Can Basement Mold Make You Sick?

Can Basement Mold Make You Sick?

Mold is a nightmare that can cause various infections and allergies which can seriously impact your health. Statistics show that around 4.6 million asthma cases are the result of mold and dampness in homes and offices. That's pretty shocking, right? Here's what you should know about the common nature of mold, the health and property damage it can cause, and the best remediation approach.

How Common Is Mold In The Basement?

About 45 million buildings in the United States have mold. Is the smell in your basement musty and pungent? If yes, then there is a high chance that you have mold. You may also notice some green, gray or black patches and stains on your floor, ceiling, or basement walls. Molds are quite common in damp and humid areas like basements, bathrooms, and attics.

What Causes Mold In Basement Areas?

The primary factors that lead to mold forming in the basement are excessive moisture and oxygen. Spills, leaks, and cracks in your foundation can all increase the moisture levels and accelerate the spread of mold. Such issues are not always easy to detect, and most people will never know their foundation needs repairs until they start seeing signs of mold in the basement.

It's never fun discovering mold in your house, but determining the causes of mold in basement makes it easier for professionals to fix the issue. Other than problems with the foundation, your basement can have excessive moisture due to:

  • Condensation from the shower and kitchen appliances
  • Flooding
  • Wet clothing
  • Improper ventilation
  • Water vapor from gas heaters
  • Poorly functioning HVAC system
Can Basement Mold Make You Sick?
Is Mold Affecting Your Health?
Is Mold Affecting Your Health?
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Why Is Mold In Basement Dangerous?

Mold growing in the basement is dangerous because it harms your belongings and health. It also increases the chance of cross-contamination where the mold spores can spread to other parts of your house. Here are the dangerous effects of mold:

  • Damages the materials: Molds love organic materials. They'll digest the carbon on these materials to expand their growth. The damage will start becoming noticeable with time and in most cases requires the full replacement of the affected materials.
  • Damages the surfaces: Mold in basements will start spreading into porous surfaces like the drywall and ceiling and compromise the curb appeal of your property, or lead to structural degradation.
  • Harms your health: Mold growth can cause a variety of health problems including fungal allergy, respiratory infection, and asthma. The health complications will depend on your immunity and level of exposure.

Does Insurance Cover Mold In Basements?

Most homeowners wonder if house insurance will cover the mold damage. Unless the mold formation was caused by a covered peril, your insurance company may not cover it. In cases where flooding has caused mold infestation, some insurance companies will only cover it if you have a separate flood insurance policy.

How to Test for Mold in Basement?

If you suspect black mold in your basement, there is a way that you can find out for sure. Expert mold testing using the latest technology is vital because it helps you confirm your suspicion. The testing will also determine the type of mold found and if it's toxic or not.

But what does basement mold look like? There are over a thousand mold species out there, and the testing results will let you know exactly what you're dealing with. Having this information in hand is vital in determining the most effective way to fight it. The common types of mold include:

  • White Mold

    White mold in basements grows in areas with a high amount of moisture. Though this type of mold does not produce mycotoxins, it can cause severe health complications in the respiratory system. If you identify that this is the type of mold present in your home or business, get a professional to guide you on how to get rid of it and prevent it in the future.

  • Black Mold

    Black mold is commonly found on the walls of the basement. This type of mold requires immediate action because it releases tiny spores full of mycotoxins which are dangerous and cause numerous health issues. It's best to leave it to mold removal professionals who know the most effective and safest technique to get rid of it.

  • Green Mold

    This type of mold is less commonly found indoors, but it comes in various colors and can travel easily through the air and spread to other areas of the house. You should call an experienced basement mold remediation expert as it requires a special approach to remove the green mold from your home.

How to Check for Mold in Basement

You might be wondering how can you check for mold in the basement. Now that you know how basement mold looks like, checking for it is the first step of getting rid of mold in the basement. Some of the ways to check mold include:

  • Visually probing the area and searching for mold signs in the basement (visual mold inspection).
  • Inspect the mold-prone basement walls, floors and baseboards for mold stains.
  • Check for notice strange basement odors.
  • Closely inspect the insulation, drywall, and organic surfaces in the basement.
  • Look at your belongings stored in the basement.
  • Closely inspect the closet and shelves in the basement.
  • Check the paint or wallpaper for signs of peeling.

