Don’t Neglect Your ManCave
Let’s talk about your basement.
If you don’t have it renovated for a tenant or two, chances are that your basement gets little no love. Your basement needs love. This is the base of your home (see “base”ment). It helps to hold up your home and, since it is a part of the home, you and your family are exposed to any weird goings-on down there. I’m talking about mould, mildew, and all the potential health problems that can come about from those nasty guys. Give your basement a little TLC and keep yourself and your family safe.
Mould, Mildew, and Mice
Now that we’ve got the bones of the basement covered, let’s talk about what could be lurking inside. There are three major items to cover when it comes to your basement’s vulnerabilities: mould, mildew, and mice. Your basement is cool, has little insulation, and most likely some leaky doors and windows. This invites spores from mould and mildew to thrive in your basement’s damp habitat. Mildew is easily rid of with cleaning product and a good scrub, but mould is a more difficult contender. Mould tends to be difficult to rid of and can be toxic to your health. Mice are everywhere people are and, if you have a free basement, they will no doubt set up shop. Mice can be very tough to rid of, can come with diseases, viruses, and other bacterias, and are highly mobile, risking their entry into other parts of the house.
Potential Health Problems
Mildew and mould tend to be bothersome to people, causing a number of allergic reactions. Itchy eyes, skin, and throat are very common, as well as nasal congestion and, sometimes, difficulty breathing. Black mould (Stachybotrys chartarum), however, has been linked to deaths and permanent respiratory damage – definitely not something you want to risk having in your home. Mice infestations, while mostly annoying, come with serious potential health risks. Having mouse droppings, urine, or saliva in your home puts you at risk for hantavirus, a deadly pulmonary disease. If you have a black mould or mouse infestation, it is best to let professionals take care of it, so as to not put you or your family at greater risk.
Take Care of Your Basement
The best ways to care for your basement is to take preventative measures. Once you have rid of any mold, mildew, and mice, and given your basement a good deep cleaning, the final step lies in your windows and doors. You want to make sure that your windows and doors fully seal out any outside elements and that your windows themselves don’t leak. The Toronto area is full of basements and therefore rife with a market for basement windows, so you can be sure to find a great company to help you find modern windows and proper installation. Rigging up a dehumidifier can also be helpful in your basement, to keep dampness and the problems that come with it, at bay.
Take the plunge and get your basement on track. It’s a part of your home and deserves the same amount of attention. Plus, think of all that space you’ll be opening up when you clean up that damp, old basement. It is a complete floor to turn into a living area, a place to hang out – your basement is your oyster. Basements aren’t just a forgotten storage space anymore.