Most homeowners are frustrated when it comes to dealing with their basements. The easiest option is to abandon this part of the house, but this doesn’t solve the problem. If you have an unfinished basement in your home, you have most likely noticed a musty odor and ignored it. For most people, this smell is attributed to lack of cleaning yet it points to a bigger problem of mold growth.
Risk of Mold in Your Basement
Whether you are using the basement or not, mold in this space poses a big risk. The Basement Health Association (BHA) says that over 60% of the air you breathe indoors travels from the basement and in case of mold growth in this part of the house, mold spores will eventually travel to the upper levels. Mold might not be visible to the eyes, but it is responsible for various health compilations including nasal stuffiness, wheezing, eye irritation, skin irritation, throat irritation and coughing.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2004 found a link between mold exposure and respiratory tract symptoms and coughing in healthy people and asthma attacks in people with asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis among other health problems. All these health issues lead to higher medical bills. This is the reason you should never ignore that musty odor in your basement.
Handling Mold in the Basement
To comprehensively deal with mold in the basement, you have to know why it is there in the first place. Mold grows in damp places and the location of a basement below the surface makes it susceptible to water seepage. There are many water leakage routes including foundation wall cracks, poorly placed footing, window wells and basement floor. To deal with mold growth, you have to identify the source of water and repair it.
This is the reason only a qualified contractor should handle the problem. These professionals have the prerequisite skills and tools to carry out diagnostic tests and implement the best waterproofing technique. Mold remediation also involves treatment of the contaminated surfaces and items with chemicals to avoid spread of the problem to other areas.
If you are planning to renovate your unfinished basement, it is advisable to call in a basement contractor who will carry out diagnostic tests to identify if there is mold growth. Most homeowners cover the problem with paint, but this doesn’t solve the water problem. If you have noticed a musty odor in your basement, don’t ignore it; call a mold service immediately.