Mold growth in a house can be a big problem and, chances are good, if you have a basement, you’ve already had some experience in this area. Besides the unsightly appearance and gross smell, the presence of mold can pose a real health hazard to building occupants. This is especially true for those who suffer from allergies, respiratory ailments, asthma or immune system deficiencies.
Molds are found virtually everywhere in the environment and are spread through the presence of free-floating spores floating around in the air. All these spores need in order to take root and flourish are some form of organic material and moisture. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most common places to find molds growing in your house are in the shower and in the basement. When located in the basement, they will often thrive, undetected, in areas that are not generally noticed.
The CDC goes on to say that if mold is found in your house you should take immediate action to have it removed and fix the source of moisture that has been responsible for allowing it to take hold. Companies with B-Dry licences have the means to help with the situation. In a basement environment, there may be several potential causes for dampness, including:
• Plumbing leaks
• Malfunctioning sump pump
• Inoperable French drain system
• Expansion and contraction of masonry joints causing breaks allowing for the entry of ground water
• Water seeping up through floor cracks or seams
While mold can be eradicated by a variety of methods, including the use of caustic chemicals and “foggers,” unless the source of the problem, the moisture, is dealt with, the problem will soon return. In addition, any organic materials that have been contaminated by mold, such as drywall, carpeting, furniture, etc., will have to be removed.
Other Negative Consequences of a Leaky Basement
In addition to the problems caused by mold growth, having a damp or wet basement brings a whole list of other negatives to you as a homeowner. Chief among these is house damage like rotting wood, ruined insulation and drywall, deterioration of floor coverings and furniture as well as damaged appliances.
Wet basements are also an open invitation to all kinds of insects like spiders, ants, termites, centipedes and water bugs. If water enters your walls it can pose a potential problem with your electrical wiring, presenting a real danger of electrical shocks or even electrocution.
If you want to put your house up for sale and it has a leaky basement you will soon learn that its value is dramatically diminished. Plus, not many buyers are interested in considering a house that has these types of problems. Most realtors, in fact, will recommend fixing the wet basement and mold problems before even listing your residence.