A home is a place where we grow up. It should be a healthy, happy and safe environment but there is a lurking fungus all around us waiting for the right moment to attack. This fungus is mold. It is in the air we breathe in the form of spores, and the levels change seasonally. You breathe them in daily, but they are usually harmless. We eat different types of mold such as mushrooms or blue cheese.The wooly, spore-producing mold latches onto damp organic matter, such as sheetrock backing and wood. It can even grow on inorganic matter like glass, metals or concrete as long as oxygen and moisture are available.
Mold is all around us, making up nearly 25% of the earth’s biomass, so we must live in harmony. Harmony is sometimes not possible like a noisy neighbor; mold can get out of control in the right environment. Your home has all the right ingredients to make mold get out of hand.
Not all mold is dangerous. Sometimes we find it growing on bathroom grout or around kitchen faucets. We use cleansers to remove them or keep those damp areas dry. Sometimes we cannot see the mold growth in between walls where a leaking pipe can be feeding a brood forming on a wood beam. There could be mold growing in the gutters of your basement drainage system or behind a basement wall that is damp from the last rainstorm.Stachybotrys is one of the several well-known toxic molds that grow only on organic matter. Particularly cellulose materials like trees. Inside your home, there is a wealth of cellulose-based materials to feed on; insulation, sheetrock wall backing, lumber, etc. These materials must be chronically wet, in a poorly ventilated area, for toxic mold to spread by releasing spores. These spores produce mycotoxins.
Mycotoxin is the bad part. Its heavy and cannot evaporate. If left untouched you could live unaffected, but you may want to do something about it because the mold produces a strong musty odor. The moment you rip open that wall to find the source of the odor you will release the mycotoxins into the air.
Upon inhaling, the mold spore toxic molecules enter your lungs and may cause long-term health issues, especially to those less immune. That is why during a home renovation, any and all precautions are taken when mold is spotted. Remediation is essential whether the mold is harmful or not. It will solve both health and odor issues.
You can attempt to remediate the situation yourself with dehumidifiers, moisture absorbing canisters, or deodorizers, but you are using a band-aid on a broken leg. It will still be there. You are masking the problem temporarily. It will cost you time and most likely more money than having the mold removed by a professional.
To maintain a healthy home after a mold remediation:
- Make sure there are no leaking water pipes.
- You may require a dehumidification system connected to your HVAC or a separate unit for the basement to help reduce condensation.
- Ventilate the area by opening doors and windows once a week, or more often depending on the season.
- Make sure you are managing your groundwater with an adequate drainage system and sump pump.
Your basement is the number one location in your home to attract mold and mildew. Make sure you have an efficient basement drainage system that is mold retardent and takes groundwater away from your walls and floor. You need a robust sump pump system to handle the amount of groundwater reaching your drainage system after a rainstorm, especially a storm that lasts several days.
American Dry Basement Systems is an expert solutions provider in mold remediation, drainage systems, sump pumps and concrete repair. Give us a call or fill out our form online and we will be happy to do a no obligation inspection and give you a written quote on the spot.