Basement mold can’t be ignored. In fact, there could already be mold growing throughout your home, even if you haven’t seen it yet. Know the indicators that you have a mold issue, how to handle it and how to keep it gone.
Whether your family is already experiencing the health effects of toxic mold in your South Carolina home or you just want to be on the safe side, it’s vital to know the proper way to tackle mold. So can you simply grab some supplies from the dollar store and scrub it away? Is this a job for professionals? Or is your home already too far gone to be saved?
Mold: It’s Even More Serious Than You Think
Is a little mold really that bad?
Maybe it is just beginning to show up inside your home, or you just noticed it down in the basement last time you put something in storage. Should you be worried?
By the time you notice basement mold or other molds throughout your home, it has already been growing for a while. There could be a whole lot more mold in your house than you can imagine. It can grow between the walls and floors, and in your attic and crawl space too.
Exposure to toxic mold can have immediate impacts on your health. Even a small amount of mold and the environment it breeds in can agitate asthma and allergies. Especially in children and seniors.
If you rent even a part of this house out or try to resell it, you could have serious legal liabilities. It can trigger lifelong health issues for your guests, tenants or the next owners.
If there is mold present in your South Carolina property then it is just a symptom of even more problems. There could be other structural and health hazards that need rapid attention too. Until you deal with these root causes the mold will just keep coming back. There could be other even more serious threats that could sink your home before you even notice the mold coming back again.
Don’t Wait Until You See The Mold
Once you notice the mold, it has potentially already become a much more intensive and expensive problem to deal with than you want to take on right now. Be alert to these signs of mold and stop it before it starts.
You might be used to seeing mold’s cousin mildew around your home. Especially on exterior siding, around windows and in bathrooms. Mildew is typically grey, white or yellow and sits on the surface. It is a sign of damp conditions that are also conducive to mold. Mold, on the other hand, typically grows out of sight on the underside of these surfaces and is black or green. If you have recurring mildew, there’s a good chance you also have growing mold spores lurking underneath. If you’ve just been cleaning the visible mildew for a couple of years, it is probably time for a deeper inspection.
Even without seeing mildew or mold, you may notice occasional musty smells. Don’t ignore it, cover it up with air freshener, or flush pipe cleaner down your drains. There could be a more serious mold and water issue. It could be a leaky pipe, previous leak, septic tank problem, faulty DIY plumbing job or dampness caused by water intrusion. Sooner or later that will lead to poisonous mold.
Above Normal Moisture Levels
When you purchased your house, your home inspector should have tested and alerted you to any higher-than-normal moisture levels. This may not have seemed like such an urgent issue with so many other cosmetic items on the list, yet it can be one of the most serious. High moisture levels in the walls indicate an ongoing leak. There could have even been a very active mold problem the previous owners covered with drywall, paint or new flooring. It’s not uncommon when people are really desperate to sell or are trying to flip houses for a fast profit.
Moisture and wood are what mold feeds on. There is plenty of that in your home that you don’t see. Even if you don’t have a toxic mold problem yet, elevated humidity levels alone attract pests and rodents and will drive up your utility bills.
You may also notice cracks in basement walls or warping of floors and doorways.
There is a reason mold removal experts wear protective, full-body hazmat suits and respirators. It’s a dangerous job. It may require cutting out infected materials and replacing them.
Basement mold may also require further investigation into whether there are deeper foundation flaws and leaks that need to be fixed before you can keep mold out.
When it isn’t this serious, waterproofing measures like new sump pumps, vapor barriers, interior drainage, and dehumidifiers can help. Get a pro opinion first with a free inspection and estimate to understand what you are dealing with. Then assess your options for remediation and prevention.