Mold is a lurking danger that can be found in many homes. It can pop up anywhere water has soaked in and rested for a period of time. Mold regularly grows in basements that have even the most minor water leaks, and it can have adverse health effects on the entire family. If you notice mold in your home, you should get it taken care of immediately.
In order to keep your basement mold free, make sure to clean and dry your basement as soon as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives a 24 to 48 hour window for you to finish drying your belongings before recommending that you throw all affected possessions in the garbage. This recommendation is made simply in the name of preventing mold growth.
According to data from Farmers Insurance, claims for mold related damage have increased by over 1,100 in the last 10 years. This is no small amount, and it likely signals positive awareness of the real dangers mold poses to families across the world.
The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that though the effects of mold may range from mild to severe, every type has the potential to cause health issues. Common symptoms of mold-related health conditions include sneezing, coughing, runny nose, rough breathing or wheezing, itchy or watery eyes, and skin irritation or inflammation.
That is just a smattering of the more minor symptoms caused by mold. In fact, the Mayo clinic states that up to 93% of chronic sinus infections could be linked directly to mold as the irritant. Mold is also an asthma trigger for individuals who are allergic to mold that’s contaminating their home.
Some mold even produces mycotoxins, a highly toxic substance that can have severe health effects. One example of this is Black Mold, known scientifically as Stachybotrys chartarum. The mycotoxins produced by this bad boy can cause neuron death and result in diminished mental capacity. Luckily, this mold is not so common.
Common Types of Mold
Alternaria — The most common allergy inducing mold. It grows in cool, damp places like the shower or basement.
Aspergillus — Another common allergenic mold, except it can become much more dangerous depending on the species.
Cladosporium — This can grow in cold or warm conditions and is typically found in home fabrics that have gotten damp. It can cause skin irritation, so be careful.
Penicillium — Prefers cool, damp climates. It can cause severe respiratory infections and is found frequently in water damaged homes. It is also used in medicine development.
Mold is unsafe to have in any home. If you have suffered basement water damage, make sure to dry everything immediately and monitor your basement for mold growth.