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Basement and crawlspaces present serious challenges in mold prevention mainly due to lack of air circulation and dampness. These conditions make it harder to control air quality. However, using simple prevention methods, preventing mold in the basement is possible.
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Mold is a very common basement and crawlspaces problem as it presents a real challenge in controlling air quality. Basements and crawlspaces are is usually damp and in many cases use as a storage area, providing optimal growth conditions to molds. There are two important aspects to basements and crawlspaces mold prevention:
1. Controlling Humidity Levels
The first step to mold prevention is to successfully control humidity levels. Start with measuring humidity levels and detecting any unusual readings. Take measurements every 3 months to keep track of any changes that may occur when the weather changes. If humidity levels readings are higher than 45 percent, your basement is likely to suffer from mold and you must take action to detects and fix any moisture sources to lower humidity levels. Regularly inspect your basement for any water damages that generate visible or hidden moisture sources. Act fast to fix problems such as leaks or standing water. Another way to control humidity is to allow air circulation. Although it may be hard to generate air flow in the basement or crawlspace it is important. You can improve air flow by keeping you basement tidy and opening the basement door from time to time and leave a fan running for a few hours. Consider installing a dehumidifier in the basement to reduce air moisture especially during warm months. If you detect any cracks in walls or floor, seal them immediately.
2. Smart Storage
If you organize your basement and crawlspaces you take another important step towards mold elimination. Try to avoid storing papers, clothes, in the basement and crawlspaces because these materials can be used as nutrition for molds allowing it to spread even faster if humidity levels rise above 50 percent. If you must store these materials in your basement or crawlspace, do your best to reduce the amount of these stored materials and discard if badly damaged. In addition, if you must store these materials in the basement or crawlspace, make sure to place them properly. Proper placement means that you need to store them away from outer walls, since that is where moisture is most likely to originate. For the same reason, raise these stored materials from the floor and place them on a table or a raised surface. Never store firewood in the basement or crawlspace because it is common for firewood to become likely to become moldy within hours from the minute humidity levels raise. When firewood becomes moldy, it generates airborne mold spores that may contaminate your indoors air quality and in some cases penetrate the HVAC system and contaminate your home by traveling through your ducts.
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