All the damp weather this spring has brought us lush, green lawns and trees after the long, desolate winter. While it is nice to see so much green, homeowners should be on the lookout for an insidious invader that can sneak into tiny spaces and cause serious damage.
Mold and mildew can creep into basements and through walls when excessive moisture builds up or leaks into your home. You may not notice any of the fungus growing at first, but once it takes hold of your home, it can be a massive challenge to get rid of it.
It only takes 24 to 48 hours of water exposure for mold and mildew to begin forming, so if your basement floods or there is a leak in your roof, it is best to have it dealt with as quickly as possible; even then, you may not be able to totally prevent the formation of mold or mildew.
Mold in the home has been linked to allergies, and an increased risk of developing asthma and other serious respiratory ailments, especially in children and the elderly.
Mold reproduces by releasing spores and can live in a wide range of temperatures, making it very difficult to eradicate; in some instances, entire walls have to be ripped out of homes to completely get rid of a serious mold or mildew invasion.
Certain species of mold are actually considered toxic and can cause very serious illnesses or produce foul odors that can make inhabitants of a building or home sick.
Check your basements for signs of flooding or dampness; make sure your gutters are free of leaves or other obstructions that could cause water to leak into your house. Use a dehumidifier to keep your basement dry and mold-free, and air out your bathrooms after taking a shower.
If you find water in your basement or suspect an ongoing problem, contact a contractor who specializes in home and basement waterproofing for assistance.
If you discover mold on the walls or in the basement of your home, you may need to have a professional remove the mold by taking out and replacing any affected drywall or lumber, which can be a pretty huge undertaking, depending on how much of your home is affected.