From Moisture to Mold: The Key to Keeping Your Basement Dry
Keeping your basement dry isn’t easy, especially if you live in an area that sees regular rain or snowfall during the year. No matter how tight your window and door seals are, water can still find its way inside when you least expect it.
Water doesn’t take long to cause mold growth in basements, so it’s crucial to prevent moisture build-up as much as possible and to get rid of any that accumulates before it leads to a full-blown mold infestation and costly repairs.
Below are a few tips to keep the basement dry.
Seal up All Crawl Space Vents
Crawl space vents can be a source of much-needed fresh air for your basement, but they also make it easier for water vapor in your basement to enter your home. If you have a crawl space, the mold removal professionals like 1-800-BUSY-DOG recommend sealing up all vents on dirt floors or using activated carbon/charcoal filters.
Relying on professionals to waterproof and remove any mold from your property can help prevent minor issues from getting worse later on. If you want to get fancy, install an electronic vapor gate that will only allow air in when dry. While these aren’t cheap, they can help reduce odor and mold growth in your home by reducing humidity around wood framing members.
Fix Leaks in Doors and Windows
Leaks in doors and windows are a common culprit of basement flooding. The easiest way to detect a leak is by watching for water droplets on your ceiling. For door leaks, try putting a paper towel beneath your door; if it gets wet when you close it, you’ve got a leak.
If so, fill in any gaps with caulking or silicone sealant, and install weather stripping around all edges of your door. If you notice water under windows, perhaps due to pooling during rainstorms, make sure your window casings are sealed properly and make sure there’s proper drainage around all sides of your house.
Use Spray Foam Insulation
Spray foam once applied seals cracks and holes in your walls and prevents water damage. When moisture does manage to make its way into your basement, spray foam acts as a vapor barrier and slows down any movement of water toward your foundation. This makes for significantly less water damage over time.
If you’re wondering how much insulation you need in your basement, start with about 6 inches for a standard wall or 8 inches for an outside wall. The optimal thickness will vary depending on your climate.
Install Sump Pumps in Areas With High Water Tables
Sump pumps help prevent basement flooding by pumping water out of a building’s lowest point (the sump) and into another container like a storm drain or sewer. When storms roll in, water tends to accumulate near rivers, lakes, ponds, and streams first and then travels toward low-lying areas. These are often homes with shallow foundations.
If you live in an area with a high water table or below a body of water—such as next to an underground stream or reservoir—installing a sump pump is a must for preventing basement flooding. You can always add them later when you build your home or have construction done on it if your house doesn’t already have one built-in.
When it comes to mold with basements, prevention is the best cure. Take care of your basement by putting these tips to the test.