Most homeowners cringe just hearing the word mold. This is understandable because mold growth always goes undetected until it is too late. In most cases, costly removal and remediation will be required to get your home back in shape. Mold is everywhere both in the air and on many surfaces. Wherever there is moisture, there is a risk of mold growth.
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Why Mold Prevention?
If your home has a crawlspace or basement, it is important to know how to keep mold away. This is because these spaces are prone to moisture seepage, which provides favorable conditions for mold infestation. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold prevention is almost 90% cheaper than mold removal.
In essence, you should keep your home free from mold because of the cost involved. In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report linking upper respiratory tract problems to mold exposure. Mold spores are allergens and they will eventually find their way from the basement leading to respiratory complications among your home’s occupants. Mold also damages wooden surfaces and this is risky especially because foundation support joists are made of wood. This compromises the structural integrity of the house.
Simple Tips to Prevent Mold Growth
To avert mold infestation, you have to keep your basement dry. However, this is easier said than done especially if you have an unfinished basement. Calling in a mold specialist remains the best idea especially if you notice a musty odor coming from your basement. However, the following tips can prevent mold growth and keep your family safe:
- Identifying water source and treating it: Check for any source of water including the floor, wall cracks, window vent or the foundation footer. Once it has been identified, a certified contractor should treat the problem and waterproof the basement to prevent future problems.
- Proper ventilation: Due to its location, a basement will experience high humidity levels. You can install a dehumidifier to reduce moisture presence in the air. Other ventilation systems, such as the E·Z Breathe ® System prevent against mold growth by keeping the entire house dry and circulating fresh air.
- Humidity monitors: EPA recommends 30 to 60% humidity levels and it is now possible to install an automatic monitor, which will then set off the dehumidifier to avoid condensation on basement surfaces.
- Basement drainage: An interior drainage system along the walls coupled with a sump pump is a great basement finishing idea, as it keeps moisture away from this living space.
- Wall repair: If there is any damage to the wall, a foundation contractor should immediately remedy the same using carbon fiber or steel piers to prevent water seepage into the basement.
These are just a few of the mold prevention techniques that can be applied. Your contractor will decide on the best for your situation.