Today we are discussing Mold-yes the good, the bad, the ugly, and a solution! Learn when it is beneficial, when it is not, and what to do about it. Yes, there are some things that are good about mold, a lot of yuck about mold, but the best news is we have your solution to mold!
If you have ever taken penicillin, had a bite of bread or a glass of wine, then you have mold to thank. The “good” parts of it come in the form of medicines, bread yeast, fermentation of wines and the breaking down of dead matter in nature. So yes, mold is beneficial and important to the cycle of life. There are many different types of mold and some are much more harmful than others but if any is found in your home or workplace there is nothing good about it. We will address that later on.
Mold is technically neither plant nor animal but in the fungi category. This is because it does not have chlorophyll (the part that makes plants green), it does have defined cell walls, and reproduces through spores. Since it does not contain chlorophyll which is what makes plants green, it does not require sunlight to grow. (One reason it loves your basements, crawl spaces, walls and bathrooms)
Mold requires three things to grow: moisture, something to eat, and the presence of spores (baby mold). When these things are present at the right temperature, growth can happen very quickly-sometimes in just 24 hours. Guess where you find places that carry all of these things needed to grow? That’s right- basements and crawl spaces. Ideally, your basement or crawlspace is dry with very low moisture levels but in most cases, moisture levels run high. Add in the susceptibility for water leakage from windows, foundational cracks or waterproofing failures and boom- the moisture level surges. As for a food source, basements and crawl spaces usually have wood components, drywall, and old carpeting, a surplus of cardboard boxes, etc. Mold does not feed on the wood and drywall itself but instead consumes nutrients on the surface of these things.
So we have established what mold needs to thrive and how our basements and crawl spaces provide that perfect environment for its growth. Let’s talk about the really ugly part of this-how dangerous it can be to our health. The Alabama Department of Public Health says that commonly reported symptoms caused by indoor mold are allergy symptoms such as:
- Nasal and sinus congestion
- Wheezing/breathing difficulties
- Sore throat
- Skin and eye irritation
- Upper respiratory infections (including sinus)
These symptoms can be just the beginning for those with weaker immune systems such as small children or the elderly. Mold toxicity is a very real problem for many households and sadly they never connect the dots on what is making them sick. Black mold and other types can quickly cause major health problems or even death after exposure. It is recommended if any species is present at all to seek professional help.
Is there a musty smell in your crawl space or basement? Can you see visible evidence of mold or mildew growth? Is there condensation on the windows or damp earth underfoot? Please contact us for an evaluation. We are the waterproofing experts and can offer the best plan of action based on experience, past successes, and technical attention. We offer basement and crawlspace waterproofing and crawlspace encapsulation. Here is an example of a crawl space dealing with moisture and before we treated it with encapsulation and after. The difference is phenomenal. Moisture, mold, and mildew are no fun to do deal with but we take the stress out of it for you as much as possible. You will have one point of contact throughout the process who will handle your case professionally and efficiently.
We hope you have learned a little bit of the good, the bad, the ugly, and a solution regarding mold today. If you even think you may have the start of an issue happening, contact us and we can get started today.