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Basements and Mold

Basements and Mold

If you have a basement in your home, chances are you find it a convenient place to store things, but the problem is, you might be storing moisture there as well. This moisture could be causing mold. There isn’t just one type of mold that can be found in your basement and, while all molds are unsightly, certain types of them can also be toxic for humans. There are two different kinds of molds:

 

Allergenic molds are molds that are not usually a health risk unless you’re highly sensitive to mold or have asthma. Be aware, however, that certain types of allergenic molds are carcinogenic and have been found to grow in human tissue.

Mycotoxin molds are toxic for humans and pets and should be handled and removed with extreme care.

 

Here’s a table describing the most common types of mold that may be found in your basement area.

Name Description Allergenic Mycotoxin
Aspergillus (very common in household mold growth) Dark Green; grows on walls, ceilings and furniture and found in areas that are relatively dry Yes Some types
Fusarium (grows very quickly) Light Yellow; grows on carpets, damp walls, standing water and often around HVAC systems No Yes
Cladosporium (common in cooler conditions) Black; grows where lots of condensation exists, window AC units, window sills, shower curtains, bathroom ceilings Yes No
Stachybotrys (known as “black mold”) Black; grows in areas that are very wet with low light; distinct musty odor Yes Yes

 

Things That Will Lead to Mold Growth in Your Basement

  1. Excessive Moisture: In order to grow, mold requires oxygen, moisture, and organic material. Often, basements may have excessive moisture due to condensation or sometimes even foundations that are leaky.
  2. Poor Ventilation: This causes condensation, which leads to moisture build up and humidity, and can eventually lead to mold.
  3. Cracks in Foundation: Basements are often the site of frequent leaks. While even the best built foundation can eventually leak from years of wear and tear, one of the most common causes of basement leaks is a faulty or damaged foundation. 
  4. Water Heater Failure: In many homes, the water heater can be found in the basement. Even if your water heater has a small leak, it can cause standing water and moisture in your basement that may eventually lead to mold. Additionally, when complete water heater failure occurs, there’s often significant flooding that can cause standing water and damage to floors and walls.
  5. Flash Floods: Natural causes can also contribute to leaky foundations, such as hydro-static pressure. An example of this would be flash floods, which can cause high amounts of water to build up in the soil against your basement’s foundation.

 

These are just a few of the common causes of leaks in basements. Remember: keeping a cool, dry, environment can keep your basement free of mold growth.

 

If you notice or suspect mold in your basement, contact Ace Mold Proof as soon as possible! We can help you identify, remove and prevent mold growth in your home. This will not only protect the value of your house but the health of your family as well!