As we head into fall and winter here in the Northeast, it’s important to stay mindful of some of those pesky “house hazards” that come with wet weather. Top of the list: mold, which most of us don’t think about during the winter. However, mold can grow in uninsulated windows, walls and other surfaces when the cold outdoors and heated indoor environment come together. If leaves or other organic matter get into basement window wells, their decaying remains can also release mold spores. If your home or building isn’t sealed off well, that can spur mold growth.
Basements are another area ripe for mold growth during the fall and winter months. Here are some of the big culprits of mold in the basement that we see with our clients:
- Humidity levels that are too high (over 60%)
- Leaking window wells
- Cracks in the foundation or walls
- Burst or leaky pipes
- Problematic sump pump
- Rain water or melting snow seeping into the foundation or windows
- Incorrect grading outside your home that leads water toward your foundation
- Improperly vented clothes dryer located in the basement
- Floor and wall joint leakage
What should you do if you notice water or moisture in your basement? Discover the source of the moisture, first of all. Then, it’s important to remove any moisture and correct the leaks. Basement waterproofing, part of a good winterization plan, should include sealing wall and floor cracks, window wells, and windows. If your foundation needs repair, make sure you fix those cracks as well and address any plumbing problems that could be contributing moisture to your lower level.
If moisture in your basement has already caused visible mold or efflorescence (that white, chalky substance that is caused by salt deposits on a wall or floor due to water migrating through concrete or brick), don’t wait to correct the problem. Mold will not just go away, after all. You must use the proper methods and disinfectants to remove and kill mold spores. Otherwise your efforts will be wasted and the mold will return.
AOA Cleaning & Restoration can help. We’ll look at your basement and entire home to determine the extent of any mold damage and will get your property restored to normal as soon as possible. Best of all, we are licensed as a mold remediation contractor, certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification and the Restoration Science Academy. Call us at 201-848-8600 to discuss your specific issues and schedule a time for us to come take a look.