How to Keep Your Home Investment Dry

by: Marianne Snyder

Dry basement in MinneapolisSuppose you live in an area that gets a lot of rainfall, flooding, or has lakes all around. You may be used to water, but that doesn’t mean you really want it in your basement or crawl space if it doesn’t have to be. And you shouldn’t have to go through the stress of agonizing each time it rains – do you check the basement just one more time to see if water is coming in?
But perhaps an even bigger and certainly costlier problem is the damage water can do to your home. The reason for this is that you’ll probably want to sell your home one day. Home buyers are savvy enough to know they don’t want to buy a home with water damage, because that also assumes there’s rot lurking in the walls and floors. No one wants to move into a new home only to deal with wet basement issues and mold-related allergies!Wet basement prevention is the key
This scenario can be avoided with a few rules of thumb and simple steps to prevent major damage before it happens. The first step to a dry basement is (as obvious as it may seem) to remove any and all standing water which may be there already. Pump it, mop it, sweep it – whatever it takes to get the job done. Also throw out anything that holds moisture, like cardboard boxes, photos, paper, old insulation, etc.

Humidity is the key offender of spaces that grow mold and mildew. When the relative humidity is over 60%, mold and mildew have enough moisture in the air to really thrive. They also live on organic materials (anything of carbon origin) like wood, paper, cardboard, and insulation. So when 60% relative humidity and organic materials are present at the same time, mold and mildew have a field day and blossom in that space. If this is in your basement, then it’s basically a big greenhouse where mold and mildew thrive and they won’t want to leave.

This is where you come in. Because you can’t hear mold or even see it sometimes, you need to be vigilant in making sure your basement is as dry as possible to ensure your home investment is as mold-free as possible. After you remove any standing water from the basement, a heavy capacity sump pump should be installed in the basement’s low-point. A responsible basement waterproofing contractor will be able to help you choose the best place to put it. This will bring any moisture from your basement and deliver it outside your home. Besides removing the water, it also automatically cuts down the humidity in the basement because that’s what’s in humidity – water.

Now that any future moisture is averted, it’s time to deal with the basement’s water vapor. An industrial-strength dehumidifier is the wringer in the fight against mold and mildew. It takes water out of the air, thus reducing the air’s humidity to well below 60%. Since mold and mildew can’t live in this kind of environment, they are not able to reproduce like they could in a more humid climate.

Why is mold so bad anyway?
Everyone is naturally allergic to mold because it’s an organism which inflames our immune systems. However, there are different degrees to which different people are allergic to it. In many cases, people have chronic allergies due to the mold and mildew coming up from their moldy basement. This can create sniffling, sneezing, chronic asthma, chest congestion, fatigue, among other symptoms.

Besides health concerns, mold breaks organic compounds down. That’s what it’s made to do and Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she put mold and mildew in charge of decomposing natural elements. The problem with this is when the mold and mildew break down the wood infrastructure of the home, over time the structure’s safety could be compromised. This isn’t meant to be a red alarm, but if the problem goes untreated for a long enough period of time, structural decay can and does happen.

What else can be done?
There are other things that can be done to combat basement moisture and mold. The best people to talk to are basement waterproofing professionals. Their area of expertise is making basements dry and they have solutions to keep your basement dry all the time. A responsible basement waterproofing contractor will go through the above steps with you and will also make other recommendations as necessary to dry out your basement.

For a responsible basement waterproofing contractor in Minneapolis and surrounding areas in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin contact American Waterworks Basement Systems.

Minneapolis basement waterproofing
Minneapolis basement waterproofing