Mold in your basement or crawl space may become a health hazard and should be taken care of as soon as possible. Mold is a result of moisture in the area, whether due to high air humidity or water leaking in through concrete. To help you know your “enemy,” we’ve compiled some facts about mold, mold prevention, and mold removal.
Mold Is Not Just for Cheese and Medicine
There are more than 10,000 species of mold, and not all of it is penicillin and blue cheese. Mold is prevalent outside, but it can find its way indoors and into your home.
Not All Mold Is Toxic
Exposure to mold doesn’t automatically mean you are going to get sick. Health reactions to mold depend on the type of mold present. Unfortunately, the type of mold that sometimes crops up in homeowners’ basements is the type that can cause health issues.
Toxic Mold Doesn’t Usually Affect Healthy Humans
Those at risk for reactions to household mold often are those with weaker immune systems, such as children and the elderly; those who already are ill with lung issues such as asthma; and those who are allergic to mold. Symptoms of exposure to mold include wheezing, coughing, a runny nose, itchy and/or watery eyes, and skin rashes.
Water Begets Mold
Mold doesn’t magically appear. It thrives in moist environments. If your home’s basement or foundation has been subject to soil saturated with water and some of that water has leaked in or the air has high humidity, you’re likely to get mold.
Mold Does Not Like Inorganic Surfaces
There’s nothing like wood, clothes, and cardboard to make mold happy. Mold spreads on anything organic, so if you want to keep items in your basement safe, store them in plastic containers with tight lids.
Mold Is Not Easy to Spot
You might think visible mold is all you have to worry about, but it’s not. Mold can get inside drywall, hide in ductwork, and laugh at you from ceiling crevices. This is why it is important to hire a certified mold remediator to clear your crawl space or basement of mold. He or she knows where to look and how to identify mold.
While mold odor is not as odiferous as skunk spray or rotten food, it is not pleasantly fragrant. Mold produces a distinct musty smell — even if you can’t see the mold. If you smell something, you likely have mold.
Mold Hates Sunshine
The mold that can grow in your basement does not do well in sunshine, as that dries out the air, leaving the mold without moisture. Dry air and sun prevent mold growth. However, both tend to be in short supply in basements and crawl spaces. When possible, air out your basement and use a dehumidifier appropriate for the basement/crawl space size.
Disturb One, Grow Hundreds
It might seem like a good idea to try to clean the mold yourself, but if you send one spore floating off, it will stick to something and spawn. This is why it is essential to hire a certified mold remediator. Bleach, a rag, and a scrub brush just won’t do the job.
Prevention Is Key
Once mold has invaded your home, it is hard to get out. The best thing you can do is prevent its growth in the first place by keeping your basement/crawl space dry. If it’s too late for that, after a specialist has removed the mold, discuss waterproofing options with a foundation specialist. You want to find the source of the moisture and stop it so there won’t be a mold re-infestation.
Acculevel Is a Certified Mold Remediator
Basement and foundation waterproofing experts since 1996, we at family-owned Acculevel are certified to handle any mold problems. We will remove existing mold and work with you to tackle waterproofing so the mold doesn’t return. If you live in the Midwest and would like to schedule an appointment for a free in-home estimate, give our staff a call at (866) 669-3349 or email us at [email protected].