What Causes Mold? It Could Be Your Damp, Leaky Basement
Mold is a fuzzy growth on moist organic matter. When mold spores land on surfaces that are wet or damp, mold may begin to grow. There are many types and colors of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture. Mildew is mold. It's a word that is used generally to refer to a few specific types of molds, but it's still all molds.
A lot of people aren't aware that mold can be white, orange, blue, grey, brown or black. Black mold is the most common color people know about. The type of black mold associated with ill health effects is called Stachybotrys (pronounced "stack-ee-bot-riss"). The color of a mold generally has to do with the spores it produces and has no bearing on whether it is dangerous or not. For example, there are some white molds that grow on walls and other surfaces that can be just as bad as some harmful black molds.
Another misconception is that bleach will get rid of mold. Bleach is generally not recommended as a fungicide (mold killer). Bleach is generally a water-based solution. Bleach appears to kill the mold, but because bleach is a water-based solution, this often means that water penetrated the surface giving moisture to the roots of the mold; which over time the mold happily begins to grow again.
There is also a myth that you can just paint over the mold. Actually, mold can eat the paint. Many people attempt to paint over mold only to discover that in a few months the mold has either poked its way through the paint, or the paint has started peeling off. The mold really has to be removed before painting can be done, even if you're using "mold-resistant" paint.
Mold is able to grow because it has a moisture source. Often this means that there is or was a leak or something similar involved in the first place. Just removing the mold without fixing the water problem will usually result in the mold coming back.
Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on. You can prevent damage to your home and furnishings, save money, and avoid potential health problems by controlling moisture and eliminating mold growth. Fix any water or moisture problems and use a dehumidifier in your basement to keep relative humidity below 60% (Ideally between 30 and 50 percent relative humidity).
First line of defense to keep your basement dry
- Clean and repair roof gutters
- Make sure ground slopes away from building foundation
- Keep humidity below 60% (ideally between 30 and 50 percent)
- Act quickly with water leaks (if wet or damp materials are dried 24 - 48 hours after an issue, in most cases mold will not grow)
- Major Causes of Basement Problems
- Did You Know?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Benefits of Basement Waterproofing
- Before Finishing or Renovating Your Basement
- Painting Basement Walls vs Waterproofing Panel System
- Why do I have Water Coming in on the Floor Where the Basement Wall and Floor Meet?
- Solutions to Common Spring Wet Basement Problems
- Fixing Vertical and Horizontal Basement Wall Cracks
- Does Investing in My Basement Increase the Value of My Home?
- Sump Pumps: Why Homeowners Should Periodically Check Their Drainage System
- First Line of Defense to Keep Your Basement Dry
- Lower Energy Bills with Rim Joist Spray Insulation
- Outside Basement Entrance (Bilco, Gordon Door)
- What are Diverters used for in basement waterproofing?
- Gutter and Downspout Water
- Basement Entrance Door
- Why having a Backup Sump Pump is so Important!
- Importance of Using a Dehumidifier
- Tips on Comparing Company Estimates
- Repair for Horizontal Crack and Bowed Basement Wall
- Garrett helping Papa unload the trailer
- Austin Unloading Trailer
- Water Back-Up Sump Pumps vs. Battery Back-Up Sump Pumps
- Basement Mold Removal, Cleaning, & Prevention with Anabec
- Our Grandson Cole helping PaPa with a Wall Crack
- Protect Your Foundation from Water Damage with the Lawn Scape Bubbler Pot
- Most Effective Way to Insulate at the Rim Joist
- Why Your Drain Tile Should Be Cleaned
- 3 Tips when Considering an Egress Window
- Top 3 Causes a Bowed Basement Wall