The basement is an integral part of your home. This space helps keep your home dry during inclement weather and warm during cold seasons. Basements also provide shelter from weather emergencies like tornadoes, twisters, and cyclones. Without proper maintenance of the basement, however, this space can become a host for mold, mildew, and unwanted organisms. Fortunately, safe practices like moisture control, ventilation, and regular cleaning schedules can help mitigate the risks of a deteriorating basement. A look at the top four reasons for routine basement upkeep can provide guidance as you plan maintenance within your home.
1. Moisture Maintenance Prevents the Spread of Mold and Mildew
Basements are vulnerable to excessive moisture and water damage due to their location at the lowest level of a home. Water and moisture can seep into these rooms via cracks in the home foundation, walls, or floors. Exposure to moisture can also occur from unsealed windows, doors, vents, or similar openings. In addition, basements often remain dark, humid, and cool due to lack of exposure to sunlight. Once moisture has become trapped in the room, it can take only around 24-48 hours for mold or mildew to begin to grow.
Mold and mildew are living organisms, and both can result in a host of problems. Both organisms can create foul odors and unsightly discoloration of walls or surfaces. Untreated mold and mildew can eventually deteriorate building materials, and breathing in mold spores can create respiratory problems in humans and pets.
To avoid these problems, conduct regular checkups of moisture levels in your basement. If you see signs of water damage, make efforts to dry the area or call a basement waterproofing service to clean, dry, and waterproof your space. After professionally cleaning your basement, you may also wish to invest in a dehumidifier to counteract excessive moisture. These steps help prevent the buildup of mold, mildew, and microbes within your home.
2. Basement Maintenance Encourages Proper Ventilation
Routine basement maintenance also helps ensure proper ventilation throughout the lowest level of your home. Open the windows and use fans to circulate stagnant basement air. You can also rent a professional vacuum to remove settled dust, dirt, and allergens. Regularly cleaning this buildup will keep the air fresher and encourage circulation of moisture out of the room. If you continue to notice problems with insulation and excessive drafts, consider hiring a service for professionally sealing and insulating the area. This can allow the air to circulate properly through windows and vents while preventing the entry of pollution or moisture outside of the room.
3. Regular Maintenance Can Save Money on Household Bills
Proper maintenance of your basement can reduce household expenses in several ways. Foremost, good ventilation improves lower-level air quality, thereby saving money on your energy bill. Professionally sealed and insulated basements help even the distribution of air conditioning or heat. This can help prevent wild variations in heating or cooling costs. In addition to standard household bills, regular basement maintenance can save money in the following ways:
- Prevent structural damage or costly repairs. Although water damage starts out small, it can have major repercussions if left untreated. Water that seeps through crevices in a home’s foundation can cause mold, wood rot, and building deterioration. If you see early signs of water damage like cracks, water spots, peeling paint, or moist drywall, make small repairs early before these issues cause irreparable damage.
- Prevent the infestation of pests or rodents. Unwanted household critters can enter the basement through unsealed openings or unseen cracks in the home foundation. Furthermore, standing water can attract swarming insects like mosquitoes. By conducting regular inspections, you can professionally seal these entry points and prevent infestation. Regular maintenance can also alert you to signs of pests (such as droppings). You can then call an exterminator immediately to refumigate this unwanted pests from your home.
- Prevent the likelihood of health and safety hazards. Excessive moisture promotes the growth of mold, mildew, and allergens. These can cause respiratory problems in both human and pets. By monitoring moisture levels, you can mitigate unwanted health problems later. Moreover, water damage can cause major electrical or tripping hazards throughout a basement. Schedule regular inspections for this level of your home to eliminate any safety risks.
4. Basement Maintenance Helps Protect the Family Investment
Regular basement maintenance helps preserve the value of your home at its core. Some of the most important reasons include the following:
- A well-maintained basement extends the life of your home’s foundation. The home foundation is the solid baseline for all structural features of your home. Damaged foundations can cost thousands in restoration and repair. By keeping your basement clean and moisture-free, you can lower the risk of mold and cracks that can compromise the quality of your foundation.
- A well-maintained basement improves your family’s living environment. Keeping your basement moisture-free helps prevent the growth of mold and mildew that can cause health problems within family members. A dry basement also helps keep upholstery, fixtures, and finishes in good condition. Instead of abandoning your basement to disuse, your family can instead use it as a man cave, movie theater, guestroom, or man cave. A clean and dry basement is also a wonderful place to preserve storage and family keepsakes.
- A well-maintained basement improves the resale value of your home. Each pristine room is an important selling feature for homes. In real estate, the basement is a type of hidden potentiality. This means that the buyer will view a well-maintained basement as an increase in the useable square footage of a future home. A home with a nice basement provides greater negotiation room than one without it.
Your basement is much more than a dark storage room at the bottom of your home. It is a functional space with numerous advantages and uses. By scheduling regular basement maintenance, you can make the most of this asset for yourself and your family.