Your home is a safe haven and place of refuge. You would never be careless leaving doors and windows unlocked or valuables out in the open. When your home is subject to water damage it becomes the perfect breeding ground for basement mold.
Mold comes from microscopic spores that circulate through the air. Darkness, moisture and dust create ideal conditions for this culprit to grow and spread. If you are not sure where the mold is you can have a mold test done by a professional or do-it-yourself using a mold test kit. Use your senses to help you. Since most basements do not have a lot of ventilation a stale or musty odor is a good indicator that mold is present. Common places to find mold are:
- Wall cavities
- Ducts and vents
Genus type and Characteristics
Some types of molds are more harmful than others however just knowing that it’s there even if you can’t see it is enough to make you feel uneasy. The color of mold will manifest as black or white depending on the substance it is growing on and genus type. Aspergillus is an example of a commonly white mold. Cladosporium and stachybotrys chartarum are harmful black molds that release mycotoxins. The toxins severely affect the immune system and aggravate asthma suffers. Individuals who are sensitive to mold experience various symptoms such as cold/flu, allergies or chronic sinus infections and dizziness.
Treatment and Precaution
Always be cautious when removing mold to avoid mold spores being inhaled and spreading to other areas of the house. If you are dealing with a small area mold is easily removed from a hard surface using a mixture of 1 cup bleach in a gallon of water. Removing mold from porous or soft surfaces such as carpets or upholstery is tedious to clean and you may opt to just discard them. Consulting a licensed waterproofing technician will locate and safely treat your mold problem.
The key to safeguard your basement against mold is to remove moisture. Find and repair leaks resulting from broken pipes (check for foundation problems), condensation and leaks in the ceiling. Also avoid storing wood in the basement since it is a perfect habitat for the mold to grow.
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