Your basement is a valuable part of your home, providing extensive storage and/or significant living space. Unfortunately, your basement can also harbor multiple dangers if it is not properly maintained. To keep your family safe, you need to check your basement for certain unhealthy conditions and take steps to quickly correct them.
Radon is a dangerous, naturally occurring gas that is common in basements. Decomposing matter deep in the soil creates radon and can easily seep into your basement through cracks in the floors and walls. Radon is also caused by stagnant groundwater and eroding rocks, both things that can occur directly under your basement floor. As a result, you definitely need a radon detector in your basement. If you get an above normal reading, you need to contact an expert in radon removal. Often, your local plumbing company can find where radon is entering your home and address the problem by sealing cracks and installing fans to minimize the problem and make your basement safe again.
Mold thrives in a damp environment and too often your basement is just that. You have to be most worried about the mold that you do not see: the mold behind the drywall and in other places hidden from view. Mold can cause or exacerbate a number of respiratory conditions, including asthma and emphysema. It often causes allergic reactions and can be particularly dangerous for the most vulnerable members of your family: children and seniors. Long-term exposure makes these health problems more severe. If you suspect a mold infestation, contact a reliable plumbing service professional or water damage and mold removal contractor.
If you live in an area that experiences flash flooding, you could be trapped in your basement, especially if you sleep in a basement bedroom. In a few cases, people have died because they could not get to the stairs to climb to the first floor. To be safe, you need to have more than one exit in your basement, preferably one that leads directly outdoors. If you do not, consider having a contractor install another door for you. Windows in a basement bedroom should also be big enough for you to easily crawl through to reach the outdoors.
Basements are a big part of comfortable family living, but you need to take several safety precautions. Mold and radon can adversely affect your health, potentially causing a number of serious conditions. Flash floods are also an issue. Inspect your basement for hazards and then contact experts to help you make your basement safe. Until you have taken care of these problems, keep everyone upstairs and away from these dangers.