With the amount of wet weather that we experience here in Canada, it’s common to find mold lingering around the home. A lack of airflow combined with a humid environment can create the perfect recipe for these toxic spores to thrive in. That’s why the basement is one of the most vulnerable areas for this fungus to grow – especially if there’s water damage involved. To learn how to get rid of mold in your basement, here are some points to know.
The Main Culprits for Mold Growth
Before learning how to get rid of mold in your basement, it’s important to understand the underlying issues that cause it to grow in the first place. To avoid more mold from surfacing, here are some of the main causes:
Leaky pipes or a leaky foundation caused by years of wear and tear can create a damp and humid environment, making it favourable for mold spores. Condensation from windows can also contribute to high humidity.
If you’ve experienced a flash flood in your basement due to an intense rainstorm or backup, pooling water can seep into many areas as a result and leave behind enough moisture for mold or mildew to develop, even after being cleaned up.
Sump Pump Failure
Sump pumps help to protect the home against accumulating water by directing it away. But when the pump fails or malfunctions, it can lead to serious water damage and spores.
When water damage and poor ventilation mix, they create condensation which causes the humidity level to rise. This is a major culprit for moldy surfaces.
Eliminating Mold in the Basement
Mold is a toxic fungus, which is why it’s usually best to leave the removal of it to the professionals. But in the meantime, here’s how to get rid of it:
Vinegar can be used throughout the home to clean surfaces. But it’s also effective at getting rid of mold. Use regular white vinegar (without diluting), apply a generous amount to the moldy area and leave it on for 5 minutes. Then remove it with a sponge.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide is also excellent to have at home and it’s just as good at killing mold. Before using, combine with water and place on the targeted area for 10 minutes.
If neither of those products are available to you, bleach can work as well. Of course, you can’t use bleach on certain fabrics and materials, so you may be limited when using it. Plus, it’ll also add more toxins into the air that you’re breathing, so try and stick with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide if possible.
A high-efficiency particle absolute vacuum can offer a great alternative too. These are designed to capture minute micron-sized particles through a special filter. This makes it capable of trapping 99.7 % of airborne particles. They can be very effective for removing mold spores and other particles in the basement.
Dry Out the Basement
If there has been any recent water damage, make sure to have it properly cleaned up so it’s completely dry. Open the windows to allow ventilation and use fans to increase airflow.
How to Prevent Mold from Growing
Once you’ve gotten rid of the mold, it doesn’t mean it won’t reappear somewhere else. Mold spores can be aggressive given the right environment. Here’s how to eliminate the risk:
Repair Any Leaks
Whether there’s an issue with the basement shower or a leaky window or something more substantial like a broken sump pump, ignoring such issues can make them more severe, costly and dangerous for your health. Repairing any leaks or hiring a contractor to address the issue, is one of the most important steps you can take to avoiding having mold at home.
Use a Dehumidifier
In order for mold to flourish, there needs to be high levels of moisture present. Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the air which is why they’re an important tool to have in any basement. You can pick one up at your local hardware and home supply store. Keep it on and running often, especially during the spring, fall and winter seasons when there’s plenty of rain and snow.
When you need professional mold removal services, give us a call at Healthy Home Center. We specialize in mold detection and removal and can help to improve the quality of your air throughout your home. Get in touch today if you’re dealing with a mold problem in Ottawa!