Mold isn’t only unsightly. It can also be a health hazard. A few varieties of mold can cause respiratory problems as well as other issues, while others are just damaging to your home’s drywall and other areas. No matter what type of mold grows in your home, though, you must remove it properly to prevent its return.

What Causes Mold

It's common knowledge that moist areas like the basement are the perfect environment for mold to grow. But do you know that factors that contribute to mold growth in the home ? Mold needs:

• A nutrient source
• Starter spore
• Correct temperature
• Time
You have to eliminate all these factors to ensure the mold does not reappear later.

How to Remove Mold

Once the mold is growing in your basement, you'll need to begin by cleaning up all the mold you see on the walls, the floor or any other surfaces. There are different cleaning solutions you can use , but commonly used cleansers are bleach and borax.

Once you’ve decided on a cleaning solution, you can begin scrubbing the walls and removing all visible mold. Remove any items in the basements that have mold growing on them. Most of the time carpeting and other moldy materials must be thrown out, but some furniture and other times may be salvageable with proper cleaning .

Follow these steps for removing mold.

• Wear a mask and gloves while cleaning
• Make sure you’re working in a well-ventilated area
• Clean a test patch to see if the cleaner you chose will harm the surface
• If the test is okay, proceed to scrub moldy areas
If your test indicates your bleach may harm the cleaning area, you can try another non-toxic solution, like vinegar to wipe away the mold. If you start cleaning and realize the mold is too much for you to handle or clean up on your own, consider hiring a professional to come in and do the work.

How to Prevent Mold’s Return

After cleanup, you don’t want the mold to return, so here are a few tips to help prevent future problems.

• Dehumidifiers are a great investment to help keep moisture levels down and discourage mold growth. They work well in basements where ventilation is not the best, and you have to worry about dampness.

• Look for and fix any water leaks you find. These could be coming from a water heater or sump pump, but whatever the source, take care of it to reduce moisture.

• Basement sealers for walls are a great way to stop leaks as well.
Be vigilant. Keeping an eye on the space as well as appliances will help you spot mold — or conditions that could cause it — early. If you do spot mold, remove it immediately. Time only makes the situation worse.

Remember, if you're ever overwhelmed by the amount of mold or maybe feel uneasy cleaning it up yourself, don’t hesitate to call in a professional. They can remove it safely and provide help to prevent its return.

Scott Huntington is a writer and DIY enthusiast from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington