10 Ways to Prevent Basement Mold

moldy concrete wall
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-250
What You'll Need
Insulation material for pipes
Electric fan
What You'll Need
Insulation material for pipes
Electric fan

Basement mold is a common problem in homes that have damp, dark basements. Mold is a fungus which grows fast in moist, humid conditions. Once it establishes a presence in your basement, mold is very difficult to eliminate. Mold causes many health problems such as asthma, infections, cough, rashes, congestion, and allergies. The best way to prevent mold growth is to control humidity and moisture in your basement.

1. Monitor Humidity Levels

High humidity levels provide the perfect growing environment for mold. You must ensure that humidity levels within your home, especially in the basement, are within acceptable levels. Use a hygrometer to measure the humidity level. A humidity reading of 45 percent or more is high and can be conducive to mold growth.

2. Use a Dehumidifier

A blue and white dehumidifier.

If you detect high moisture levels in the basement, buy a high-quality dehumidifier. This appliance is quite effective at keeping humidity levels under check.

3. Avoid Growing Plants Indoors

Plants in the basement provide a good diet for mold and mildew. Only grow plants in sunny, airy locations in your home. Avoid the basement for cultivation of any sort.

4. Reduce Congestion in the Basement

Keep your basement free of clutter. Too many objects and storage items block the free flow of air and reduce ventilation. Items such as clothes and books stored in the basement are food for mold and mildew. Store minimal quantities of such items away from direct contact with the floor or walls.

5. Avoid Storing Wood in the Basement

A person cleans a wood storage area.

Wood is another ideal habitat for mold. Never store wood in the basement. An open, airy location is the best location for storing wood.

6. Ensure Water Is Directed Away from Your Home

The boundary around your home must be sloped in such a way that snow and rain are directed away from the house. Otherwise, water and moisture will pool around the structure, increasing moisture and leakage problems. In such a situation, mold is almost inevitable.

7. Take Care of Spills and Leaks Immediately

If there are any leaks in the basement, take care of them immediately. Wipe the water from the area and dry it thoroughly. Use of a dehumidifier and heater to accelerate the drying process.

8. Insulate Water Pipes in the Basement

Old pipes in a basement.

Generally, cold water pipes in the basement show condensation on the exterior. Insulating such pipes reduces the humidity levels in the basement.

9. Use an Exhaust Fan

Air out stale, humid air and allow the intake of fresh air with the use of an exhaust fan. Try to open doors and windows to the basement regularly.

10. Reduce Humidifying Factors

Avoid drying wet clothes in the basement. Make sure appliances such as dryers, stoves, heaters, and air conditioners exhaust to the outside, or else the humidity can rise significantly. Avoid carpets and wood flooring in the basement.