Is living in the basement healthy?

That’s a pretty standard question for people to have when looking at converted basement spaces. The non-biased answer is “it can be healthy.”

The all important counter question is “has the basement been prepared for basement finishing?”

What does this mean?

Having your basement prepared prior to conversion into any apartment is a very simple process that can be done by a company that specializes in basement waterproofing. Pioneer Basement has been helping to prepare spaces in water rich areas like Boston, Fall River and Wakefield Rhode Island for over 25 years.

Basements all have the same possibility to get wet because of the ways that basements are designed and constructed. Moisture control, air circulation and filtration and mold resistant materials used to build the space are all necessary parts to having a healthy basement converted apartment.

Moisture control

is essential for maintaining a standard, livable, and comfortable amount of humidity in the basement. It also is designed for ultimate leak, flooding, and seepage protection for the basement. Without moisture control you’re automatically forcing everything in your basement to come into contact with moisture as vapor and as liquid through leaks, seepage, flooding or other infiltration.

Air circulation and filtration

can be taken care of with a professionally installed Santa Fe Dehumidifier system. It forces warm air into the space to stir and filter air to reinstitute it into the basement space. It’ll leave you with better smelling air, relative humidity control, moisture control, forced air circulation and air stabilization. Not having healthy air to breath is the second major problem that then helps to lower your defenses to other elements facilitated by not having moisture control. With a weaker immune system your body is more susceptible to effects of mold, mildew, and other air born bi-products of hazards that come with standing water and excess moisture.

The last major part

of a successful of a properly converted basement space is the materials that are used to build the walls and the fixtures installed in the space. If they are designed to resist mold and mildew, sagging, and rotting, you defend further against the negative implications of moisture build up.

Once the air circulation and filtration, moisture and water control are both installed you might ask yourself “why should I worry about mold at this point?” You’re right to ask yourself this. Other things can cause leaks, basement water, or excess moisture in your basement. A common occurrence is pipe bursting in the ceiling or on a floor above yours. By having walls, ceilings and floors that are all designed to resist water damage makes not only the clean up easier but it also ensures that the aftermath of such events isn’t followed with rotting joists, moldy dry wall, or water-logged floor boards.

Moldy Rug in your Basement; what do I do?

When dealing with any style of mold the first thing to do would be to throw out the object(s) that is supporting the mold; in this case the rug. Letting anything sit and decompose because of mold isn’t healthy. The mold that will grow on that rug adds many pounds of allergens to the air each day.

Second thing to do would be to scrub down the floor with a mop using a 50/50 mix of bleach to water and let dry.

Whenever you work around mold, whether you’re sensitive to mold or not, make sure to wear proper eye, hand and clothing protection in order to not let your skin or eyes become irritated. If your skin does come into direct contact with mold, make sure to wash your skin with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds.

Thirdly, this is the time to have a very thorough basement inspection. Ask yourself: where is the water/moisture coming into the basement? Am I running a dehumidifier to help filter the air and regulate the RH (relative humidity) in the basement? What other organic objects (boxes, bookshelves, wood, clothing, paper, etc.) is down here that might be feeding the mold?

By removing all the mold food you can easily gain control back of your basement. But don’t neglect the basement because of one small rug being moldy. This rug was a definite sign of issues in your basement that needed to be handled.

Contact your local basement-waterproofing expert in order to fully control any and all moisture in your basement. Controlling the moisture is a sure way to limit and even eliminate the mold content of your basement.