Basement Mold: What Every Homeowner Needs to Know

Basement Mold

Why is Basement Mold So Common?

Basement mold is a very common problem throughout the Kansas City Metro Area, where sudden rainfalls, foundation leaks, and shifting soil are common. Kansas City residents are all too familiar with the horrendous drainage backups. It seems that most homeowners in our area have experienced some form of water damage. Most are also concerned about black mold in the basement.

Mold is very common in the Midwest and throughout our entire metro area. Recognize what causes mold and how to prevent mold with simple safeguards.

Basements Provide the Perfect Conditions for Black Mold

Basements create one of the best environments for mold to grow. With most basements being used intermittently, it allows for mold to spread undetected, many times for months or even years! First of all, remember that mold starts small and can very quickly grow into something much bigger. Mold grows quickly in the environment that many basements provide high humidity, organic materials, and darkness. Even in a short amount of time, mold has a field day in this perfect environment.

We have already discussed moisture from foundation leaks and drainage backups. Both of which are the leading cause of moisture problems in basements. Now, let’s discuss non-foundation-related causes for basement mold and moisture. Sump pump failure, broken water lines, improper grading, and clogged gutters are the most common causes of basement problems. Remember, mold does not have to be visible to still cause spores to be in the air. Most basement mold is commonly found behind drywall and baseboards as well as under carpeting and flooring. As this is a hard pace to remove mold from a solution might need to be slightly more invasive in technique to sort out this issue. Potentially a solution could be provided for this by looking into waterproofing basement walls or maybe investing in a renovation project for the basement which might be equally useful.

Basement Air Quality Can Affect Your Entire Home

With many of our basements being the location of our home’s HVAC (heating, venting, air conditioning) units. We can easily have the air quality of our basements circulated throughout the entire house. If you run your HVAC unit when there is mold located near the air handler or return air vents; there is a risk that the mold spores in the area can be circulated throughout the rest of the home.

Special Precautions if You Find Mold Around HVAC Units or Vents

It is VERY important to remember to NOT disturb any mold until you have had a professional assessment. Running your HVAC with mold in your basement or close to an air return could allow mold spores to be circulated throughout your entire house.

How to Prevent Basement Mold?

To prevent future problems with mold in your basement, there are several things you can do. If you have a severely problematic basement, we recommend you read our article “5 Practical Tips for Problem Basements“.

  • Continually monitor humidity level with a humidistat
  • Inspect your basement frequently, especially after heavy rains or harsh freezes
  • Address preventative property maintenance to prevent water damage

No one wants to find black mold in the basement. It might not seem easy to prevent mold from growing in your home, especially in your basement, but it is possible and it is not complicated. When you take these precautionary measures, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re protecting your home and the health of your family.

Monitor Basement Humidity Continually

It is possible to keep track of what happens in your basement and avoid mold. To start off, monitor humidity levels in your basement with a humidistat (humidity monitor). This is a very important step to prevent future mold problems as mold grows and spreads when there is moisture in the environment.

Visually Inspect

Another preventative measure is to inspect the basement frequently, particularly after hard rains or freezing weather. There often are leaks or cracks in basements. That allows water to seep into the basement after a storm, or when things thaw after being frozen. In case you reside in one of the coldest regions, you might want to keep a heat gun (you can go here to find a supplier) handy to thaw the frozen pipes and avoid costly plumbing repairs.

Focus on Preventive Maintenance

Another vital step to preventing black mold in the basement is to address water problems that may be ongoing with the foundation, grading, or gutters of your house. If any of these areas are causing an issue and allowing water to seep into your basement; the chances of mold growth go up exponentially. If you see any water seeping through the cracks of the floor, you might want to get in touch with experts similar to the ones who specialize in concrete leveling in Denver. And, once all issues have been addressed and your basement is watertight, make sure you do an annual inspection of these areas.

A Fresh Start Story: Pipe Break Leads to Mold While in the Bahamas!

A Fresh Start Restoration customer once had a pipe break while on vacation for a ten-day cruise to the Bahamas. While they were on vacation, their home was being destroyed. Their return was not a nice or restful one. As soon as the walked into their home they heard a strange noise and smelled a foul odor. They rushed to their basement to find that freezing weather had caused the main water line to burst. So their 2000+ square foot basement was filled ankle-deep with water.

Because the water damage occurred over 72 hours, the risks of mold was high and they contracted our services. We worked with our contractors to remove the standing water, removed un-salvageable materials, and carefully monitored the drying progress. We carefully removed the mold that had already begun to grow. These types of water damage jobs need to have extreme care used when starting the cleanup process. Many of the major franchises just follow the standard protocols with water damage. However, when mold has started to grow any air movement circulates the air and mold spores become airborne. If in doubt, it is best to call an experienced mold professional. At FreshStart we not only have the mold experience, but also years of experience in the water damage restoration industry.

Ask a Mold Professional

We always suggest getting a professional assessment of mold in the basement; before taking on any DIY projects on your own. A reoccurring mold problem means that it is much bigger than what you can see. At Fresh Start Restoration, the health of our customers matters! We provide award-winning customer service at affordable prices. We will work with you from start to finish to see that your home is mold-free.