No homeowner wants to see mold — whether it’s on the leftovers in the fridge or the walls and ceilings of your basement. October is national Healthy Lung Month, which means there is no better time to start thinking about the quality of the air that you and your family are breathing.
Mold thrives in moist areas, so if your basement or crawlspace is damp, you already may have mold or mold may be getting ready to make an appearance. Mold spores easily spread, and if someone with allergies or lung sensitivity inhales them, serious medical issues may ensue. Children, the elderly, and those with lung disease or poor immune systems are at a higher risk for health complications. Symptoms of exposure to mold include wheezing, coughing, itchy and/or watery eyes, a runny nose, and skin rashes.
Keep Things Dry
The best way to prevent mold from spreading in your basement or crawlspace is to keep the area as dry as possible. If your crawlspace is wet, use fans to dry it out, then place a plastic cover over the dirt to keep out moisture. If your crawlspace isn’t vented, now might be a good time to install vents if the space has walls.
For basements where mold is not yet present, use dehumidifiers to keep the air’s water content from creating damp areas. Wall-to-wall carpeting can trap moisture, so consider area rugs or better yet, paint the concrete floor. If you really feel the need to have wall-to-wall carpeting, you may want to invest in a subfloor placed over a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier helps keep water vapor out.
If your home does not have a gutter downspout that drains a distance away from your home’s foundation, install one in the front and back of the house. This keeps water from pooling around the house’s base and seeping into or pressing against the foundation.
Seal any foundation or basement cracks that may be allowing moisture to come in. You can fix shallow cracks yourself with a sealant from your local hardware store, but it won’t be as long lasting as having a professional do it. Deep cracks and bulging may be indicative of structural issues, too.
Fixing the Problem
Once mold begins forming, do not disturb it. Unless you have experience successfully removing mold, it’s best to leave removal to experts trained in mold remediation, such as Acculevel or another certified professional.
Remediation specialists will come to your home, assess the severity of the mold growth, and provide you with an estimate as to what needs to be done. Mold has to be completely removed and the area sanitized before you can reclaim your space. Mold on wood that cannot be replaced is carefully removed; if the wood can be moved without structural damage, it’s best to replace it.
After as much mold as possible is scraped or sanded off, mold killer is applied. The spray is toxic, so whoever is spraying must take safety precautions to protect themselves from exposure. When the solution has had time to finish its work, experts should apply a sealer.
If there is mold in places a remediator can’t reach, such as an inner stud, he or she will remove as much mold as is accessible, then paint over the area with an encapsulating product. This seals in the remaining mold so it doesn’t spread.
Acculevel as Mold Remediators
Family-owned and operated since 1996, Acculevel specializes in basement and foundation issues, including mold remediation. We believe in being upfront and honest with clients, and we never do unnecessary work. We know the thought of mold can instill terror in any homeowner, and we’re here to ease your mind. If you live in the Midwest and suspect you have mold in your basement or crawlspace — or you’re certain you do — give us a call at 866-669-3349 or email us at [email protected] to schedule an appointment.