Causes of Mold in Basement
Basements are often damp most of the times. This is because the basement gets no sunlight, and very little ventilation. Mold in a basement that is not regularly used will probably go unnoticed for a long time. If your family experiences allergy symptoms you may consider testing your basement for mold. This is because if the basement has mold the spores will move to the living spaces and cause allergy symptoms when inhaled. Mold in the basement thrives on some of the building materials such as the drywall, wood and insulation.
Some of the sources of moisture in the basement include leaking pipes and intrusion of ground water into the basement through cracks in the walls. This moisture contribute to mold growing in the basement.
Signs of Mold in Basement
Signs of mold in basement include musty odor and signs of moisture damage. Because of the still air in the basement, moldy odors build up and become very noticeable. Don’t ignore a musty or moldy smell in the basement as it probably
means you have a basement mold problem. Areas where there are signs of water damage or leaks are likely spots for mold growth.
Where to look for mold in the basement
Mold grows on the surfaces of damp organic items or building materials. In the basement, these surfaces can be found everywhere such as drywall, wooden building frames, carpet, insulation, wallpaper, furniture or cardboard boxes.
How To Test For Mold In The Basement
Airborne spores produced by mold in the basement can cause symptoms of mold allergy such as sneezing; runny or stuffy nose; cough; itchy eyes, nose and throat; and watery eyes. Therefore, if you constantly experience these symptoms when inside a building, it’s possible that the building could be infested with mold in the basement. However since there are other indoor contaminants that can cause allergy symptoms mold testing is recommended.
If you cannot see visible mold growth in the basement but you detect musty odor then you could test the air in your house for mold. Samples can be collected from the basement, kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and the bathroom. Air testing for mold can be performed by professionals for you or you can collect samples yourself using the same mold test kits and laboratories used by the professionals. The advantage of air testing is that it helps to determine whether there is hidden mold growth and also whether your family is exposed to airborne black mold spores. The only difference between hiring a professional and collecting samples and sending them directly to the laboratory yourself is that you save a lot of money. If you would consider collecting your own air samples click here. Unlike black mold, white fuzzy mold in basement may sometimes be mistaken for efflorescence. To collect samples of visible mold on basement walls or other surfaces, click here.