Mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold.
Mold requires three things to thrive: darkness, warmth, and moisture. If you take away any one of these three things the mold will cease to grow. In basements darkness and warmth are the norm. It’s even worse in finished basements because the areas behind the drywall never get any light and mold growth can go undetected long periods of time. To prevent mold growth we must first stop the moisture problem. Moisture presents itself in your basement in a number of ways, leaking pipes, broken condensate pumps, faulty hot water heaters, a high relative humidity and by water infiltrating due to hydrostatic pressure. If your issue is due to a plumbing problem contact a qualified plumber. If the issue is due to hydrostatic pressure you will want to talk to us about either interior or exterior waterproofing solutions. With humidity issues we will need to discuss dehumidification options. Once the moisture issue is resolved we can then move onto the mold removal stage.
If moisture is present in your basement than it is likely that you have some mold growth. Mold can be problematic for various reasons, most notably health and damage to your belongings. Mold is commonly associated with wet basements because darkness, warmth, and moisture are optimum conditions for mold growth. The most important part of any mold and mildew treatment is fixing your water problem.
That being said my purpose is not to frighten my customers. I am there to identify, educate, and to remedy your issue. When treating mold issues I strictly follow EPA guidelines and procedures to prevent continued growth and to contain any mold that cannot be removed due to invasion into essential and non-removable porous surfaces i.e. rafters, wood beams, etc. I’ve taken the following directly from the EPA website to answer some common questions about mold. (http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldbasics.html).
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.