Our basements can be a potential haven for mold growth primarily due to the presence of moisture in these areas. The basement contains warmth, moisture, darkness, oxygen and food source in the form of cotton, wood etc. However, among these sources, the moisture is the most important reason for mold infestation, water leaks, drainage problems; flooding and leaky pipes ensure that there is a perfect environment for mold growth.
You may have noticed that if it rains for many days, there is mold growth on walls and other surface areas of the house due to the humidity in the air. If the house or office where you stay is in a place that is close to a large water body, there are all the more chances of mold growths. In the basements, the pipes are in an area, which may not be frequently visited. In such a case, there are more chances of these leaks getting undetected till the area on and around these pipes become heavily mold infested. Leaks in roofs that leaks into the attic can also make molds proliferate. The basement has poor ventilation which attracts moist air, the perfect breeding ground for these fungi.
Flooding is often cited as one of the main causes for mold infestation. The water starts to clog and accumulate at the basement area and may remain that way for days or weeks, waiting to completely dry out leading to mold growth. There is high amount of condensation in basements which leads to humidity and moisture.
It is thus very important to prevent water source to prevent mold growth in basements. You should pay attention to the water leaks from pipes. Normally they go undetected because they are fixed inside a wall. You should also check the attic regularly for leaks and observe the ceiling for undesirable growths. Any sign of water damage may be immiedately attended to. Some people do use humidifiers to thwart moisture growth but then there are some molds that only need moisture level to be more than 55 percent to start growing. So in case you are using a humidifier, make sure that the moisture level is below 55 percent.
Mold growth is characterized by its musty, earthy smell. Water growth in basement or other moisture prone areas are also sure sign. Mold is characterized by its cottony, velvety texture and has colors ranging from green, yellow to blue and green. It is recommended that you invest in mold removal specialists who will not only detect and remove mold and mildew growths but also ensure that they remove all traces of further growth in future. If you want to remove mold yourself, you should wear rubber gloves, eye goggles and outer clothing in the form of long sleeves and long pants. Mainly, wear a N95 or a N100 type disposable respirator. Disinfecting the surfaces after cleaning is one of the most important things to ensure that you are able to wipe out all the traces of mold that went undetected during cleaning.