Unless your basement is beautifully finished, it is a room that is often neglected and rarely ventured into, which puts it at particular risk of becoming damp. This moisture that can sit in your basement unnoticed provides the perfect conditions for mold, a fungus that can cause musty smells and is harmful to respiratory health.
Today we’ll guide you through how to identify dampness in your basement, what to do if that dampness has created the right environment for mold, and how to get rid of it.
There are a number of signs that will indicate your basement is damp, including:
Mold in basements is caused by moisture, whether that be direct contact from water or excess moisture in the air. More specifically, here are the most common causes of mold in basements:
Since the basement temperature is usually much lower than that in the other rooms of your home, condensation often forms. Cold air is unable to hold a lot of moisture and so condensation will occur on the basement windows and walls if warmer air is allowed to flow into the basement. The moisture from the condensation creates the perfect conditions for mold to grow.
If you don’t notice or fix a leaky pipe, water can often flow freely into the basement, causing it to become damp. Since leaks can be minor, a little damp can go unnoticed for days or weeks if the basement is unused. Similarly, a crack in the foundation or outer wall can allow moisture to enter the basement, providing the right environment for mold to form on the walls and floor.
If you live in an old house or your basement was not waterproofed properly, moisture can make its way into your basement, through the foundations, from the ground below or surrounding the basement walls
If you have a sink or bathroom in your basement that is rarely used, it can cause problems. While you may only use it once a week or so, the water sitting in the pipes can seep out over time, allowing moisture to build up in the basement.
Your basement may be a convenient place to do your laundry, however, a lot of the moisture from washing and drying your laundry will be released into the basement itself and if you don’t use a dehumidifier or if it doesn’t get enough air circulation from your HVAC system, moisture can accumulate, especially behind your washer and dryer.
If left untreated, not only will the build-up of mold in your basement result in an unpleasant, musty odor and potentially damage your belongings and home, but it can also be harmful to the health of your family and pets, particularly if someone suffers from asthma or any other respiratory-related issues.
Additionally, if you are planning to sell your home soon, a damp, moldy basement will drastically harm your ability to find interested buyers.
In most cases, if you find mold in your basement, you should call in a professional basement mold removal service, like Dry Ease in New York, to find the cause of the dampness in your basement and safely remove all the harmful mold.
The cost of basement mold removal depends on the extent of the mold, how it needs to be treated, and the size of your basement.
Typically, mold removal will cost a minimum of $500, depending on whether the mold needs spraying or scraping, whether a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA) vacuum needs to be used, or encapsulation is necessary, or a combination of treatments.
According to HomeGuide, spraying costs $1-$9 per cubic foot, scraping costs around $1.25 per square foot, a HEPA vacuum costs $0.90 per square foot, and encapsulation costs anywhere from $5 to $79 per cubic foot.
If you’re in New York, Contact Us and one of our basement mold removal experts will be able to advise you and give you an accurate quote based on your specific circumstances.
Luckily, there are several ways in which you can help to prevent mold from growing in your basement, all of which work to reduce the level of moisture – the direct cause of mold. Here are some of our top tips:
If you have mild to moderate mold in your basement, you can clean it by yourself if the affected area is no larger than 10 square feet. You can use a household product like vinegar, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide and mix it with water. Carefully apply your mixture onto the floors, walls, and affected area and let it sit on the moldy area for about 10 minutes, then scrub and clean. After cleaning the area, make sure to completely dry the area. If possible, make sure to ventilate the area while cleaning by opening a window or running a fan while cleaning. Also always wear gloves, a face mask, and protective clothing.
If you have a bigger mold issue, you should hire a professional mold remediation company. They will sanitize and wipe all affected surfaces with antifungal and antimicrobial products. They also use HEPA air scrubbers, HEPA vacuums, and dehumidifiers to properly clean up the mold and mold spores in your basement. They will set up full containment so that the rest of your house does not get contaminated. Remember by hiring a professional, they will give you peace of mind knowing they have the expertise and training to properly remove mold. Hire a mold INSPECTOR HERE
If you find or suspect you have mold in your basement, contact a mold removal expert. It’s important to have the mold removed safely, without putting anyone at risk, and to find out what caused the mold in the first place so you can put it right.
If you’re looking for basement mold removal in New York, we’d love to help. With Dry Ease, you can be sure that your basement mold will be inspected and treated by professionals safely and thoroughly to ensure that any harmful mold is expelled from your home.
Found Mold in Your Basement? Here’s What You Should Do Next Click To Tweet
Have you been away for a few days and come home to find your home smells musty? A strange smell is the most common early warning sign that you have mold in your HVAC system, but it can be easy to overlook.
We all get used to the smell of our homes so it can take leaving for a few days, the words of an honest friend, or noticing a difference in smell when your HVAC system is on or off to realize your home smells… well, moldy.
