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How Do You Know if There is Mold in Your House?

mold wall
Mildewed walls with different sorts of mold (close-up shot)

No matter how much you’d like to avoid it, mold is everywhere. You can’t always control your exposure to it out in the world, and it’s a common issue inside of a lot of homes. While mold isn’t always dangerous, it can cause health problems and serious damage to your home if left unchecked. The best thing you can do if you suspect that you have mold in your basement is to take measures to kill it and control its growth: here’s what to consider when you start undertaking mold removal.

How Mold Gets In Your Home

Mold is a naturally occurring fungus that has a very important role in nature. Unfortunately, while breaking down dead plants is important, you don’t want it breaking down your home or belongings. Mold reproduces in the form of microscopic spores that travel through the air and start growing when they land on damp spots. This isn’t a problem until you consider that mold spores in the air have everything they need to start growing once they end up in your home: organic surfaces to settle on, air, warmth, and darkness. Add in moisture from any number of places, and you have a problem that requires mold removal.

Knowing When Mold is In Your Home

Even if you don’t see the mold, it could still be growing in your home: these are some signs that could indicate a mold problem.

  • Your home has had a history of flooding
  • There are damp areas of your home or water damage from condensation, plumbing leaks, or other water problems
  • Your home smells moldy or musty
  • You see patches of mold or discoloration in parts of your home

Mold-Related Health Problems

Mold can damage your home and belongings, and it can be a hazard to your health as well. If you have allergies, asthma, or other breathing problems, you’re probably already aware of the effect that mold can have on your health, but even people who are otherwise healthy and have no allergies can have reactions to different types of mold. You might also notice health problems before you see the mold itself because the mold could be inside of the walls.

Mold symptoms can seem like allergy, cold, or flu symptoms in a lot of cases. If you’re coughing, sneezing, wheezing, or have throat, skin, nose, or eye irritation, mold could be the culprit. More serious symptoms can include dizziness, headaches, and even memory loss. Always go to your doctor if you suspect that there’s an underlying health problem, but if you only feel symptoms when you’re at home, it’s worth looking into whether your home has a mold problem affecting your health.

Mold Removal Solutions

Mold in basements is there because of problems with moisture. Sealing up areas where moisture gets into your basement and removing water once it’s there is key to not only preventing mold growth but also making your home energy efficient. As a homeowner, investing in a dehumidifier can do a lot for keeping moisture in your home down. Small amounts of mold that you can see can be scrubbed with bleach and water. Much larger patches of mold in your basement or home will require professional remediation.

To kill mold and prevent it from coming back, a fungicidal coating can be applied to basement surfaces. Acculevel uses a water-based coating that coats and protects your home from mold, mildew, fungi, bacteria, and other unwelcome growths. Once the mold has been killed and removed, the basement needs to be kept dry, which can be done with a basement liner like White Cap. Basement encapsulation not only acts as a vapor barrier to keep water from coming into your home, but the durable material has anti-microbial properties for mold prevention.

For removing water from your home, a Geo Channel water redirection system can be installed. This system is placed on top of or next to your foundation footing, redirects water away from the vulnerable areas of your foundation, and helps filter debris to prevent clogs. Finally, any basement waterproofing solution should include a sump pump system and battery back-up. A sump pump will give your waterproofing measures a place to drain and another means of getting water out of your home, and a back-up keeps your home dry even in pump or power failures.

Acculevel Mold Prevention

Mold prevention should be a part of any basement waterproofing system, and Acculevel has foundation experts that can help. The longer you ignore mold in your basement, the more problems it can cause for your home and your health. Get ahead of mold problems in your home by taking steps to waterproof your basement today. For a free home inspection and basement reconditioning or waterproofing estimate for your home, contact Acculevel.

Kelly Kater

Over her twenty year career, Kelly has worked in a wide variety of fields: secondary education, nursing, biology, elder care, the postal service, multicultural development, and academia. She has developed a skill for translating industry-specific jargon into everyday language. Her goal is to share the knowledge and experience of the Acculevel team with homeowners, in a way that is both engaging and informative.

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