Did you ever see the episode of The King of Queens where Doug and Carrie go on vacation and Arthur calls them to say there’s a mold problem in the basement that will cost $7,000 to fix?
It made for a funny plotline, but the truth is, mold is no joke.
In this blog post, we’ll tell you what you need to know about mold in the home — why it’s serious, the warning signs to watch for, and what to do if you suspect a mold problem at home.
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that grows in damp places. There are many types of mold. In nature, its job is to help with the decomposition of organic matter.
Mold becomes a problem when it grows inside a home. Damp basements and crawl spaces are ideal breeding grounds for mold, but any moist or wet area will do. A leaking pipe, a leaky roof, and window condensation can all lead to mold growth.
Because mold often grows beneath floors and behind walls, a home can be infested with large mold colonies without being seen.
Top Warning Signs of Mold in the Home
Here are some of the top warning signs that you may have a mold infestation that requires basement waterproofing or foundation repair.
- A damp or musty smell. If you smell a damp, musty, or earthy odor, you might have a mold problem. That’s because mold secretes a pungent odor, and it’s one of the biggest giveaways that mold is taking hold in your home. Yet, some homeowners are so used to the smell that they aren’t even aware of it. If you are unsure, ask a friend or family member to stop by and sniff for themselves.
- Black spots or stains. Mold often appears as dark spots or stains on walls and insulation. But there are many types of mold which look very different — from gray or green furry tufts to white streaks to colorful splotches of orange, pink, or purple. (Trust us, it’s not nearly as pretty as it sounds.)
- Peeling wallpaper or paint. If you see bubbling, cracking, or peeling in wallpaper, it means moisture has gotten under the paper and weakened the glue. Mold loves to grow in these damp pockets, hiding just out of sight.
- Damp, humid basement. Basements are a prime breeding ground for mold. That’s because they are usually colder than other rooms in a home, and cool temperatures create condensation. In addition, cracks in the foundation can allow water to enter and provide a place for mold to grow.
- Condensation on windows and pipes. Mold thrives in areas where condensation creates moisture.
- Allergies and health problems. Toxins released by mold can cause serious health problems. Symptoms of mold exposure can include red and watery eyes, sneezing, itchiness, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. People with asthma or weak immune systems may be especially susceptible.
How to Prevent Mold in Your Home
It’s much easier to prevent mold than get rid of it once it’s there. Follow these six tips to help reduce the risk of mold in your home.
- Eliminate leaks and other sources of moisture. Mold needs moisture to grow. Repair all leaking pipes and plumbing fixtures to help keep mold at bay. A foundation waterproofing professional can help.
- Use a dehumidifier. Run a dehumidifier in the basement or any area of your home that feels damp or musty. Aim to keep humidity levels at less than 50 percent.
- Ensure proper ventilation. Make sure your kitchen and (especially) bathrooms have adequate ventilation. Run bathroom fans while in the bath or shower to help remove moisture from the air.
- Keep bathrooms clean. Clean sinks, drains, and shower walls regularly. Hang wet towels instead of leaving them on the floor.
- Change furnace filters regularly. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are best for trapping mold spores and preventing their circulation throughout a home.
- Get help from a pro. Schedule an appointment for a free foundation waterproofing evaluation to make sure your home is free of water leaks and signs of mold.
Request a Free Home Mold Inspection and Basement Waterproofing Evaluation
If you suspect that your home may have a mold problem, or if you have noticed any of the mold warning signs above, it is essential to get help right away. Left unchecked, even a small mold infestation can spread and pose serious threats to your home and health.
Contact Zander Solutions to schedule a free basement waterproofing evaluation today. Our waterproofing pros are seasoned vets certified in the industry’s leading techniques for residential and commercial mold removal, restoration, and foundation repair. If you have a problem, they’ll find the source and prescribe the most effective remedy at a price that can’t be beat.