Some waterproofing companies may tell you that mold in your crawlspace or basement is not a big deal and has little to no impact on your health. This is absolutely not true. The effects of mold and dampness on your home and health are both very very serious. Let’s take a deep dive together and learn why stopping mold growth in your home is absolutely the best decision for your home and your health.
The 3 Requirements for Mold Growth
No home can eradicate mold completely and forever. After all, we use water in our homes and moisture is one of three requirements for mold growth. (Stop cleaning your shower for a few weeks and you will see that every home has some mold/mildew!) Mold also requires food and oxygen. Food sources include wood, drywall, and any paper-type products in our homes.
The trick is to control the level of mold and mildew and keep it at a healthy level. While you can’t control its food source realistically or remove the oxygen from your home, you can control the level of moisture in your home.
The Effects of Mold and Dampness on Your Home
When mold begins growing in crawlspaces or basements it can become “out of control” very quickly. It has oxygen, food (your floor joists, drywall, and any paper products stored such as cardboard boxes)and all it needs is a water supply. Crawlspaces and basements are notoriously damp and provide the perfect environment for mold to flourish.
Signs of Mold in Your Crawlspace or Basement
You may see the mold growing on your floor joists, steps, or items stored in your crawlspace or basement…or you may not! Less visible signs of mold growth include:
- A musty, damp, or bad smell in your crawlspace, basement, or your first-floor living areas.
- Sagging or creaking floors
- Stuck windows or doors
- Persistent health problems particularly respiratory problems or allergies
Over time, mold will begin to break down wood components in your basement or crawlspace leading to damage to the foundation of your home. Unfortunately, crawlspaces and some basements are rarely evaluated so many homeowners are living with mold growth and its effects without even realizing it. This is one reason why waterproofing your basement or crawlspace is crucial to stopping mold growth.
The Effects of Mold on Your Health
Mold can begin growing in as little as 24-48 hours to begin growing. Not addressing water issues can allow mold to grow exponentially. The stack effect, the flow of air from your basement or crawlspace upward into your living space, can bring mold spores into your upper living spaces. Mold spores can travel through poorly sealed subfloors and HVAC systems and enter the air you and your family breathe. This can lead to a host of health issues particularly in children.
In some people, daily mold exposure shows no symptoms at all, but for others, the symptoms can wreak havoc on their quality of life and overall health. If you are asthmatics, have allergies, or are immunosuppressed, you will be much more sensitive to the effects of mold exposure. Children are particularly sensitive. Sadly, many dismiss mold exposure symptoms as other diseases never thinking that their indoor air quality is the culprit.
According to the CDC, symptoms of mold exposure include:
- stuffy nose
- red or itchy eyes or skin.
- Intense reactions to allergens or asthma
- Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath
In some people, dead mold can also be an allergen. This is why proper mold removal is essential and not just killing the current mold. The best mold removal includes soda blasting, a disinfectant and mold blocker. Then take proper waterproofing steps to remove the moisture so the mold cannot return.
Waterproofing Inhibits Mold Growth in Your Home
Proper waterproofing of your basement or crawlspace will keep the water from encouraging mold growth. Solving water problems now can prevent costly damage to your home and health in the future. When done properly, waterproofing will prevent foundation degradation, improve your indoor air quality, and lower your utility bills.
Many ask if simply lowering the humidity level in your basement or crawlspace will cause mold to die. Lowering the humidity level to below 50% will inhibit mold growth but will not kill the mold or spores. Mold may go dormant but all it takes is one spike in humidity or water leak and the mold will flourish. Dormant mold spores can still affect your health as they move around the air in your home. The best bed to inhibit mold growth in your home is to properly waterproof and maintain a proper humidity level in your basement or crawlspace.
Aqua-Guard Waterproofing Can Solve Your Water Problems
Aqua-Guard Waterproofing is here to solve your water problems. If you believe you may have mold and dampness in your home, contact us for a free evaluation. We will inspect your crawlspace or basement, give an honest evaluation, and a recommended plan for waterproofing from experienced professionals. We offer a “Life of the Structure” warranty which means that our waterproofing is guaranteed no matter who owns the home. We can get your water problems solved. Contact us today!