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House Mold Testing and Concerns

House mold allergens are a huge problem, especially if you allow your basement or crawl space to grow mold and spread.

Mold can grow on any organic material, including common building materials like wood, drywall, and insulation

Mold can cause numerous issues for your home and health

If you suffer from a headache, stuffy nose, or some type of allergic reaction when at home, but is relieved shortly after leaving the building, it's possible that these symptoms are caused or worsened by indoor air pollutants and allergens such as mold spores. As wet basements and crawl space moisture becomes an increasingly large problem for homeowners across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, more and more people are having their health affected by crawl space and basement mold.

The science behind house mold

Moldy Drywall

Allergens come from mold spores in the basement and crawl space, and house mold loves to grow on drywall

  • A typical mold spore will be about 10 microns (0.0002 inches) in size and can grow anywhere where there is sufficient warmth, food, and humidity in the air to absorb moisture
  • Any organic material - including dust, fabric, wallpaper, wood, and paint - all provide more than enough nourishment to keep mold healthy and growing
  • The Journal of Property Management reports that one square inch of drywall can contain 1 to 10 million spores as small as 1.5 microns in size! There are more than 1.5 million species in existence, and some molds grow only in the home.
  • Mold grows year round in any home - no matter how clean, and according to Human Ecology, fungus consists of an estimated 25% of the Earth's biomass.
  • When mold reproduces it sends seed-like spores out into the air. As long as the temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, they can land, grow, and spread
  • Time magazine reports that there can be hundreds of thousands of mold spores in a single cubic meter of air indoors, and a single person inhales 10 or 12 cubic meters each day.

How mold spreads throughout your home

Unfortunately, even you have mold only in the basement or crawl space, its spores will rise throughout the home. The reason for this is called the "Stack Effect". The stack effect is what causes warm air to rise in the home and exit through the upper levels and attic. As this happens, a vacuum is created on the lower levels which draws air upwards from the basement and crawl space. Anything in that air - including mold spores, humidity, dust mites, and odors - will be drawn into the main area of the home, which obviously is where you breathe.

Cleaning and removing crawl space and basement mold with bleach or biocides is only a temporary solution. Mold remediation of this type can eliminate mold in the short term, but unless the reason that it was there in the first place is not eliminated, there's nothing stopping house mold from returning. To worsen the situation, Human Ecology magazine reports that dead mold can still cause allergic reactions as well, and microscopic mold spores that were not removed can lay dormant for years while they wait for the opportunity to grow. Additionally, while mold resistant coatings may keep mold off the surfaces they contact, mold will still have a surface to grow on unless you can also coat your ventilation ducts and every piece of organic material that enters the house.

House mold affects your health

Basement Mold Allergens

Mold will grow anywhere where it can find moisture, warmth and food, and mold will grow on anything organic in the basement

  • According to Total Health magazine, household mold growth is accelerated by warmth and high humidity - especially in the basement and crawl space
  • Mold spores can affect a home's inhabitants through inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact, causing a runny nose, watery eyes, mild allergic reactions, a scratchy throat, fatigue, and general discomfort when breathing. In rare cases, mold can even be toxic!
  • The American Lung Association reports that 88 million people in the United States suffer from some sort of respiratory distress, and 50% of homes have at least one person living inside that has allergies, asthma, or another respiratory ailment.
  • The Journal of Property Management reports that ignoring a mold problem will not only lead to the compromised health of the occupants, but it can also lead to expensive home damage
  • Repairs can be lengthy and extensive, and in extreme cases, they may necessitate relocation of all inhabitants while the work is being conducted
  • Mold can grow anywhere there's moisture, including near plumbing leaks, leaking roofs, and especially in wet and damp crawl spaces and basements

Prevent house mold from affecting your home

Energy-Efficient Dehumidifier

A high-performance, energy-efficient basement or crawl space dehumidifier is the best way to remove home mold before it gets out of hand

The easiest way to prevent household mold, is to reduce indoor humidity within the home to below 60%. Other important steps include removing all sources of water leakage within the home, sealing penetrations in walls and floors, checking for moldy odors, and removing all sources of freestanding water.

Basement Systems International Network of top-quality basement waterproofing contractors is dedicated to helping to eliminate basement mold and moisture. Our inorganic products are designed to form vapor barriers on the basement walls and floors to keep humidity from seeping through the porous.

Additionally, our SaniDry™ Basement Dehumidifier is capable of filtering the air of particles as small as two microns! This means that house mold spores, dust mite waste, pollen, and many other home environment allergens will be safely removed from the air. With its self-draining system, the energy efficient SaniDry™ is able to pull moisture from the air and lower the relative humidity below 55%. These low humidity levels create an environment that is not suitable for house mold and dust mites to thrive. Thus, the area is cleaner, healthier and more sanitary for your entire house!

Call your local Basement Systems dealer today to get a free estimate on all basement waterproofing and mold remediation services!

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