Basement flooding is a common occurrence in Grand Rapids, MI. If you are a homeowner in this area, you may rightly be worried about issues that go way beyond flooding. Water damage is often followed by mold growth that can seriously affect the health of your home and those who live in it.
When you have a basement flood, which is often the result of melting snow or heavy rains, any valuables you have in this space could be irreparably damaged. However, this will not be the end of your woes. Any flooding will leave mold in soaked construction materials like wood or insulation.
Dampness and humid environments are ideal conditions for mold growth. These conditions usually occur after flooding, and before you know it, you may be dealing with an infestation of mold. We put together this post to help you understand how to prevent mold infestations and ensure your home is a healthy place for you and your family.
The Look and Smell of Basement Mold
There are many types of mold out there. Most often, mold is dark and slimy. However, some mold varies in color and can be black, gray, or green. Mold growth is characterized by round patterns, which can take over your basement. Yellow or pink stains on drywall, wallpaper, or wood can be a telltale sign of mold growth.
Another sign of mold growth is a musty and earthy smell coming from your basement. Keep a lookout for this, especially after a flood.
Always remember that some types of molds are extremely toxic. This means that the minute you notice mold growing in your basement, it’s time to call in a professional. Keep in mind that only an expert will know what to do in this situation. If you try to deal with it on your own, you may put yourself in danger and risk the health of your household.
How to Deal with Basement Mold
Mold is not something to play around with. If you notice it, you don’t want to wait and see if it goes away. You need to deal with mold quickly before it takes over your entire basement and moves up into your living space.
Once you notice mold, call a professional right away. A mold removal professional in Grand Rapids, MI, will know how to safely remove any mold growth and sanitize the affected area.
Mold can also affect your floor coverings and furniture. If this happens, it may be best to get rid of these items completely instead of trying to clean them.
A mold removal professional will have specialized chemicals for cleaning out mold growth. They may also recommend cleaning out the air with HEPA vacuums to stop mold spores from spreading. Professionals will also seek to get rid of any remaining mold odors by deodorizing any surfaces affected by the flooding. This will go a long way to making your basement a comfortable space once again.
Stop Any Future Mold Growth
Like we’ve already mentioned, dampness and other favorable factors for mold growth can easily develop following a flood. To stop any future infestations, you will want to get rid of these favorable mold growth factors and make your basement dry and safe once again.
Properly dealing with flooded areas after the water has been cleared out is a top priority. Many homeowners will think they can do this work themselves and can end up hurting their home and pockets in the long run.
The best way to dry out the air in your basement is to install a dehumidifier. This will go a long way toward keeping the basement dry. Although installing a dehumidifier may sound like an easy enough task, it is a job for professionals. There are many sizes and brands of dehumidifiers out there and choosing the perfect one for your basement can make all the difference. As basement humidity needs to be at 50% or lower, choosing the wrong dehumidifier will put you back to square one.
If you live in an area that floods frequently, you may want to look into more permanent solutions to pair with the dehumidifier. We recommend a combined solution of an interior drainage system and a sump pump. Having these two aspects of basement waterproofing in your home will keep your home dry as well as help prevent mold from developing in this area.
It can also be a good idea to investigate the grading of the area around your home. Improperly graded back and front yards can contribute to extensive hydrostatic pressure on your basement. Proper grading is a job for the professionals, however, as it could entail extensive excavation work. It is worth it, as it will ensure the continuing health of your home.
Any cracks or defects in your basement walls can lead to water making its way into your home. This type of water damage could be particularly beneficial for mold growth as only small amounts of moisture could be let in consistently over a long period of time without you ever noticing it. If this damage is extensive, you may be faced with serious structural damage.
If you have a basement that is prone to issues with dampness and moisture, it may be a good idea to take a look at vapor barrier solutions. Durable vapor barriers are a great solution for your basement walls. This will go a long way toward preventing moisture buildup and mold growth.
Basement Waterproofing to Prevent Mold Growth
We mentioned melting snow and heavy rains as possible sources of flooding in Grand Rapids, MI. However, leaking or burst pipes (especially after below-zero temperatures) could wreak havoc in your basement. You will want to check the pipes in your basement often and be on the lookout for discoloration on your walls. Always take action right away if you notice any issues.
Has your basement recently experienced a flood and now you’re worried about a potential mold infestation? Contact the expert team at FSM today to schedule a free inspection and repair quote.