Unlike other regions of the country where there is dry air, midwesterners deal with a lot of rain, flooding, and atmospheric moisture. If your home’s foundation, basement, or crawl space is not adequately waterproof, that can lead to structural damage and in the case of mold, health issues. For mold prevention, take steps to waterproof your home.
Construct the Right Foundation
If you are planning to build a new house in the Midwest, the foundation needs to be appropriate for the moisture you will get in this geographical location. A crawl space is a common choice in the Midwest. Like a basement, a crawl space has footers, but unlike a basement, a crawl space does not have high walls. The walls are considerably shorter and are not high enough to create additional living space.
A crawl space should be enclosed and have a vapor barrier. This helps keep moisture from forming in the space. The added benefit of an enclosed space is keeping certain critters from getting into vents and making their ways into the house.
Be Mindful of Landscaping
When it’s planting season, go ahead and choose flowers, shrubs ,and trees to enhance your property. However, consider what you plant and where you plant them. Anything with deep roots, such as large trees, should not be planted near the home. Shrub roots and the roots of ornamental trees also can cause damage to a foundation, although a root barrier often takes care of shallow roots.
Roots can grow under and into concrete, cracking and shifting it. Cracks can let in moisture from ground soil. All roots shift the soil around them, creating pockets for water to enter and reducing the stability of the soil under the foundation. Even flowers should be planted on raised beds angled away from the home.
Check as to whether the yard has the appropriate slope so water flows away from the foundation. Level ground or ground angled toward the home allows water to sit or push against the concrete.
Install a Drainage System
The faster you get water out of your crawl space or basement, the less time moisture has to encourage mold growth. Standing water evaporates into the air, traveling everywhere and resulting in mold in places you might not be able to see. A sump pump can help remove water, but in case of a power outage, purchase one that has a battery backup. Check the pump at least once a year to make sure it is functioning correctly.
Repair Water Damage
As soon as you notice damage in a basement, foundation, or crawl space, address it. The longer you wait to repair something, the more time you give moisture to hang out. Mold prevention hinges on a dry space. Even hairline cracks in concrete indicate waterproofing issues and can get wider in time. Hire a professional to seal all cracks — both inside and outside. If you have a basement and the walls are starting to bow, they need to be fixed. Bowed walls indicate more serious damage than hairline cracks indicate.
Remove Existing Mold
If your personal attempts at mold prevention have failed, it’s time to call in a specialist to remove existing mold. Mold easily spreads, so even a few mold spores can start a new infestation. Mold remediation experts should be certified as even one wrong move can send spores all over.
For those homeowners living in the Midwest with all its wet conditions, look no further than Acculevel for your waterproofing and mold remediation needs. Family-owned Acculevel has been in the business of keeping basements, foundations, and crawl spaces dry since 1996. We are certified mold remediators, and our skilled staff can tell you what needs to be done to keep mold from your home. For a free in-home estimate, give us a call at (866) 669-3349 or email us at [email protected].