Today we are discussing mold- the good, the bad, the ugly, and the solution! We’ll help you understand when mold is beneficial, when it is not, and what to do about the presence of mold. While there are some things that are good about mold, there’s also a lot of yuck associated with it. The good news? We have the perfect solution to mold in your basement and crawl space!
If you have ever taken penicillin when you were sick, had a yummy bite of bread, or enjoyed a nice glass of wine, then you have mold to thank! The “good” parts of mold come into play in the form of medicines, bread yeast, alcohol fermentation, and the breaking down of dead matter in nature.
Mold is beneficial and important to the cycle of life, but there are many different types of mold, and some molds are much more harmful than others. Ultimately, if any mold 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- it’s 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 it reproduces through spores. Since mold does not contain chlorophyll, it does not require sunlight to grow. This is one reason it loves to grow in your basements, crawl spaces, walls, and bathrooms.
Mold typically requires three things to grow: moisture, a food source, and spores. When these things are present and the temperature is just right, mold growth can happen very quickly– sometimes in just 24 hours! Guess where you find places that carry all of these things mold needs to grow? That’s right- basements and crawl spaces.
Ideally, your home’s basement or crawlspace should be dry with very low moisture levels. Unfortunately, moisture levels tend to run high in most cases. Add in the susceptibility for water leakage from windows, foundational cracks, or other waterproofing failures and you end up with a surge in the overall moisture level. As for a food source for the mold, basements and crawl spaces usually have wood components, drywall, old carpeting, a surplus of cardboard boxes, etc. Mold does not feed on the wood and drywall itself, but it does consume nutrients on the surface of these things.
Now that we have established what mold needs to thrive and how our basements and crawl spaces provide the perfect environment for its growth, let’s talk about the really ugly part of all this. Mold can be very dangerous to our health. The Alabama Department of Public Health explains that commonly reported symptoms caused by indoor mold are similar to allergy symptoms and include:
- 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. Mold toxicity is a very real problem for many households, and sadly many people never connect the dots on what is making them sick. Black mold can cause major health problems or even death after exposure. If any species of mold is present in your home at all, you should 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? Contact Aqua-Guard Waterproofing as soon as possible for an evaluation! We are waterproofing experts and can offer the best plan of action based on our experience, past successes, and technical attention. We offer basement and crawlspace waterproofing, along with crawlspace encapsulation.
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. When you work with Aqua-Guard Waterproofing, you will have one point of contact throughout the process who will handle your case professionally and efficiently. If you think you may have the start of a mold issue happening, contact us and we can get started today.