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A story we saw a little while ago has inspired us to write this post about what to do if you find mold in your basement.

Health issues and a costly clean-up

Just a couple of weeks after she had moved into a new home, Brenda Goode of Knoxville began to feel ill. She was suffering from sinus headaches, coughing, and a sore throat. TV channel WATE 6 reported that the mold problem that was causing so much distress was found to be located in the basement: an area that she had previously properly checked before agreeing the house purchase.

As Mrs. Goode found out, mold is particularly hazardous to your health. In the worst instances, as was the case here, you may need to move out of your home. When the home was inspected by an expert with specialist equipment, it was found to have levels of airborne mold spores at almost 20 times the acceptable level. The clean-up and repair work could run to thousands of dollars.

So, apart from moving out, here’s what to do if you find mold in your basement:

Clean up

If the fungus growth is too widespread or too deep, get an experienced and qualified specialist in to do the clean. However, if the mold is only light, then use a borax solution (one cup of borax to one gallon of water) on a clean rag and wipe the affected area. Make sure you avoid the top five mistakes you’ll make when you clean mold from drywall.

Reduce the humidity

Basements suffer from humidity: the perfect mold breeding environment. You’ll probably need to install a dehumidifier, playing with the setting to get it just right. (If you’ve got an air conditioner in your basement, this might do the job though you should seek some professional guidance on whether it is man enough to do so.)

Carry out a vapor barrier test to make sure that the air is dry enough to proceed to the next step.

Seal and prevent mold from returning

All your good work so far will be for nothing if you don’t finish off the job properly. A waterproof coating on the walls and floor should be used on masonry before applying the finishing touches. Here are a few more finishing tips:

  • Avoid installing carpet on concrete floors
  • Use fiberglass insulation between floor joints above the ceiling
  • Apply spray foam to fill in gaps in flooring
  • Use plywood to create a subfloor on top of foam

Mold flourishes in damp conditions, and in Mrs. Goode’s new home an incorrectly sealed floor and poorly constructed external retaining walls were the major culprits conspiring to create ideal conditions. If you know what to do if you find mold in your basement, the clean-up and prevention work should run smoothly and you’ll avoid the problems that Brenda Goode faced.

If you are in any doubt about what to do if you find mold in your basement, or anywhere else, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’ll be glad to offer some advice and the benefit or experience.

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