Thursday, February 21st, 2013
What about Mold?
Have you ever smelled that “basement smell?” You know--the one that smells the same as your Grandparent’s basement did when you were a kid, and now? Does it smell musty and damp? Possibly like the old high school football locker-room towards the end of the season. You know stale, and dirty and in most cases reeks like no other? How do your basement walls look? Are they just plain old brick, tile and block, painted walls, or do you have either brown or green paneling from the 19xx’s?? Or maybe that drywall that’s been there through a couple of wet, but not flooded basement issues?
Even if your basement is unfinished you may have the same sort of raunchy smells emanating from the lower level of your home. Remember…houses are designed to pull the air up through the house and out the soffits at the roof line. If you think about it all of the materials and environments we are discussing lead to mold and mildew. Believe it or not, mold and mildew can lead to serious health issues. Studies show a reduction in health issues when basements have been dried out and cleaned up. What do you know about mold and mildew, and did you ever think it was serious? Have you had water damage in your basement? Have the building materials ever gotten wet? Even if you haven’t had any water damage, let’s seriously think a minute about the basement environment. It’s cold. It’s damp. It’s surrounded by concrete. And your concrete is surrounded by dirt and ground water. So where does the water go?
Please indulge me and read on during my next explanation. Well, in a basement the water slowly diffuses through your concrete walls in vapor form from the outside in because of hydrostatic pressure. You can actually take a concrete block, place it in a small tub of water, water being about a quarter of an inch in the bottom, and in about a week of time the concrete block will have completely absorbed the water in the tub. Water begins to build up more and more around your house as the backfill becomes saturated. This added weight creates an enormous amount of force (known as hydrostatic pressure) on the walls. As a side note, hydraulic pressure is used to move the loaders on excavators, end loaders, back hoes and more. This pressure pushes the water into the basement through cracks and joints, with water most commonly being pushed through the floor-wall joint. Hydrostatic pressure on the walls also pushes water vapor through the porous concrete of your home, where the drier air inside of your basement sucks it up and makes your basement air more humid. This is why the humidity level in your basement if higher than anywhere else in your home.
I mean, you wouldn’t put a dehumidifier in the kitchen, right? You can decrease the amount of moisture by installing a dehumidifier in the basement, but does that stop the moisture from coming through the walls? The answer is NO! If your home has concrete walls in the basement you will always have moisture coming through those walls. It is the nature of the beast. Now, think about the traditional ways of finishing your basement. You are probably thinking about drywall and wood studs or some other paper product like paneling, right? What happens to these products when they get wet? Moreover, what happens to these products when they get wet and they STAY wet continuously? That’s right! They all start to rot, they all start to soften, and then, they all start to grow mold. There are only two things you need for mold to grow, moisture and cellulose, or food.
Paper products mold very easily, especially drywall. It’s like mold candy! When you think of drywall, think of Bounty, yes Bounty, the paper towel. Drywall is also “The quicker picker upper!” As I’ve already mentioned, concrete is porous and has moisture moving through it at all times, whether you see it or not. So, what do you think happens to that drywall, those wood studs, or that paneling over time? Have you ever thought about what could be growing behind your finished drywall or paneling? Even if you haven’t had a ground water leak, or a pipe burst, or your hot water heater hasn’t exploded, or your washing machine hoses have never burst…Your basement is surrounded by water! Why would you put an inappropriate building material, such as drywall, in a moist and potentially wet environment? More importantly, why would you expose your family or yourself to an unhealthy and moldy environment? This is where Midwest Basement Systems can help. We have basement wall covering products designed building scientists and manufacturers to develop a wall system ideally suited for basement conditions. EverLast Wall Panels, BriteWall, and ZenWall will not get moldy or rot and cannot be damaged by moisture! This creates a healthy, mold and mildew free place for family and friends. These wall products are NOT like drywall.
Drywall with fiberglass insulation supports mold growth, will damage from moisture, and will lose insulation value when wet. Who wants to replace drywall or paneling over and over each time it gets damaged? These wall products have the best warranty in the business against water damage! Decorate now with the latest interior styles and then one year or ten years from now, take it all down and decorate with a new style! Unlike drywall, our panels are maintenance free, which means no painting, patching, or repairing damaged walls. I don’t know about you but I have never been a fan of repairing drywall!
Wall products from Midwest Basement Systems are washable which means no dull spots in the painted drywall from scrubbing the family’s beautiful marker and crayon masterpiece off the wall! No maintenance, no moisture, no mold, no problem! All in all, by finishing your basement ONCE with Midwest Basement Systems’ wall products and other great warranted flooring products, you will have a healthy and safe space for you and your family to spend some quality time together or just some more legroom to entertain your guests when comes to the big game! Call Midwest Basement Systems today for a free design consultation to get started on your project!
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