Waterproof Your Basement to Prevent Mold and Mildew

If you live in a part of the country that experiences measurable wet seasons, then you know just how important it is to take care of mold immediately. Basements are very susceptible to excess moisture—what methods are used for basement waterproofing in Seattle? What are the most common causes of mold and mildew in residential basements? Here’s some information to help you get your home ready for the upcoming wet months.

Top reasons for mold and mildew growth in basements

Mold and mildew thrive in areas that are consistently dark, poorly ventilated and moist. A damp basement, for example, provides the perfect conditions for this nasty invader. A small spot of mold may seem like not much of a problem—that is, until it grows and the spores release and spreads to other areas of your basement and home. Mold and mildew can be a costly problem, but homeowners can avoid this type of damage with a little understanding and taking preventative measures:

  • Excess humidity and moisture: The basement is set down below the main level of the home. Because of its location, excess moisture and humidity is a regular problem, as this combination fuels mold growth.
  • Too dark: It’s not unusual for basements lacking natural light to have mold and mildew on their surfaces. Mold and mildew do not like natural light, so letting in the sun can protect basement walls, ceilings and floors from attack.
  • Lack of ventilation: Your basement needs proper ventilation to control moisture and humidity levels. Without good ventilation, water warms up, stays put and is quick to cause mold and mildew to grow and spread.

Common ways to waterproof basements

Basements are great additions to homes and typically serve a functional purpose. Unfortunately, they’re often among the most neglected spaces in homes. You might not enter your basement every day, which can lead to an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, so you could miss a problem in the making. Water leaks, moisture collection and water buildup create damp basements, which are the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. Additionally, too much water in the basement can lead to flooding:

  • Check the gutters: A lot of water that gets into basements is rainwater runoff from the house. Check your gutter system for damage and clean it out before and after the rainy seasons. Make sure downspouts are directing water at least a few feet away from your home’s foundation.
  • Interior sealants: Many sealants keep basements dry temporarily. Interior sealants monitor the humidity levels to ensure basements stay dry. This solution can prevent moisture from being absorbed by walls and floors, thereby preventing mold growth and the spread of mold to other areas of your home.
  • Re-grade surrounding soil: If the earth surrounding your home is not sloping away from the foundation enough, it may need re-grading. Whether you do it yourself or hire a landscaper, re-grading is affordable and comes with many advantages, including moving water away from your home and basement and preventing serious problems.

Don’t hesitate to contact Stewart Lumber & Hardware Co. for more information about basement waterproofing in Seattle!

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