What most homeowners do not know is the danger that may be lurking below their feet and behind their basement walls. Mold growth is almost guaranteed in a vented, dirt crawl space and humid, damp basement. All mold needs to grow is organic material (drywall, wooden floor Joists, fiberglass insulation, latex paint, etc), an average temperature range and moisture. A basement or crawl space can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew.
Another fact that homeowners may not be aware of is that close to 50% of the air they breathe on the first floor of their home comes from the basement and/or crawl space. If there are mold spores on the floor Joists in a crawl space, then many of those spores will most likely be in the air on the living level of the home. Whether they know it or not, many families can be breathing in unhealthy amounts of mold every day when there is mold in the crawl space or basement.
How can mold affect your health? According to a May 2015 article in the Kernersville Magazine, “when the mold is disturbed, it releases thousands of spores that can be easily ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin, eyes or other surfaces. Mold naturally produces toxic chemicals called mycotoxins in order to protect themselves from harsh conditions and natural predators which can have a negative effect on the human body. Everyone’s body responds differently to mold, varying in symptoms and severity. Mold exposure most commonly causes nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. In 2004 the Institute of Medicine published suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure to respiratory hypersensitivity in adults as well as respiratory illness in children.”
The article continues to explain the best ways to prevent mold growth in the home. “The key to controlling mold growth is controlling moisture levels. If mold has no moisture, it will not grow!” Moisture can be controlled in a basement with a commercial grade dehumidifier, and a full encapsulation with a dehumidifier is recommended to control moisture levels in a crawl space. There are the first steps to creating a healthy home for you and your family!