A friend of mine recently bought a 20-year-old house. Before finalizing the deal, she had a home inspector come take a look at the house and he found only a few minor problems so she decided to move forward with the purchase. Within a week of moving into their new home, she was getting terrible headaches and her baby developed a chronic cough, watery eyes and a runny nose. As it turns out, there was mold in the house that had not been detected by the inspection and the previous owner had neglected to mention that there had been leaking in the basement. They thought that because they had undertaken basement waterproofing after discovering the leak that the problem had been solved.
Of course basement waterproofing will prevent further water from entering, but it can’t dry out your basement or prevent mold from growing where water has already been. Mold needs three things to grow: water or high humidity, a food source, and a suitable temperature. In most homes, the missing element is humidity, so once that is introduced, mold is very likely to occur.
Signs There May Be Mold in the House
Not all mold is easily visible. Be aware of some of the indicators.
• Allergic reactions that worsen when you are at home, including nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, sore eyes, and asthma attacks.
• Other health problems such as headaches, dizziness and trouble concentrating can indicate the presence of toxic mold.
• Moldy, musty or damp smell in your basement.
• Water stains, discoloration of walls, floors or ceilings or damp surfaces indicate water leaks, past or present. Water leaks or flooding in your basement create prime growing conditions for mold which can be hiding out of sight behind walls, under flooring or other surfaces.
Mold Testing and Remediation
If you suspect that there is mold in your house, mold testing is the best way to find out for certain. Home test kits are available and some university departments or extension offices offer analysis or you can hire a professional mold testing company. There are several thousand strains of mold that exist and we come into contact with many of them on a daily basis. Most strains are harmless but there are some that can cause serious problems. The only way to find out what type of mold is in your home is by testing.
If mold testing shows that mold is present in your home, mold remediation experts will isolate the area, kill and remove the mold and clean the area.
If you have a leaky basement or mold issues in your home, you’ll want to deal with them right away before the problem gets out of control and the mold starts to affect your health and damage your home. Talk to your local foundation repair or mold remediation expert to find out more.