspection and repair quote. This is the easiest way to see whether you have any problems in your basement and find out how to fix them.