Do you live in an area with a high water table? When you’re done in your basement, do you see little drops of water on the walls or pipes? None of those things are good; they can be a sign of mould, and that’s not good for your basement.
First off, if you live near the ocean or a river, and you’re neighbourhood is prone to flooding, your basement will get wet. So, you need to implement measures to dry out the basement after such an event. To do that, you can put a dehumidifier in your basement, and it’ll do a great job in drying out the air and walls of the area. If you have the problem of a high water table, you’ll need to install a sump pump to keep the water from intruding into the flooring.
The next source of water is piping. Do you have water lines, sewer pipes etc running through your basement? If they carry cold water, they can be a place for moisture to condense. After that, the water will drop off of the pipes, or trickle down it into the walls. Neither of these is a good situation, both can lead to mould. So, fight that be wrapping such pipes in a vapour barrier and insulation.
Next, there’s the issue of the ground around your house. Typically, it’s going to be quite cool – even frozen during winter, if you live in the northern latitudes – and it can be a source of still more moisture. If possible, slope the ground away from your house; that will aid in getting the ground water away from the basement.
You also need to install a vapour barrier all around the outside walls of the house. You can pick this up at any hardware store, and then just attach it to the walls. Once it’s secured in place, cover it with some decent insulation – fibreglass or some other material – and then you can put up drywall and paint or wallpaper the basement.
Then there are items you might put in the basement that’ll attract or give off moisture. If you have a laundry room, make sure the dryer is properly vented. If you have a bathroom, either install a combination fan and vent, or be sure that there’s a window in the bathroom so the room can vent to the outside.
Taking a few simple steps will prevent your basement from becoming a haven for mould, something you do not want to have growing in your house.