You can use potpourri, aerosol sprays, candles, and any other imaginable ploy to remove that basement odor, but these topical treatments will not remedy the culprit. The problem is mold. And while it is possible to cover up its smell, its health effects will linger around until the mold is removed.
Home Health and Basement Odor
Mold emits toxins that are not particularly deadly on their own, but can become serious health risks if people are exposed to them for an extended period of time. Basements are always suspect because they are typically the dampest room in a house. These toxins can cause headaches, dizziness, lethargy and other neurological ailments. Mold and other organic toxins can be a compound problem in a damp home, and the possible health risks to young children with vulnerable immune systems is serious, not to mention a notable cause of childhood asthma.
House Mold and Tests
If you suspect that mold is building in your home, you need to execute tests in the areas that are suspect. The results of these tests will determine how you need to go about eliminating the mold in your basement.
First, get a portable air cleaner and place these devices nearest to the mold epicenters. This will reduce the available amount of toxins in the air, which will reduce how much can be absorbed into the lungs. House mold grows most easily in areas of over 50% humidity. Dust mites are the same, as they will also thrive in wet environments. In your basement, place a dehumidifier which will help to reduce the humidity that acts like food to house mold and dust mites. Once the humidity drops below 50%, it will be difficult for house mold and dust mites to grow, much less thrive.
Mold Removal and HEPA Vacuums
Mold removal is a tricky, not to mention potentially expensive, task. If you scrub the mold spores they can very easily become airborne and spread to other areas of the home or into the lungs of those who inhabit it. Professionals should be called in to do what they do best. This will not take very long, not to mention that mold removal contractors have the correct equipment to handle any situation. Contractors use HEPA vacuums to pull the mold from where it lives in your home, and into their systems, which is then disposed of properly.
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Preventing Black Mold
After a contractor finishes removing mold from your basement, you still have some work ahead of you to prevent the black mold from returning. First, wash the specific areas where the HEPA vacuum removed the mold. Use soapy, warm water and clean those areas. However, you need to make sure that you dry the washed areas thoroughly. Otherwise that same mold might grow right back in those damp areas.
There are some things that you can do to reduce that basement odor. There are some methods that can deter mold from growing, such as dehumidifiers, portable air cleaners, and the like. Just remember that mold produces toxins that are dangerous to those in the house, especially young children. Mold removal is the sure fire way to eliminate the problem of basement odor and to protect your family’s health.