Many homeowners live with mold in the basement — sometimes unknowingly, or sometimes assuming it’s part and parcel of owning a home. However, while basement mold is prevalent in many homes, it’s not normal or healthy. And the truth is that mold can breed anywhere the conditions are right. Once mold sets in, it’s difficult to remove, causes health problems, and will bring down the value of your home.
Let’s look at how common household mold is, what causes its growth in the home, why it’s dangerous, and what you can do to eliminate and prevent it.
How Common Is Household Mold?
According to earthweb.com, it’s estimated that 70% of homes contain mold. What makes mold dangerous is that you don’t have to see it for it to be present in the house. Mold grows in places that are damp and highly humid, including your crawlspace, basement, or in the walls. And mold isn’t just unsightly; it can cause structural damage and negatively impact your health, especially if you suffer from allergies or upper respiratory illnesses.
To make matters worse, new, energy-efficient homes are more conducive to mold growth because they’re more tightly sealed, which limits airflow and creates an ideal breeding ground for growth.
Also, consider that not all mold is created equal. Although approximately 70% of homes contain mold, not all the strains are deemed dangerous. The species of mold you must worry about are the ones called toxic mold and include:
Stachybotrys is the scientific name for black mold. It is considered one of the most dangerous because of the health ramifications that come from living with it, including flu-like symptoms, diarrhea, headaches, memory loss, and significant respiratory damage. Black mold is especially dangerous to young children because their lungs are still developing, and exposure to black mold puts them at greater risk of severe health problems later in life.
Chaetiomium is one of the most common household mold species a homeowner is likely to encounter. This mold likes to make its home in carpets, drywall, wallpaper, and baseboards. It’s similar to black mold in that it can cause significant health issues from prolonged exposure.
Aspergillus is another common mold species that most people breathe in every day. Like most mold, it can also cause health problems for people with compromised immune systems or upper respiratory problems.
What Causes Mold Growth In The House?
What makes mold such a massive concern for homeowners is that it takes very little for it to grow and thrive. According to the EPA,
Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through the outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet.
When you think about how many times you open your windows or doors or run your HVAC system, it’s easy to see how easily mold spores find their way into your home. And once they settle in a moist, humid environment, they can quickly grow out of control.
How Much Moisture Is Too Much?
Many people associate mold growth in the home with flooding, and that’s undoubtedly a significant cause. However, you don’t need a full-blown flood for mold to begin growing; all it takes is a little water from a leaking pipe, overflowing sink or bathtub, failed water heater, or steam from the dryer vents.
And it doesn’t take long for mold to take hold. Given the right environment, mold and mildew starts growing within 24-48 hours of water exposure and will continue growing until you eliminate the moisture source.
Health Risks Associated With Household Mold
Not everyone will experience negative health consequences of living with mold; however, people with allergies or who are sensitive to molds are at risk. The CDC says that,
For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes or skin. Some people, such as those with mold allergies or asthma, may have more intense reactions.
Studies published by the World Health Organization show a link between indoor exposure to mold to the development of asthma and other respiratory conditions in children.
EnduraFlood™ Wall Paneling As Mold Prevention
As we’ve seen, moisture is the catalyst that fuels mold growth. And while you can be diligent about eliminating moisture sources in the home like leaking pipes, it’s nearly impossible to deal with it during a catastrophic event like a flood.
Regardless of your thoughts on climate change, the fact is that extreme weather events are occurring more often, and that brings flooding. Whether it’s the remnants of an offshore hurricane or a Nor-easter, homeowners are under constant threat of heavy rains, overflowing streams and rivers, and the floods accompanying it.
When your home floods, it creates the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew as drywall, insulation, and porous building materials become saturated. Once a household flood occurs, time is critical to dry everything out to prevent mold growth effectively, and that’s where the EnduraFlood Flood Proof Basement Wall System can help.
The EnduraFlood wall paneling system replaces drywall up to several feet above floor level, most likely the portion you’d have to remove and replace after a flood. What makes our approach unique to others is its easy installation and removal and its ability to withstand submersion in water.
EnduraFlood installs quickly and doesn’t require repeated spackling and sanding. The specially designed snap-in fittings make removal and replacement a breeze, should you ever need to allow the walls behind the panels to dry out after a flood.
Another aspect of EnduraFlood that sets it apart is its distinctive looks. Our wall panels are fashioned after traditional wainscoting to give your home added visual style, warmth, and value.
Finally, EnduraFlood panels are made from concrete, making them long-lasting, extremely durable, and able to withstand all the bumps, bangs, and scuffs your kids can dish out.
EnduraFlood is the state-of-the-art basement protection system that provides a first line of defense against flooding while adding style and value to your home.