It’s fairly easy to overlook or ignore a small patch of mold growing on the walls in your basement. You might even think you’ve solved the problem when you wipe the area with a bleach solution that seems to make the mold disappear.
The trouble is, you haven’t addressed the underlying issue – the reason that you’ve got mold growing in the first place. And with our years of experience in mold removal in Baltimore, we can tell you that there are probably several other places in your basement where mold is growing. (It likes to hide behind storage cabinets, in dark corners, etc.)
Unfortunately, ignoring mold growth in your basement can have health consequences for you and your family. Mold allergies can cause a whole range of unpleasant symptoms.
How mold affects you
Molds reproduce by tiny spores that float through the air. When a spore lands on a damp, wet surface mold can grow. The health problems with mold begin when a person inhales or touches mold or mold spores. If there is no initial allergic reaction, it can develop with repeat exposure. Moreover, mold is known to aggravate existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma.
In 2004, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report called “Damp Indoor Spaces and Health.” The report summary noted that “Excessive dampness is not only a problem by itself but also a contributor to several potentially problematic exposures… Scientific evidence reviewed in the report links mold and other factors related to damp conditions in homes and buildings to asthma symptoms in some people with the chronic disorder, as well as to coughing, wheezing, and upper respiratory tract symptoms in otherwise healthy people.” The IOM report also found evidence linking mold exposure to respiratory illnesses in otherwise healthy children.
An article on mold on Weather.com notes that “some researchers believe more serious effects may result from mold exposure, including fever, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, respiratory dysfunction (including coughing up blood), frequent and excessive nose bleeds, dizziness, headaches, diarrhea, vomiting and liver damage.”
Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Although there’s still a lot that scientists don’t know about the effect of mold on our health, research on the subject is continuing. But you don’t want to wait for research to be published to protect your family from possible harm. Why risk their health when there is a solution?
Controlling the growth of mold
According to the Mold Basics brochure published by U.S. Centers for Disease Control, “indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors.” This means you must both remove mold and determine the underlying moisture problem that is causing growth. Failing to fix this problem is likely to cause mold to grow again after you remove the signs of it.
Your basement and your bathroom are two primary areas for mold growth, because the mold spores thrive in damp environments.
In the bathroom
- Install exhaust fan that will vent the heat and moisture.
- Make sure the fan is powerful enough for the size of your bathroom.
- Remember to turn on the fans every time you bathe or shower, even in winter when outside humidity is relatively low.
In the basement
- If the cause of moisture is not evident, call your Baltimore mold remediation experts to determine how the water is getting in.
- Fix existing cracks and gaps in the foundation walls and flooring.
- Get a dehumidifier to remove access moisture from the air.
- Discard materials damaged by mold: porous items, such as cloth, paper, wood, etc. are typically not salvageable unless you decide to remove and replace contaminated parts.
- Have professionals remove existent mold growth.
After more than a quarter-century in the waterproofing business our pros at Guardian Basement Waterproofing know how to uncover the reasons for mold growth – and we know how to provide the services and the solutions that will prevent it in the future. Don’t risk your family’s health by ignoring a mold problem. You’ll all breathe easier when you don’t have to worry that every trip to your basement will expose you to mold.