After a basement floods, one thing you want to be careful about is mold and fungus growth. Mold can cause serious health issues for you and your entire family. The sad truth is, if you let it get out of control and take over your home, it can be incredibly difficult to get rid of.
Here’s what you need to know about mold growth in a wet basement or crawl space.
What is it?
Mold and mildew are fungi. Fungi are neither plant nor animal. There are approximately 100,000 species of fungi that have been detected worldwide. Mold is found in humid and wet areas, such as a wet basement. This mold is different from the organic kind found in the “great outdoors”.
While both are fungi that send their spores flying through the air, there is a difference between the two. Mildew is commonly grey or white while mold is usually black, red, green, brown or a combination of these colors.
Why is it bad?
Mold thrives in damp and humid environments and – as it grows – releases spores into the air. Those spores can make people very sick if inhaled. Toxic mold can irritate your eyes and your respiratory system. Exposure can lead to allergic reaction symptoms like sneezing, running nose, itchy eyes, congestion or even skin irritations. This poor air quality can trigger asthma attacks and cause serious problems for individuals who have weakened immune systems.
Where does it come from?
Mold spores can get into your home through open doorways, windows, air conditioning units, heating systems, and any other open spaces that lead into your home. It is also possible for spores to attach themselves to clothing, shoes, and pets.
Once these spores land in a space where there is extensive moisture, like a leaky basement, they will grow and grow very quickly.
Wet materials including paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood and various other products encourage many different types of mold to grow. Other materials such as paint, wallpaper, drywall, carpet, insulation and upholstery also easily support growth if there is moisture and humidity in the area.
How to get rid of it
If you find mold in your basement it is important to take care of it right away by removing the spores and sanitizing the area. If you find signs of it on furniture or carpet, it’s safer to completely remove and replace them instead of trying to save them. However, there are a number of commercial brand and natural products that can be used to remove the stuff from hard surfaces.
One of the best ways to get rid of mold in your basement is to tear out the contaminated areas and replace them with fresh materials. If you can’t do that, then your best option is to attempt to remove the problem with bleach or a mixuture of borax and vinegar. Bleach reduces the mold count and neutralizes harmful bacteria, but it doesn’t completely kill it.
After you have checked every corner and crevice in your basement for mold and cleaned it all out, then you have to go back and make sure to sanitize each area multiple times until you’re satisfied that everything is clean. Once your basement is clean make sure it gets completely dry…otherwise you may end up with another problem!
Prevent future growth
Keep your basement mold-free by installing dehumidifiers and keeping the humidity in your home low. If your home is prone to basement flooding, then you might also want to invest in basement waterproofing services to keep the area dry.
Looking for help?
Do you have any questions about mold and mildew? Don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Toledo Basement Repair. We promise to treat you and your project with respect and our best professional judgment. There is plenty of work out there and Toledo Basement Repair will not push you into a system that you do not fully understand or feel comfortable with.
Let’s start a conversation about the health of your basement! Give us a call TODAY! (419) 297-6138