When moisture finds it’s way into your basement from leaking cracks in the foundation walls or floor, mold is a common side effect. This is caused by the humid conditions allowing it to thrive and grow. Mold can cause a variety of health problems, especially if anybody in your home has existing respiratory health concerns. Mold does not look intimidating, it just looks like something you need to wipe off the wall and forget about. This could not be further from the truth.
This is a serious health concern that many home owners just ignore until it is too late!
Mold seems to be everywhere. We see it on trees and plants, maybe even on that fruit or bread that you left sitting on the counter for too long. Anywhere that’s dark and damp is a perfect place for mold to grow. Many people don’t realize that this pesky intruder is actually a member of the fungi kingdom. It’s neither a plant nor animal, but it can be dangerous to either.
Mold is so common, that we often forget just how dangerous it can be to family, pets, and even our possessions. As with other fungi, mold is bred from spores. These microscopic invaders can find their way into even the best maintained of homes. They are carried on the air all the time and need only find a suitable habitat to begin growing. These habitats are as varied as the mold itself.
There are many places in the home that mold can grow and it’s almost impossible to keep it out. In certain humid climates, it’s actually recommended to have your home in a state of over-pressure, where there air pressure inside is higher than that outside, preventing spores from entering on currents of hot, humid air. For most of us, however, this isn’t going to be the case, so we need to know the places mold likes to grow.
Air conditioners are one of the favorite places for spore colonies to thrive. The hot air being pulled out of the room combined with the moisture AC’s extract makes for the perfect breeding conditions. This is compounded by the practice of many people to leave their air conditioners in the always on position, rather than auto. This aids mold growth by blowing air over the extracted water before it has a chance to drain away, keeping a constant supply of fresh spores in the air.
Anywhere in the home where moisture is present can harbor mold and in many of these places, moisture is so common we don’t give it a second thought. Whole house fans and humidifiers, bathrooms and basements, even open windows can aid the spread of mold spores. If your basement is the main area of concern, a basement or foundation repair service can many time perform mold removal and guarantee a waterproof seal for the future as well. Impermeable materials like vinyl wall coverings are another prime candidate, as mold can grow between the covering and the wallboard behind and not be noticed for some time. Anywhere that has previously been flooded or exposed to leaks, even small ones, should be considered suspect for the growth of mold as well.
Since the mold spores are airborne, we inhale them with every breath. Many people are allergic to some degree to molds and mold has been linked to respiratory problems in children who were otherwise perfectly healthy. Normal, healthy people can resist a certain number of mold spores in our systems, but as the amount of mold in a home increases, or our immune system is weakened, the spores can overcome our systems and lead to a number of health issues, such as coughing, wheezing respiratory tract infection and in some cases even skin irritation and chronic lung problems.
Mold in your home is capable of causing untold damage. It’s often a mystery where these problems come from and people don’t realize that the safety of their own homes is what is making them sick. But mold can be controlled and with the help of professionals, even the most mold infested home can be safe to live in.