Free Your Basement from Damaging Humidity
It is essential to prevent excess humidity from building in up in in your basement. Once your basement surpasses 60 percent relative humidity, your windows mist up, mold finds optimal growing conditions, your concrete floor may stain, and you're headed into electrical problem territory. Before your basement gets out of hand, consider performing some inexpensive preventative maintenance and shopping around for a cost-effective de-humidifying unit.
First, visit your home improvement store and buy yourself a humidity meter. If your existing basement humidity even approaches 60 percent, it's time to swing into action. Examine your plumbing for condensation around the pipes. Seal up leaks and dry your pipes thoroughly before wrapping them with insulation.
Cover or coat any boxes, furnishings, or other items you store in the basement with mold-resistant tarps or plastic. Lower your basement thermostat to under 60 degrees--if you possible--to prevent mold spores from interacting with organic materials.
Protect Your Basement with a De-humidifier
Shop for a dehumidifier that actually allows for ducting out of the basement area and automatically drains the water it collects outdoors. De-humidifiers with Energy Star ratings may cost more initially, but ultimately save you money because they are more energy efficient.
If your laundry facilities are in the basement, be sure that the washer drains into plumbing that takes waste-water far away from the walls that surround the basement. Be sure the dryer vent pulls air completely out of the basement to its outdoor vent. Seal all vent tubes with insulating, water resistant tape.
If, for any reason, you have a spill or find water pooling on the basement floor, be sure to mop or pump it out completely within 24 hours to prevent mold from establishing a foot-hold.
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.