A healthy home needs a healthy basement. You can't have one without the other.
The main house is above ground and has plenty of air circulation from the
windows and doors being opened and closed each day. Also, because most of
the living takes place in the main living areas, the main house they had
The basement is subterranean, below ground where the bugs and insects
and creepy Crawley things live. Because the basement is underground it has a
different environment than the rest of the house
There are a lot of things that are in the basement that are not conducive to
having a healthy house. Your plumbing and sanitary system is in the basement.
Your heating plant and hot water heater are in the basement. These things
produce a lot of moisture. As I write this in January I can promise you that your
dehumidifier is not in operation. As we discussed in an earlier blog the
dehumidifier only works in the warmer months because of relative humidity.
January is typically not one of those so the dehumidifier is not working. What
do you do about the moisture that comes through your concrete foundation, most
of which is below the frost line, and brings dampness and moisture into your
basement in the non-Summer months?
When you have moisture in the basement you get other things in the basement
associated with that moisture, bad smells, mold, mildew, insects of all kinds,
dry rot, rust and rodents.
Bad smells are nature's way of telling us something's wrong. If your
basement smells bad something is wrong with the basement you need to have it checked
out by a professional.
Next we will talk about mold. Everybody knows mold is not good for you. Just
the same, don't panic if you see mold. Mold is part of nature mold spores are
everywhere. When mold spores land on something that's damp with an organic
matter it can start to grow. Call a professional for a mold test.
Third we come to mildew. Mildew is the smell you smell when you have mold.
Insects like dark moist places. We're not just talking about spiders and
ants but also wood destroying insects like termites and carpenter ants. I
really can't think of anything good to say about having insects in your home
especially the ones that can eat your home.
Dry rot is a term associated with wood rot. The way it sounds is somewhat of
misleading because you need moisture to have dry rot. The term dry rot refers
to would that has already been dried such as lumber. When this dried wood, such
as your basement stairs, gets wet a certain fungi can grow in the wood. This fungus
grows roots which go into the wood and started breaking apart. Dry rot is bad.
Rust is also called iron oxide and happens over time when metal gets damp or
wet. Your major appliances are located in the basement and are subject to
rusting when moisture is present. Just think for a moment about how much it
would cost to replace your furnace, hot water heater, HVAC, or washer and
dryer. I am not trying to tell you that moisture is going to instantly kill
your appliances. Appliances that are rusted will typically have a shorter life
than those which are not rusty.
Okay we saved the best for last, rodents. Mice and rats just say it all.
Unless your kids have a hamster cage we really don't want rodents in the house.
It is important that you understand your basement has to be healthy in order
for your home to be healthy. Bad smells, mold, mildew and insects can easily