By Laura Hucke

This article was crafted with the help of Steve Cameron of Sunrise Clean Care & Water Restorations.

With thousands of different types of mold found both indoors and outdoors, it is extremely easy for a problem to develop if care is not taken to protect your property against mold buildup—particularly in the basement. Thankfully, despite how common mold is, Steve Cameron from Atlanta-based Sunrise Clean Care & Water Restorations insists that it’s relatively easy to keep yourself and your home from falling victim to a mold overgrowth.

Causes of Mold Growth

“The three common reasons that molds grow would be lack of air movement, lack of sunlight, and dampness or high humidity,” Steve explains. Because basements generally have few to no windows as well as poorer air circulation than the rest of the house, they are prime real estate for mold. Unfortunately, once an area is left dark and damp for any length of time, mold can grow in as little as 24 hours, and it has the tendency to spread quickly if left completely unattended. Fortunately, mold issues are somewhat easy to catch because they are usually visible and have a distinct, unpleasant scent.

Preventative Measures

The best way to deal with mold is to prevent it from ever growing in the first place. To combat your basement’s tendency to be humid and dark, install things like fans, dehumidifiers, and lamps—anything that promotes air movement and light. Place these things in areas that are farthest away from other light or air sources, and try to evenly distribute them so that no area is neglected.

If you go out of town during an especially warm part of the year, leave your air conditioner on. It doesn’t have to be on the coolest air setting, but it’s important to maintain airflow throughout your house. If the energy bill is a very big concern, then leave some fans blowing. Just make sure that you do not leave your house with hot, stagnant air for long periods of time. Steve says this is a common mistake, though. “A lot of people took vacations and went out of town in August. They were gone anywhere from three days to ten days, and when they came back, there were patches of mold throughout their entire home.” Keep air moving while you are on vacation to keep yourself from suffering the same fate.

If you do spot mold in its beginning stages or in a small, manageable area, Steve says that “one of the things you can do to eliminate it is to buy mold-removal products at home improvement big-box stores. They’re safe for homeowners.” Most of these products will be able to handle smaller mold issues.

When to Call in a Professional

While some mold is relatively harmless and easy to eradicate with store-bought products, there are certain circumstances in which it is best to call a professional. Steve says, “Usually, the darker the mold, the more dangerous it is. So if it’s dark mold, if it’s a large area, if they eliminate it and it comes back rapidly, or if someone in the home is getting sick, call someone in.” If you have taken precautions and are still in doubt, it is best to get a professional opinion to help prevent a more serious mold issue from developing.

Mold may be abundant in our atmosphere, but it is not always a threat. By taking some of the precautions outlined in this article, you can help prevent yourself from having mold-related issues. If you do feel as if something is especially troubling or out of your depth, don’t hesitate to call a mold remediation professional like Steve and our other Best Picks.

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This spotlight article was crafted with the help of Sunrise Clean Care & Water Restorations, a Mold Remediation Best Pick in Atlanta. While we strive to provide relevant information to all homeowners, some of the material we publish may not pertain to every area. Please contact your local Best Pick companies for any further area-specific advice.