Basements are dark and have many sources of moisture, which makes them an absolutely ideal place for mold to grow. Mold is especially likely to grow after a basement has been flooded. Since people don’t typically spend a lot of time in their basements, mold can go unnoticed for months, or sometimes even years. However, exposure to mold spores can cause irritation, allergies and respiratory problems, so you need to check for mold and get rid of it as soon as possible.
It’s important to protect your health while removing mold. Use a respirator, such as the N95, to filter out airborne mold spores. Make sure to wear goggles and gloves as an extra precaution. Other equipment that you’ll need will be a dehumidifier and fungicide. If you are inexperienced with fungicide, you can use hot soapy water instead. Hot water will remove mold, but it will not kill any spores or residual mold, so make sure to clean thoroughly. Before you begin removing the mold, you should assess the infected area. This is a good opportunity to prevent mold from growing in the future. Start by removing everything that you can from the basement. Check your items for signs of mold. Mold grows on organic material, so examine things like wooden furniture or cardboard boxes carefully. It’s best to discard anything that you won’t be able to easily clean. Once you are done with this, return to your empty basement and look for any water stains. This will help you find leaking pipes, cracks in the wall or other areas where water can enter your home. Make all the repairs necessary to keep your basement nice and dry.
After you have made your repairs, it is time to remove the mold. Apply your fungicide, or hot water, to the walls and floors. Make sure to clean all surfaces, even if you don’t see any mold. Take extra care to clean in areas that were previously wet or near furniture. After you are done cleaning, it’s important to get the basement as dry as possible. Wipe down the surfaces with a towel, and leave the dehumidifier running. It will then be safe to repaint the walls and refurnish the basement once more.
To prevent any future mold growth, check frequently for leaks near plumbing connections and around your water heater. Since mold is more likely to grow in basements and bathrooms, adding a dehumidifier for those areas can reduce the odds that you develop a mold problem. An ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure.
Check back soon for more tips on improving your home.