Health Info & Resources for Seniors
Lehigh Valley had a very wet spring and summer this past year and this can cause a lot of mold problems. I speak from experience because my basement developed a serious mold problem. We had a musty smell in the basement area and realized we had to do something.
I contacted NextStep Environmental in Macungie who offered a free estimate. The owner, Matt Winslow, arrived with two associates and walked me through their extensive inspection. He pointed out the areas of active mold and showed where I was providing food for the mold spores.
I did not realize the extent of our invasion and was surprised how quickly it had spread. Matt was extremely professional and obviously knew his business. He also explained what we had to do to prevent future invasions which I will share later in this article.
Once we had the estimate we asked Matt to start work as soon as possible. But before they started the cleaning process we had to get rid of boxes, clothes and other items that were not salvageable due to mold. I was shocked at how much we had to throw out. We bought large plastic bins to store what we planned to put back in the basement after it was cleaned.
The crew spent a week cleaning every nook and cranny in the basement which consisted of a laundry room, storage room, man-cave and garage. They cleaned every item that was still in the basement area. They used special cleaning solutions and vacuuming to remove the mold. I was surprised at how clean the air smelled once they finished.
What I Learned
NextStep Environmental gave me instructions to protect our home in the future.
- Throw away or remove all cardboard boxes to a higher floor in your home.
- Anything that will absorb water should go next: pull up carpeting where you can and try to remove any furniture from the basement.
- If you have a sump pump make sure the area surrounding it is clear of any obstructions. You want any water that is on the floor to be able to flow to the sump pit.
- Water, moisture and humidity can allow nature to develop mold in your basement. Mold is alive and needs two things to thrive: food and water. Mold eats dead organic matter like cardboard and newspaper.
- Ventilation is the key, Mold has two natural enemies: sunlight and ventilation.
- While it may be impossible to bring sunlight into parts of the basement you can increase ventilation. It is important to use dehumidifiers. After they finished I purchased an industrial dehumidifier to constantly remove water from the air to further prevent a mold invasion.