Prevent Basement Mold In South Carolina
Basements are one of the common areas that tend to fall victim to mold development, if you are not careful. Basements in South Carolina often suffer from dampness and insufficient air circulation, leaving the home vulnerable to mold development. Once mold settles and roots itself in your basement building materials, it can rapidly spread to and contaminate previously clean building materials. Unaddressed basement mold development will likely worsen with time. That is why it is important for homeowners to take the time to learn about the warning signs of mold and step preemptive steps to prevent it.
Why is Basement Mold so Bad?
Mold growth in your South Carolina basement can mean potential health implications and serious property damage. Certain species of mold have the potential to produce mycotoxins that can be toxic to humans. Exposure to mold can result in symptoms ranging from mild allergies to serious upper respiratory problems. Each person will react differently to mold exposure depending on the individual, the length of time of exposure, the species of mold and several other factors.
In the natural outdoor environment, mold’s purpose is to breakdown dead organic matter so that it can be recycled back into the ecosystem. This is great for the natural cycle of our ecosystem, but not so great for the building materials inside your home. Indoor mold and the underlying water problem will eat away at your building materials and potentially compromise the structural integrity of your property. Bottom-line, if you have an indoor mold problem, you should contact a trained and certified mold removal company in South Carolina to safely and effectively address the problem and the moisture source.
What Causes Basement Mold in South Carolina?
Various moisture sources could be contributing to mold development in your basement. With an adequate moisture source, it only takes 24-48 hours for mold to develop and spread. Some moisture problems are very obvious and will prompt immediate attention– like flooding or a major leak. Other problems may seem minor and can be very easy to overlook– like humidity and condensation. It is equally as important to address these issues with the same urgency as with a leak or flood.
Most common causes of basement mold:
- High humidity – over 55%
- Water leaking or seeping through foundation walls
- Poor air circulation
- Condensation from ducts
Basement Mold Prevention Tips South Carolina
When it comes to basement mold prevention, moisture control is going to be the key factor in keeping a mold-free space.
Leaks— Checking for leaks regularly will help you catch a leak before it has the chance to do too much damage.
- Routinely check for water leaks in your basement ceiling from the levels above.
- If you detect any signs of water damage, you should address it immediately. You may need to contact a professional to get to the bottom of the leak and stop it before it leads to mold development.
- Check all HVAC components and plumbing systems running through the basement for leaks or condensation.
- Water leaks need to be properly resolved before you develop a mold problem– again, it only takes 24-48 hours for mold to develop in the presence of moisture.
Foundation— Water can potentially enter your basement through your foundation walls.
- Regularly assess your foundation walls from the outside and your basement walls front the inside to identify and address any signs of damage.
- Look for any cracks, masonry damage, or interior signs in our main living space– these can all be warning signs of foundation damage.
- Manage drainage around your foundation. It is important that all rain runoff is draining away from your home so that it does not collect and pool around your foundation.
Landscape— Your home’s surroundings are very important to keeping rising water out. You always want water to flow away from your home.
- Make sure that you plant your trees with sufficient space between the tree and your home. Tree roots are aggressive and their growth can apply unwanted pressure to your foundation walls. Depending on the kind of tree, you should plant your trees roughly 15-20ft away from you home to avoid damage to your foundation.
- Track the water pattern during heavy rain. Keep an eye on your yard during heavy rain to see if/where the water approaches and pools near your home. If you notice consistent pooling, contact a landscaper or excavation contractor for advice on how to direct the water away from your home.
- Your lawn should slope away from your home. If you notice that your lawn is graded in the wrong direction, towards your home, your home may be vulnerable to flooding. You should consult a landscaper for an appropriate solution.
- When you place mulch, be sure that you leave a 6-inch gaps between your mulch and the siding of your home. The moisture in the mulch can wick into the siding and rot away the building material.
Drainage— In order for drains to do their job, they must be clear at all times.
- If you have basement floor drains, check them regularly to looking for any obstructions in or around the drain (dirt, debris, storage items, etc.). Optimized drainage will help to avoid flooding.
- If you have steps leading to your basement, make sure the drain at the base of the steps is free and clear of debris. Stair drains in older homes tend to be on the smaller size and are prone to clogging.
Gutters— Regular gutter checks and maintenance
- Make sure that gutters and downspouts direct water AWAY from foundation walls. Water that flows towards the home can seep into the basement and cause water damage and mold development.
- Downspouts should extend at least six feet away from your home.
- Clean your gutters regularly– your gutters should be free of all debris to avoid backups. Overflowing gutters can lead to water buildup around the foundation walls.
- To help prevent leaves from getting into your gutter, you can install gutter guards. But even with gutter guards, it is still good to make a habit of checking your gutters to make sure nothing gets lodged in the crevices.
- Make sure that the downspouts are not connected to your foundation footer drain tiles or to underground dry wells.
Waterproofing— Basement waterproofing is a tactic to prevent water from penetrating that basement.
- If your basement is below ground level, it may require basement waterproofing to help combat seepage or moisture buildup from groundwater.
- Basement waterproofing can mean the application of sealant materials, the installation of drains and sump pumps, and more.
- If you are considering basement waterproofing, you should consult a trained professional will be able to properly handle the job.
Dehumidifier— Basement dehumidifiers can help to keep your South Carolina basement dry. If you basement is especially damp or humid, a dehumidifier can help.
- Make sure that you pick a dehumidifier that is the right size and capacity for the needs of that specific space to ensure effectiveness.
- Regular dehumidifier maintenance will help to preserve the quality and effectiveness of your unit.
Declutter— Basements are often used for storage. Cluttered spaces limit air flow and can promote moisture buildup (especially in already humid environments).
- Take some time to regularly organize and purge some of your stored items. This will open up your basement and help to optimize air circulation.
If you detect signs of a potential mold problem in your South Carolina basement, contact a certified mold remediation professional who will be able to safely and effectively assist you.
If you detect basement mold in your South Carolina property, contact a professional mold inspection company to have your basement thoroughly inspected. A Mastertech basement mold inspection in South Carolina will determine if you have mold, how bad it is, what caused it, how to safely remove it and effectively prevent its re-growth.
Our SC basement mold remediation professionals are committed to providing home and business owners with the safest, most effective and most efficient mold remediation in South Carolina. Our basement mold removal technicians undergo intensive technical and safety training to ensure that the job gets done right. Each Mastertech Environmental basement mold removal is backed by a 5-year, mold-free warranty. It is our promise that the basement mold has been safely and properly removed, and it will not return.