Mold is an important part of the ecosystem that can be found naturally in soil and on virtually any organic matter where moisture is present. However, mold has no place in your home's basement.
New homeowners may be unfamiliar with the threat of mold in the basement and how it gets there in the first place. Here's what you should know about mold in your basement to identify and remove this unwelcome fungus.
Why is Mold Common in Basements?
Mold is commonly found in basements because the basement is the part of your home that is most likely to have a problem with excess moisture. Groundwater can enter your basement through cracks in your foundation walls. As the lowest point of your home, your basement will also collect moisture from any plumbing leaks hidden behind your walls.
Mold spores may first enter your home by clinging to someone's clothing or when they are carried through the air via an open window. A lingering musty odor in the basement is often the first sign of a basement mold colony. Mold releases spores that can stay suspended in the air for hours at a time. Brown, black, or green stains may appear on your basement walls and floor when mold has taken hold.
What are the Risks of Basement Mold?
A moldy basement isn't a problem you should leave on the back burner. The airborne mold spores previously mentioned can easily circulate through your home's HVAC system. Breathing mold spores has been shown to irritate asthma and allergy symptoms and contribute to respiratory disorders. Long-term exposure to mold spores may be linked to certain neurological disorders, such as insomnia.
In addition to the health risks, mold can pose a threat to your home. Mold can infiltrate and degrade virtually any porous material in the structure of your home. This includes wood framing, drywall, ceiling tiles, and more.
How do you Resolve a Basement Mold Infestation?
You may be able to get rid of small-scale mold outbreaks in your basement by scrubbing them with diluted bleach or baking soda and vinegar. However, there is no guarantee that the mold won't return with a quick fix such as this. Basement mold remediation should consist of three steps: eliminating the source of moisture, isolating the mold-affected area to prevent spore transfer, and removing or cleaning any mold-damaged surfaces.
A large mold infestation in your basement should always be left to mold remediation contractors. These professionals have specialized training, safety gear, and cleaning solutions to tackle mold colonies of any size. Contact a local mold removal company so you can avoid the unnecessary complications of basement mold.