Mould is a type of fungi, and it requires moist conditions to grow. Homeowners often discover mould growing on the tile and grout in their bathrooms, but finding mould in basements is most common. Fortunately, mould growth in your basement can be removed and prevented by the mould remediation experts at ServiceMaster Restore.
Common Causes of Basement Mould
Mould is often first identified by its peculiar smell—damp, musty and obnoxious—and the unpleasant odour can spoil an otherwise attractive and pleasant basement. Mould can also be a health hazard and if left untreated can grow exponentially and cause significant to your property and household possessions.
Mould thrives in humid conditions and in locations where the air circulation is minimal. This is why mould grows so easily in damp basements. The most common causes of basement mould include:
· Foundation cracks leaking moisture
· Leaking pipe
· Poorly sealed/insulated windows
· Poor ventilation and high humidity
· Inadequate drainage away from the foundation
· Flood/water damage
How to Prevent Mould in Your Basement
The key to preventing mould is to eliminate the conditions it requires to grow. A first step towards prevention is to increase your basement's ventilation and decrease its humidity. This may require installing a dehumidifier and extraction fans. The next step is to determine the cause or source of the excess moisture and humidity. Has a pipe leaked? Are there foundation cracks allowing moisture to seep in? Is there condensation on the windows? Has the basement flooded recently? Mould prevention requires finding the source of the excess moisture and repairing the issue to eliminate further water damage. This will reduce the humidity in your basement, and this will inhibit further mould growth.
How to Remove Mould from Your Basement
Depending on the amount of mould found in your basement, its removal may be as simple as a thorough cleaning. If the mould area is more extensive or complex (growing behind walls or under flooring, for example), it may require the expertise of ServiceMaster Restore mould remediation specialists.
Health Canada recommends you can clean small and medium sized areas of mould yourself. With extensive areas, however, you need professional mould removal services. A mould patch is classified as extensive if it covers an area larger than three square meters.
Tips For Cleaning Mould:
· Wear safety glasses or goggles, a disposable N95 respirator (mask), and household disposable gloves.
· You may want to isolate the area by taping plastic sheeting to the walls and ceiling to prevent the spread of mould spores.
· Vacuum the area with a HEPA vacuum cleaner before and after cleaning.
· Clean the mould by using water and dish detergent. You can add bleach or vinegar if you wish, but it is not necessary. When cleaning drywall, use a damp cloth and do not saturate; wet drywall can begin to disintegrate.
· Remove mould from items like clothing, blankets and other fabrics by thoroughly washing and drying. Items may require bleach or a non-chlorine bleach product to remove the mouldy smell completely. Always check the manufacturer's label before using bleach on any material or fabric.
· Once clean-up is done, be sure to fix the underlying cause (water damage, too much humidity or not enough ventilation) to prevent mould from growing again.
Wet, mouldy carpet/rugs and upholstered furniture require professional cleaning or possibly removal. Professional cleaning specialists such as ServiceMaster Restore, will safely and effectively clean and restore personal items affected by water damage and mould, including books, documents, artwork and more. Locating and removing all sources of mould as well as thorough drying is essential for mould removal.
If you have extensive mould growth in your basement or other areas of your home, you can trust the ServiceMaster Restore cleanup and mould remediation experts. Our knowledgeable and experienced technicians can locate ‘hidden mould’—growing behind drywall or in insulation, for example. ServiceMaster Restore uses state-of-the-art technology and products to perform complete mould remediation, so you can reclaim your basement and prevent mould from growing there again.