The basements of many homes are sad and neglected areas. They’re musty, dusty, and rarely visited. They’re out-of-sight, and so they’re also out-of-mind. The homeowners don’t use them, rarely venture into them, and so don’t think much about them.
That’s a mistake. And if it’s a mistake that you’re making, it could cost you your health.
A Neglected Basement is a Breeding Ground of Bad ‘Stuff’
Does your basement fall into the ‘sad and neglected’ category? Is it musty and dusty? Maybe even a bit moldy? Well, then here’s some bad news: the air in your basement is unhealthy.
It’s probably loaded with airborne mold spores. Just a single square inch of mold can produce up to ten million spores. Those spores are eventually released into the air. It’s how mold reproduces. One cubic meter of air can contain hundreds of thousands of mold spores. And you breathe in around 10 cubic meters of air every single day.
That’s not all.
If your basement is neglected, it’s probably visited frequently by rodents. They leave droppings. The droppings contain lots of nasty pathogens like viruses. Over time, the droppings decay. They become dusty. And particles of the decayed droppings become airborne – along with the virus contaminants.
The same is true of dust mites. A dusty, musty basement is dust mite heaven. They breed like crazy in that environment. And they leave droppings, which decay and produce airborne particles.
It’s not a pretty picture. But if you have a neglected basement, the air down there is likely chock-full of lots of nasties just waiting for you to breathe them in.
You Breathe the Air in Your Basement Everyday
“But I hardly ever go into my basement,” you might be thinking. “So I’m not breathing in all of that moldy, virus-laden air.” You might think that the contaminated air down there does no real harm, because nobody spends any significant time in your basement.
Is that what you believe? Then you probably haven’t heard of the “stack effect.”
The stack effect occurs when warm air at the top of a house leaks out, creating a vacuum effect that draws air into the lowest parts of the house. The air leaks out through cracks and crevices, and it leaks in through cracks and crevices. No house is airtight enough to eliminate the stack effect.
So in essence, the stack effect creates a constant flow of air. The air in the lowest point of your house – the basement – flows throughout your house as it makes its way to the highest point to replace the air that leaks out.
And that means that everyone in your family breathes in air from the basement, every day. Even if nobody’s been down there for weeks. What’s in your basement does not stay in your basement.
The stack effect: it might as well also be called the Virus Express!
If Your Basement’s Not Clean…
Then there’s really no part of your home that’s clean. Because you’re breathing in that dirty basement air no matter where you go in your home. And of course the contaminants in the air that’s pulled throughout the house by the stack effect can settle out anywhere in your home – not just in your lungs.
So if your basement belongs in the musty-dusty category, don’t let it stay that way. At the very least, clean it up. Maybe even consider renovating it to add lots of living space to your home.
And if tackling that job is more of a challenge than you want to take on, we’ll be glad to help you with it. Just give us a call.
But whatever you do, don’t let the mess down there just fester and worsen. Because as you now know, the mess “down there” is really everywhere – even in your lungs.