In the last 30 years, basements have become an inexpensive way for people to expand their living space.
Homeowners build game rooms, entertainment areas, as well as intricate storage spaces in their basements. While these are great ways to add value and convenience to a home, they also increase the basement mold health risks and the occurrence of mold and mold-related health issues. Sheetrock (gypsum board) is one of the best known growth mediums for mold and finished basements typically contain lots of sheetrock. Also, any wood related building materials (walls studs, ceiling joists, etc) and paper products including cardboard boxes make an excellent growth medium for basement mold and can contribute to basement mold health risks.
Basements are particularly conducive to mold contamination due to lack of air flow as well as general susceptibility to hydrostatic pressure (pressure from ground water). The lack of air flow coupled with the fact that moisture laden air likes to settle in the lowest place in a structure means that basements tend to have a very humid climate. When you have a combination of water, humidity and lack of air flow, you have the perfect recipe for basement mold – mold contamination and an unhealthy situation.
It is very important to remember the Golden Rule of Mold; “Control the moisture and you control the mold”. Every home should therefore have a mechanism for controlling moisture and that mechanism is a dehumidifier. The appropriate dehumidifier will keep the humidity level in the basement below 50% and that will make it all but impossible for mold to grow. If there are any instances where there is an active water intrusion problem, this must be corrected prior to the installation of the dehumidifier.
foundation wall cracks
leaking water pipes
condensation from HVAC systems
hydrostatic pressure and window casing leaks
These problems can easily be identified by mold detection services to identify basement mold health risks. A dehumidifier will not be able to function properly until these moisture-related issues are properly repaired. It is sometimes necessary to perform a complete waterproofing of the basement which may involve items such as a French Drain, sump pumps and a vapor barrier. A Certified Eco Tech expert will be able to assess your basement mold health risks and your individual situation with our mold detection services, then make recommendations to resolve these issues.