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Mold Found in the Basement

 Basements are a common area and a perfect environment for mold growth. It provides the perfect conditions, as it can be dirty, have low air circulation and is common to water leaks or penetration. Some of the leading causes for mold to grow in basements are due to poor air circulation, high humidity, and lower temperatures. Because most basement has lower “foot traffic” noticing early mold growth is harder, and it allows for it to spread. Basements are usually dirty and dusty which provides a more suitable area for growth. Mold grows on building materials which are more frequently exposed in basements such as drywall, studs and or wall insulation. Furthermore, due to fact that cold air drops as warm air rises, allows for increase chances of condensation when mixed with humidity.  Therefore it collects on cold metals and cold concrete which can cause growth.

A major cause to mold growth in basements can be explained by previous flood damage. Toronto has been known to cause basement flooding. With yearly floods, such as the don valley river rising, many homes in the downtown core have water damages. If they are not taken care of right away, mold growth is inevitable. Even if there was a flood in another part of the house it is common for water to run down to the basement and consequently staying there a long time after the other rooms have been dried. The most common mold found near water damages is toxic black mold. Signs of mold generally show after the first 48 hrs. Darkness and fuzziness can also be seen around leaking pipes of adjacent rooms. Should water enter, it then evaporates and raises the humidity levels. The humidity tends to stay at very high levels due to poor ventilation as many basement have. Some molds can begin to grow just from increased levels of humidity. 

One of the biggest signs that you may have mold in your basement is the smell. Because of the standing air, smells tend to become very noticeable. It generally leaves a musty, earthy smell. When looking for mold in the basement its best to begin by trying to find any signs of moisture or water damage. Areas where there are signs of water damage or leaks are mostly where mold is found. It can grow on any objects or building materials made from organic substances. In the basement  the most common places to look for mold are wooden building material.  

Keeping the humidity levels in basements at a lower level than the rest of the house will help control mold issues that can develop. Keeping proper humidity controls and proper air circulation can significantly help in the process of keeping the basement free from mold growth. When it comes to water coming through your walls from the house side surrounding for the foundation its best to fix the problem right away. Landscaping the areas around the parameter of the house is a great way to start. Sloping the ground away front he wall will help guild water to flow away from the house rather than towards the foundation.

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