Mold of any kind in your home is a hazard that must be remedied. The most troubling kind of mold is Stachybotrys Chartarum, also referred to as black mold, which is commonly found in the basement, although it can grow in any area of a home. The basement, either finished or unfinished, is the ideal environment for black mold because it’s typically poorly ventilated, dark, or has a high level of moisture. If your basement has organic material of any kind, that contains an elevated cellulose level and low nitrogen component, like fiberboard, gypsum board, wood, and paper, mold will feed on these and grow. The big question is, “Is it safe to live in a house with mold in the basement?” It depends on the type of mold that is growing in your basement, the level of mold infestation, its impact on your health, and also what the professionals advise.
Type of Mold and How Much is Present
There are different types of mold that can be found in a basement, but the majority aren’t considered dangerous or toxic. However, black mold produces toxic mycotoxins, spreading and growing via its microscopic spores that are invisible to the naked eye. In most instances, homeowners have no clue that black mold is growing in their basement until much later. Furthermore, cleaning what’s visible, doesn’t guarantee that it’s gone entirely. The amount of black mold in your basement can either compromise safety or can be contained with adequate measures. If it’s present in a small contained space, it could be sufficiently remediated, but you still have to be vigilant because of what you can’t see to ensure safety.
Mold and Your Health
The presence of mold in a basement has its own health risks. Some people are more sensitive to mold than others and are typically people with allergies, immune suppression issues, underlying lung disease, and chronic respiratory disease, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and asthma, who may experience difficulty breathing. The allergens, irritants, and mycotoxins produced by mold can enter the air and be breathed in by occupants in the basement and affect the nose, throat, and lungs. Anyone with an increased risk for infection from mold, or who experience some level of discomfort when regularly occupying their mold-contaminated basement should definitely stay clear of that space.
- Mold Allergies: If you have a sensitivity or are allergic to any mold particle, your body may respond negatively to its presence. Mold allergies may share some symptoms of seasonal allergy or hay fever, including runny nose, skin irritation, wheezing, sneezing, watery eyes, and itchy throat. If you have a combination of mold allergy and asthma, you have an increased risk of an asthma attack if you occupy a basement with mold.
- Aspergillosis: This type of mold can significantly affect health and lead to different types of aspergillosis- a mold-related health problem.
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA): Impacts the lungs and can result in breathing issues.
- Allergic Aspergillus sinusitis: Impacts the nose and sometimes causes headache.
- Aspergilloma, or Fungus Ball: May cause breathing issues, a cough that sometimes may contain blood.
- Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis: Can cause breathing problems, coughing, and weight loss.
Mold and the Production of Microbes and Bacteria
According to Medical News Today, having mold in your basement could “trigger the production of bacteria and microbes,” which could force an inflammatory response in some people. Mold and its microbial agents may lead to a higher risk of bronchial and fungal infections:
- allergic alveolitis
- allergic fungal sinusitis
- chronic rhinosinusitis
- hypersensitivity pneumonitis
- lower respiratory tract issues in previously healthy children
It’s not wise to occupy a basement with mold, especially if you have no idea if the mold is toxic or not, which is why you should give Bay State Mold Removal a call once you suspect you might have a mold problem. We have experienced mold remediation and restoration team that will apply the right mold removal solution to your specific case. Don’t hesitate to call us today.