The good news is that if the musty smell is coming from mold in your air ducts, HVAC mold removal is a straightforward process. Read on to learn how it got there in the first place, ways you can get rid of it, and how to prevent it from reoccurring.
Here are some common signs of mold in air ducts:
As we touched on above, a musty or strange smell is a common sign. You may notice the smell fluctuates as your HVAC system powers on and off.
If you notice some darkening or discoloration around your air vents, it may be mold. It’s also worth shining a torch inside to see if you can see any visible signs of mold inside your air ducts.
The drip pan collects moisture that’s pulled out of the air, so any blockage can create the right environment for mold to grow.
If someone in the home suffers from seasonal allergies or has a respiratory issue (such as asthma), they may find their symptoms are worse while in the home than in another environment. If the mold in the home is bad, or one that’s particularly harmful, it can even make people with no existing respiratory issues sick with feelings of dizziness, headaches, and nausea.
Note that you don’t always need to be able to see mold for it to be there. Spores in the air may be coming from an area you can’t see. It’s also worth checking other high-risk areas of your home if you’re not sure where the mold is, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, basements, and attics.
Mold needs just three things to grow: a habitable surface (a porous material), a little warmth, and some moisture. If mold spores find these three things, and there’s little in the way of airflow, it will grow quickly. That said, if your HVAC system is well maintained and working correctly, there shouldn’t be any opportunity for mold growth. Here are some of the most common reasons why mold may be growing in your HVAC system:
If you regularly keep your AC at a warm temperature to save on your energy bills but crank it down to sweater weather when you get home, you may be creating unnecessary moisture. When the cold air and warm air meet, the moisture in the warm air may collect on surfaces near the vents. This generally has to be quite an extreme temperature change (say, walking into your home at 82F and setting your thermostat at 62F), but it does happen.
An AC unit that’s too small for a space will merely leave a room too warm, but one that’s too big can cause problems. While you feel cool and comfortable, the AC may not be running for long enough to effectively extract moisture from the air, allowing it to collect and provide the right environment for mold growth.
If you have a small leak in a water pipe in your home or you have a leak in your air ducts, it may create the right conditions for mold. A small leak in a water pipe may mean it’s slightly too damp in your home for your AC unit to sufficiently pull moisture out of the air. Equally, having a duct with a leak will allow warm air in, causing condensation where the warm and cool air meet.
If your HVAC system has mold, it’s a simple fix, but it does require the expertise of an HVAC mold removal professional. It’s not enough just to spray the areas with a bleach solution and go about your day – there’s a reason why mold is growing, and it needs to be found and treated. Mold can also grow in areas you can’t see, which must be dealt with by an HVAC Mold Remediation Specialist.
HVAC Mold Removal Specialists have the right equipment to remove the mold entirely, without putting your family or themselves at risk.
If you’re in New York, we’re here to help. Our HVAC mold removal technicians use video inspection equipment with our specialist cleaning equipment to cleanse your air ducts of mold.
Once you’ve had your HVAC cleaned (and if necessary, fixed), you’ll want to keep it running smoothly to prevent mold from growing again in the future. The best way to prevent getting mold in your HVAC system is to get regular services and cleans – getting your HVAC system serviced regularly will ensure everything can work as it should and having scheduled cleans will ensure you stay mold-free.
This is an especially good idea if your home is humid (common for those keeping fish tanks, houseplants, and reptiles), you deal with recurring mold (more common in older homes), you live in an area with high humidity, or if someone in the home has a respiratory problem.
Mold in your home can be harmful and dangerous especially if you have a baby, children, or someone who is immune-compromised or has respiratory issues. If you think you might have mold, it is worth spending the money to have a professional come to your home and do a mold inspection and mold testing. It is important to do the research and find a reputable mold inspection company. They will come to your home and inspect the areas with the mold issue. The technician will determine where and how many tests should be taken. They will take an air sample, swab sample, or tape sample. It is sent to a laboratory for comprehensive results. Within a week, you will be given a mold report and lab results.
When testing for mold in the HVAC, air sample testing is usually recommended since it is the best way to find out if you have a mold issue. Air sampling captures a volume of air and measures the contaminants in it. You should hire a qualified professional mold removal company to do mold testing at your home or workplace.
If the laboratory results show that you have mold or mold in your ducts, you should consult a remediation company. It is possible to DIY but it is time-intensive and you need to make sure it is properly removed or it can come back. It may be better to hire a remediation company who have the training, expertise, and knowledge about effectively removing mold at your home or commercial building. They will use commercial-grade chemicals, products, and equipment that you may not have.
Found Mold in Air Ducts? Here’s Why, How to Remove It & Prevent It Click To Tweet
When you suspect you have mold in your home or at work, mold in your HVAC system, or have found significant evidence of it, our experienced team is here to help. Our HVAC Mold Remediation Services ensure NYC households stay mold-free and keep you healthy, and breathing easily.