If you realize that you have mold, start searching for professionals who can help. Certified mold testing experts have specialized tools to perform air tests, surface tests, and bulk tests. They will collect surface samples and mold air samples using special air traps, to come up with an effective plan on how to kill mold in the basement.

How to Get Rid Of Mold in Basement

Once you identify the mold type, the challenge now is how to get rid of black mold in basement. Note that if you are not experienced in mold removal, you should avoid trying to remove it yourself since you can end up spreading the mold all over the house and make the situation worse. That's why this task is best left for professionals.

How to Remove Mold from Basement

The best way to remove mold in the basement is to find a professional mold removal company with a good track record. Hiring the right company for the job is the only way to get the best results at competitive basement mold removal costs. Depending on the extent of the mold growth, they may completely seal the basement to prevent its spread and will then work on removing the mold.

How to Kill Mold in Basement

There are different products available to kill mold, but you need to be cautious. Most products don't kill mold completely and can be harmful to your health. Professionals know the best eco-friendly mold cleaning products to achieve results without posing a danger to your family and home environment.

How to Remove Mold from Concrete Basement Walls

Do you have molds on your concrete basement walls? The first step is to assess the condition of the wall and the extent of the mold growth. If the wall is sound but covered with molds, cleaning the wall with special solutions will do the trick. But if the mold has outgrown into the drywall, you will have to remove all of the affected porous materials and replace them. Since this is not a small feat to accomplish, it's best to hire experts for the task.

Removing mold growth from concrete walls is less challenging. All that's needed to eradicate mold from the concrete are quality chemicals to spray on the surfaces. Professionals know the best products to buy depending on your specific mold type.

How to Clean Mold off Basement Walls

Most people assume that simply cleaning the mold is enough to get rid of it. But this is far from the truth and the mold will likely return after a short period of time. That is because cleaning it only removes mold from the surface, but it doesn't remove the mold that has already penetrated into the material itself.

How to Get Rid Of Mold Smell in Basement

If your basement has mold, you may also notice a strong and musty smell that is produced by some mold types. An air freshener won't help here and the smell will keep coming back until all the mold growth is removed. The best and most effective way to get rid of the mold and mildew smell is to have mold professionals handle the mold removal. They will ensure that all the moisture problems causing the mold will be addressed, and will advise you on how to keep your home properly ventilated.

How to Stop Mold in Basement

Following mold prevention tips is crucial even after mold remediation. Here's what you can do to stop mold in the basement:

  • Be keen on humidity levels because mold thrives on humidity.
  • Learn to keep your basements moisture prone areas dry.
  • Regularly open the windows to air out the moisture.
  • Fix all water issues like leakages as soon as they happen.
  • Keep the moisture away from ceilings, walls, and floors with fan or humidifier.

How to Treat Mold in Basement

Mold treatment is a process of completely eradicating mold in the basement. It requires a lot of special equipment, methods, and experience to get the best results. You will need the help of mold remediation experts to get the work done. A professional mold treatment procedure involves:

  • Determining the mold type
  • Addressing the moisture issues
  • Removing mold from the affected areas
  • Removing airborne mold spores for the indoor air
  • Disinfection and sanitization

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew in Basement

The best and most effective way of preventing molds in your basement is having proper ventilation. You also need to ensure there is no excess moisture present and address any water leaks. It is also vital to do regular mold inspections to eliminate the problem before it escalates. If you experience an emergency like a flood, take action as soon as possible.

Mold and mildew are both fungi, but mildew appears fluffy and powdery. Both breed in humidity-sufficient areas and can be prevented with similar approaches. Speak to a mold specialist if you need additional information on mold prevention.

Talk to FDP Mold Remediation for Professional Services

Mold removal is not a simple DIY project. A slight mistake could put you, your loved ones, and your property in danger.

At FDP Mold Remediation, we have the experience, skills, and tools required to deal with different types of mold in your basement. We are available 24/7 for all mold emergencies in New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Call us now at 877-421-2614 to find out more about our mold inspection, mold testing, mold remediation, and basement mold removal services.


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Jacob Smith

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Jacob Smith is a mold remediation expert at . He has over twenty years of experience in the field and likes to write about mold when he is not remediating this fungus from someone's home or facility.

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