The growth of mold is a common problem in most basements, and many people don’t know the causes and how they can do away with the mold.
Before we dive into the causes, we need to understand what mold is. Mold is grouped in the fungi category and is common in warm and moist environments. There are different species of mold and scientists suggest that more than 100,000 micro-organisms exist. In the United States alone, there are more than 1,000 known mold species.
What you probably don’t know about mold is that it thrives in oxygen-rich environments. Besides, mold plays a crucial role in the decomposition of cellular matter. As such, mold is vital in the soil enrichment process.
Indoors, mold forms the same way, especially in areas that have limited access to sunlight but have plenty of air circulation. Mold grows and spreads fast in warm enclosed areas such as the bathroom and other parts of the kitchen. With the right environmental conditions, mold can colonize and spread within a week to different parts of the house. When mold multiplies, it forms spores that enhance its colonization to wet and warm areas within the basement of your house.
So what are the causes and solutions of basement flooring mold?
Here are the five elements that allow mold to grow and colonize in the basement.
Mold cannot thrive and colonize the basement without water. Mold can survive and thrive in any environment as long as it’s humid enough. Longer wet conditions prolong mold growth. Mold starts to grow rapidly in the hidden parts of the basement and then spreads to other regions as the damping conditions persist.
Dampness in the basement often happens when the plumbing lines get chilled, so they sweat due to high-humidity.
Solution: Ensure that the plumbing lines in the basement don’t leak. Also, remove any water that accumulates in the basement. You can also use airtight cordless drills when creating a piping network within the basement. Without moisture, mold can’t grow and colonize. So, do away with any water sources that cause dampness in the basement.
2. Oxygen Supply
Mold can’t thrive in the absence of oxygen. Oxygen is crucial in enhancing the organic processes within the mold. It also enhances the fast and steady production of spores.
How does that happen? Air carries mold spores to other locations and thus spreading them to potential areas. It doesn’t take a large amount of air to make the molds multiply. Just within a short time, the spores can multiply and spread fast across the floors, between the basement, and even the entire house.
Solution: It is virtually impossible to do away with air within the basement. The best way to kill mold is by moving the air around within the basement. Ensure that there is proper ventilation.
Passing air allows surfaces to dry and evaporate water present within the basement. As a result, it deprives the mold of the vital components that help with its growth and colonization. It also expels trapped air which contains oxygen that aids mold growth.
3. Food Source
Mold reproduces and survives when there is an active source of food. Organic materials are excellent sources of mold food. In forests, you’ll find mold at the base of old logs and tree trunks because they are rich in organic food that is vital for mold growth and colonization.
Your house basement is full of mold food that you may be neglecting. The wood panels that you dispose of in the basement are excellent food sources for mold. With the right moisture, oxygen levels, and adequate food source, mold will thrive well and spread to other parts of the basement within a short period. Mold also feeds on clothes and luggage that you store in the basement.
Solution: It’s very hard to do away with the food sources in the basement. Mold feeds on vitally any organic matter. However, you can limit the growth by disposing of your clothes, used furniture, and other food elements in deep pits. Besides, you can also manage other controlling elements such as oxygen and humidity levels.
4. Limited Sunlight
Mold doesn’t augur well with sunlight. The ultraviolet rays of the sun play a huge role in destroying the cellular structure of the mold. That’s why you’ll find mold in hidden sections of basements. Basements have limited access to natural light, and artificial light doesn’t have much effect on the cellular structure of the mold.
Solution: Unfortunately, it might be difficult to direct sunlight to the whole basement. However, you can create ventilation that will increase the optimal temperature beyond the standard for the survival of the mold. With high temperatures, it will be difficult for mold to thrive and spread.
5. Optimal Temperature
It is difficult for mold to colonize the basement when it is too hot or too cold. That’s why you won’t find mold in the Sahara Desert, the hottest place on earth, or Antarctica, which is the coldest place on earth. Extreme temperatures destroy the mold’s cellular structure, hence, preventing it from multiplying and spreading to other parts of the environment.
Solution: You should first identify the regions where mold thrives in and use an AC to regulate the temperature of the basement. This is a costly process, but it will help you to do away with mold growth. However, you can’t entirely rely on this method to finish the mold growth within the basement. Always supplement this method with other mold controlling techniques to enhance speedy mold growth control.
A basement full of mold can be very annoying. Controlling mold growth requires dedication and persistence. Using a disinfectant won’t have much impact if there are still favorable conditions within the basement that enhance mold growth. Mold forms a vital part of the ecosystem, and that’s why they can feed on almost everything organic.
If you want your basement to be clear of mold, use the solutions mentioned above. Also, you should maintain a regular schedule to ensure that the mold growth cycle doesn’t reoccur. While it’s impossible to eradicate basement mold completely, you can control its growth and colonization.