Even if you can’t see it, mold could be growing in your home and causing damage to both its interior and the home’s structural integrity. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, mold growth can also damage the air quality inside your home, causing harm to the people who live there. The best thing you can do to protect your home and your family from mold growth is to reduce moisture throughout the home. From installing dehumidifiers to waterproofing the basement and cleaning up wet carpet and bathrooms immediately, a few small changes can help protect your home against mold.
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For Fargo, ND, and Minneapolis, MN, homeowners, basements and crawl spaces can be the most susceptible to both moisture build-up and mold growth. Even a small leak can cause big problems when left unchecked. Waterproofing your home’s basement can help protect against moisture buildup, future leaks and mold growth. This professional service includes sealing cracks in the home’s foundation and exterior walls, installing interior drainage and sump pumps, adding dehumidifiers, adding vapor barriers to protect porous concrete, and identifying and fixing potential leaks.
Mold growth can be found in homes across the U.S. In fact, in the last 12 months, internet searches for “mold removal” were made most commonly from the District of Columbia, Kansas, Tennessee, Connecticut, New Hampshire, West Virginia, New York, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri. But wherever you live, you can be certain that mold is growing both indoors and outdoors. Mold plays an important role in a healthy ecosystem, but when it grows inside your home it can cause a major headache. That’s why protecting your home against toxic mold growth is so important.
The most common types of mold found in homes in the U.S., including in North Dakota and Minnesota, are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Stachybotrys chartarum. Mold growth can cause allergic reactions, including skin rashes, red eyes, and coughing. In addition, Stachybotrys chartarum, often called “black mold,” is toxic and dangerous to humans. It can be hard to tell the different types of mold apart, so it’s best to remove any mold growth immediately to reduce the effects on your own health and the long-term health of your home.
Top five things to know about mold
- Allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints can be caused by mold growth indoors.
- The best way to control indoor mold growth is to reduce moisture throughout the home.
- Cleaning up mold immediately and stopping the source of moisture buildup is the best way to reduce future mold growth.
- Reducing humidity indoors by using a dehumidifier is the best prevention against toxic mold because it reduces condensation buildup.
- Mold can grow on moist wood, paper, carpet, and food items.
Even if you can’t see it, mold growth within your crawl space or basement can damage the structural integrity of your home by breaking down building materials, including insulation and wood walls. Cladosporium mold is found most commonly growing on wet acrylic painted walls, wood, wallpaper, carpet, and HVAC units. Penicillium mold grows most commonly on rotten food items, but it can be found on wet building materials as well. Alternaria mold can be found growing on moist iron, tiles, bricks, plaster, wallpaper, paper, and canvas. Mold needs moisture or another continuous water source to grow. That’s why protecting your home against leaks and moisture buildup is essential to protecting against mold growth.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, toxic ‘black mold’ or Stachybotrys chartarum can be found growing on wet drywall, ceiling tiles, and wood. It is greenish-black in color and grows in areas where moisture is found from water damage due to major leaks, condensation buildup, or flooding. It is found most commonly in homes that have been flooded or closed up without good air circulation for a long period of time. Black mold needs a constant water source to grow. Because it’s difficult to tell the difference between toxic black mold and other types of mold, and each can impact your health, it’s best to remove all mold immediately. By reducing moisture throughout the home, you can also reduce future growth.
Reduce moisture in the home and stop mold growth by:
- Running the air conditioner or a dehumidifier.
- Installing fans to improve air circulation.
- Cleaning vents and replacing air filters consistently.
- Covering cold pipes with insulation and inspecting your crawl space and storage spaces.
- Cleaning bathrooms and kitchens and removing standing water.
- Waterproofing basements and encapsulating crawl spaces.
- Cleaning gutters and directing water flow away from exterior walls.
- Drying wet areas and furnishings immediately.
- Removing carpet from bathrooms or unfinished basements.
For help protecting your home’s basement or crawl space against moisture buildup and mold growth, please contact our crawl space repair, basement waterproofing, and foundation repair experts today. We offer free basement waterproofing inspections by a skilled professional who will recommend a solution that suits both your home and budget.