The Dangers of Mold in the Basement

Mold can grow anywhere it can find oxygen, moisture and organic material.  It’s particularly prolific in damp, humid areas of the home, so unsurprisingly, mold growth in an unfinished or finished basement is a common problem for homeowners. 

Basement mold is often the result of a source of moisture — leaky foundations or condensation from appliances, for example.  And areas that are prone to flooding are more susceptible to this type of mold, because the ideal conditions are repeated year after year.   

Any kind of mold in the home is concerning for a variety of reasons, but  Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold as it is commonly known, is one of the most dangerous types of mold.  While it can be found almost anywhere in a home, the basement is particularly susceptible to its insidious growth.

Of most concern to home residents are the multitude of health issues ranging from the mildly annoying:  like nasal congestion, wheezing, skin irritations, and eye inflammation; to the more alarming fungal infections in the lungs.  Anyone suffering from asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or who have compromised immune systems are most at risk for developing complications from exposure.

Health issues aside, there are some serious structural complications that occur after mold forms.  Its growth on wooden building materials, particularly those used in the framework of a finished basement, can be especially dangerous because it uses these paths to infiltrate the rest of the house. This can cause a weakening in bearing walls and beams, thus compromising the entire home. 

Of course, the ideal solution to this mold problem is to avoid the conditions that cause it in the first place.  One of the first steps in the prevention of basement mold is to ensure that your basement is free of any moisture and doesn’t support a damp, humid environment where mold can thrive. 

There are many options available if mold is already a problem.  Depending on the extent, severity, and type of mold, you may need to explore options for professional mold removal.  Cases of severe toxic black mold growth can require professional care.

While there are products on the market that are designed to prevent and control mold, you still need to remove the mold covered areas including dry wall, insulation, carpet or sub-flooring.  This sort of work is beyond a typical DIY project since you will not know the extent of the problem until you have already started your work.  Considering how toxic mold is and the health ramifications of dealing with it the best course of action is to call TechClean industries, so we can send out trained professionals out with the proper equipment and protection to deal with the mold.

If you have hard surfaces, they can be treated with commercial products containing ammonia. Basement mold removal on tile or linoleum can also be performed with vinegar or a borax and water solution. Make sure you are properly protected so you do not breath in these chemicals or allow any contact with your skin.

Mold in the basement is a common problem, but by understanding how to troubleshoot effected areas, there are ways to prevent and control mold growth, therefore avoid the potentially costly and unhealthy spread of basement mold. 

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