Brian's House Building Blog

How to prevent mould growing in your basement

by Peyton Sanders

The basement is often a neglected room in the house. It might not serve any useful function and you just might use it for miscellaneous storage, so why bother going to the trouble of making sure the walls have integrity, it's adequately waterproofed, and it's being taken care of, right? Unfortunately, neglected basements can easily transform into mouldy basements. Yes, mould looks bad, but did you know that the growth of mould has serious health consequences such as sore throats, asthma, allergies, a stuffed nose and sometimes even more serious lung infections?

Professional waterproofing. Moisture and mould are two things that go hand-in-hand, and this means that the very best way to prevent mould growth in your basement is to get professional waterproofing contractors in. They will be able to treat the actual walls of your basement in ways that are just too complex for a DIY project on the weekend. Waterproofing contractors will look out for things like cracks in the walls and floor of the basement that need to be sealed to prevent moisture from getting through.

Have your gutters checked. Gutters provide the important job of directing the water from rainfall away from your property. Of course, the gutter should be cleaned regularly, and checked for things like cracks and breakages to ensure that they are working as they should. Unfortunately, sometimes even when gutters work as they should, they can still cause mould in your basement because they release water too close to your house.  Ideally, the release of water should be at least 5 feet from your home, otherwise they should be extended outwards.

Give your basement a good clean. It's true that the basement can be the perfect spot to store those trinkets that you never really need but you can't bring yourself to let go of. Unfortunately, piling objects on top of objects in the basement is potentially hazardous for mould development. This is because when you have lots of items you are restricting air flow and ventilation, so moisture gets trapped and mould and mildew develop. Do your basement a favour and give it a good clear out, if not for the sake of decluttering, then for the sake of your health.

You should also avoid growing plants in the basement because they provide a lovely diet for mould to develop, and you could also buy a dehumidifier, which should keep your humidity levels under control after you have taken the more important steps outlined above.