Control Basement Mold with Basement Waterproofing

Basement WaterproofingMold can be nasty stuff, even if it’s only in your basement.  It makes the air musty, and those darks streaks and patches aren’t very nice to look at.  Even worse, the mold in your basement creates a health hazard.  Itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, congestion, a stuffed-up nose, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, hives, asthma attacks and dangerous strains of pneumonia can all be caused by breathing in the spores that mold releases into the air.  Those spores don’t stay in the basement, either.  Because they’re in the air, they move around as the air circulates.  Eventually, they’ll end up in the living areas, and then people could really start getting sick.

That’s why it’s important to eradicate the existing mold and then prevent it from coming back.  Basement waterproofing helps by preventing moisture from coming in.  Mold needs that moisture to survive.

You’ll also need to kill the existing mold.  You can accomplish this by thoroughly scrubbing the basement floors, walls and other surfaces with a commercial mold cleaner.  Or, you could use a solution of TSP and water.  You might need to scrub the surfaces a few times to help prevent the mold from reappearing.  After that, just do it every so often.  Combined with cleaning the surfaces on an ongoing basis, basement waterproofing should be enough to deter mold regrowth.

Once you’re sure the mold is gone, apply a primer formulated for masonry on the floor and the interior of the foundation walls.  After that, paint them to help prevent water vapor infiltration – water vapor coming up from the floor or through the walls might provide enough moisture to foster the growth of mold once again.  Also consider applying weather stripping to your basement windows and insulating pipes and other cool surfaces on which water is likely to condense.  The goals here are to control the amount of moisture entering your basement and to prevent excess humidity.  Unless you succeed, sooner or later the mold will probably come back.  Waterproofing your basement will go a long way toward helping you achieve those goals.

You may also need to install a whole-house or basement dehumidifier to finish the job.  Because mold requires humidity levels of at least 65-70% to thrive and produce spores, make sure the unit you pick has the capacity to keep the relative humidity in your basement under 60% at the most.  Set it up so it drains into your utility sink or (if you have one) your sump basin.

Waterproofing is one of the most effective steps you can take to control basement mold, but you may have to do a few other things too.  If  mold is growing in your basement, call a waterproofing company as soon as you can.

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