Many homeowners think having a damp, musty basement is part and parcel of owning a home, and assume a little mold in the nooks and crannies isn’t a big deal.
But, as we’ll see, a little mold can be a huge problem and why you must take every precaution to protect your basement from this nasty growth.
Why Are Basements Prone To Mold?
Step into virtually any basement in American homes, and you’ll probably notice a damp, musty odor. But why do basements seem to be breeding grounds for mold and mildew?
Well, the typical basement gives mold the perfect conditions to grow: humidity and moisture, a food source, and a dark, damp place.
For mold to grow, you first need mold spores, which, unfortunately, easily get into the home through the air, stuck to your clothes, and through open windows and doors. No matter how thoroughly you clean, you can’t prevent mold spores from getting in.
Humidity & Moisture
Basements are naturally humid, and it’s a normal occurrence in many homes across the country. Most people think basements are naturally damp and humid because they’re underground, but that’s typically not the case. Basement dampness is often caused by moisture seepage, leaky water pipes, or water coming in through old basement windows or foundation cracks.
The truth about basement moisture is that condensation is the primary cause of humidity and dampness—condensation forms when the moist, warm air from the outside contacts cold surfaces.
Another way moisture gets into the basement is by vapor diffusion, which is when water gets absorbed by the concrete foundation and penetrates deep enough to cause a problem.
Finally, warm air rises, which can cause a negative pressure in the basement, drawing moisture up from sump pump pits, or foundation cracks. So, while basement dampness isn’t unavoidable, it can be a full-time job keeping it at bay.
How Much Mold Is Dangerous?
As mentioned, many people think that a bit of mold in the basement is typical, and while it’s true that it’s common for basements to have mold issues, it doesn’t mean it’s something you should ignore because it can have serious health consequences.
Mold in itself isn’t dangerous, but it’s the spores and toxins that make people sick. People with mold allergies or upper respiratory issues are at risk when exposed to mold.
Molds can 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.
The issue with mold is that it’s not the amount you have in the house; it’s the repeated exposure. The longer the exposure, the worse your health problems can get, especially for people with pre-existing conditions.
What Are The Long-Term Health Effects Of Mold?
While mold can exacerbate conditions associated with allergies and upper respiratory diseases, there are long-term health consequences that come from prolonged exposure even after your home has had mold removed, including:
Long-term mold exposure affects people’s concentration, judgment, and short-term memory.
Poor Mental Health
A person subjected to mold for extended periods may find themselves feeling more anxious, confused, depressed, and experiencing frequent mood swings.
When you’re exposed to mold, your body’s immune system works harder to combat the effects, which can lead to increased and long-lasting fatigue.
Mold targets the lungs and respiratory system, leading to reduced lung capacity and function years after the exposure.
How To Protect Your Basement From Mold & Flooding With EnduraFlood™
Even if you take the necessary steps to prevent mold from growing in your basement, one thing you can’t prevent is flooding. Whether it’s a flood caused by Mother Nature or a burst pipe, it’s impossible to plan for random events that can fill your basement with water.
If your basement floods, you not only have the mold to worry about, but the expense and hassle of cleaning up afterward. Estimates for cleaning up a flooded basement range from $3,000 to $5,000 and can go higher if sewer water is involved.
Fortunately, you can do something to minimize the cleanup time and cost that comes with a flooded basement, and that’s installing the EnduraFlood Flood-Proof Basement System.
Our patent-pending EnduraFlood wall panels replace the drywall from the floor to several feet up, or the material you would typically remove and replace after a flood. EnduraFlood panels are made from concrete and can withstand submersion for as long as it takes to pump the water out. Moreover, our panels are durable and can withstand all the bumps, scuffs, and roughhousing your kids can dish out.
What sets EnduraFlood panels apart from other basement wall systems is that our panels are easy to remove and replace, thanks to their snap-in fittings. If you ever need to dry out the area behind the panels, simply remove them, and reinstall them when needed.
Finally, unlike other basement wall paneling systems, EnduraFlood looks fantastic. Our panels are modeled after traditional wainscoting to give your finished basement an upscale, contemporary look that you’ll be proud to show off to your friends and neighbors.
Contact us today to learn about EnduraFlood and check out the RenuKrete engineered concrete flooring for a total basement flood protection solution.