There is not a single place mold can't grow when the area is moist, dark, gets plenty of oxygen, and has material/surfaces that allow mold to grow. One particular breeding ground for mold is the basement of a home. Basements that are unoccupied and lack attention are the perfect host for mold. You can prevent the growth of mold in basement areas by taking proactive measures before growth starts.
What Causes Mold to Grow on Concrete?
Most unoccupied or neglected basements are made of poured concrete material or concrete blocks. The concrete itself does not allow mold to grow. What allows mold to grow on concrete is layers of dust where mold inhabits and accompanying moisture from vapors, flooding, and high humidity.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Mold Growth on Concrete?
Mold growth that is related to moisture is usually resolved by addressing the source of the moisture. Relocating drain lines may prove to be sufficient or changing the direction of the soil sloping so external moisture does not concentrate near concrete. If the moisture issue is internal, a homeowner may find a dehumidifier helpful, as they reduce the amount of moisture in the air. Although helpful in reducing the moisture, the dehumidifier does not eliminate the moisture.
Improving the ventilation system will also reduce the amount of moisture in the basement, especially in the colder months; however, again moisture is reduced, but not eliminated. Increasing the temperature in the basement works well in mild climate weather. Increasing the temperature in colder climate areas will only warm the basement but not the concrete, thus resulting in condensation and increased moisture.
Basements Used For Storage
Basements are excellent places to store items you want to keep; however, many times homeowners store items in materials that are not moisture proof. Cardboard boxes, books, newspapers, clothing, and even toys that are stored in basements harbor mold if the conditions for mold growth are met. To rid your basement of mold, you may need to remove these items because the material they are made of holds moisture.
Insulating the pipes and windows during cold weather will prevent condensation. If your clothes dryer is in the basement, be sure that the vent is properly operating to ensure the vent is not clogged and the air is venting outside.
The most efficient way of preventing mold in the basement is to ensure that the basement is well ventilated, has the proper temperature, and is kept clean and dry. For more information on mold removal, go to websites like the one linked to here.