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Protecting Your Pets from Basement Mold

Mold has a detrimental impact not only on your health but on the health of your pets, as well. What can you do to keep your home mold-free?

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your home and pets’ health

Your home isn’t just your safe space. If you have a furry friend with you, you’ll want to keep your home as safe as possible for them as well. 

Unfortunately, water damage throughout your home can put your pet’s health at risk. Not only can the higher levels of humidity make them more prone to sickness, but that same moisture can allow mold to take root in your home. The longer you let that mold grow, the more likely it is that your pet may end up sick. 

What Kinds of Molds Can You Find in Your Home? 

Not all molds are created equal. While you don’t want any type of mold in your home for long, there are some that can do more damage to your and your pet’s health than others. 

These molds break down into the following categories: 

  • Allergenic. Allergenic molds trigger allergies in those parties, pets, or humans, who already find themselves allergic to certain substances. That said, these molds can also cause previously unaffected parties to develop allergies. 
  • Pathogenic. Pathogenic molds tend to make existing health conditions that you and your pet suffer from worse. 
  • Toxigenic. If you find a toxigenic mold in your home, such as black mold, you and your pet need to evacuate as soon as possible. These molds can have an immediately dangerous impact on your and your pet’s health, to the point where both of you may suffer from long-term health conditions even after short-term exposure. 

More specifically, if you allow moisture to linger in your home, you’re likely to see one or several of these types of mold form in your basement or air vents: 

  • Alternaria 
  • Aureobasidium 
  • Cladosporium 
  • Fusarium 
  • Mucor 
  • Penicillium 
  • Stachybotrys 
  • Ulocladium 

How Can Mold Impact Your Health? 

As mentioned, different types of mold can have different effects on your health. However, most molds will reveal themselves through respiratory symptoms. These symptoms can include: 

  • Congestion 
  • Coughing 
  • Sore throat 
  • Excessive sneezing 
  • Skin irritation 
  • Headaches 

Note that the longer you leave mold growing in your home, the more likely these symptoms are to evolve into infections or long-term respiratory conditions. You may even develop a chronic illness if you live in a mold-infested home for too long. 

How Can Mold Impact the Health of Your Pet? 

Your pet can experience many of the same symptoms you would if they have been exposed to mold. This means if you suspect that there may be mold somewhere in your home, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the following symptoms: 

  • Respiratory problems 
  • Illnesses 
  • Bleeding nose 
  • Excessive scratching 
  • Harmful chewing 
  • Excessive licking 
  • Unusual lethargy 
  • Runny nose and excessive sneezing 

How Does Mold Get into Your Home? 

Contrary to popular belief, mold does not get into your home through the cracks in your foundation or basement. Instead, mold spores tend to get into your home by traveling through your HVAC system. Because you want to maintain the flow of air through your home, it’s not in your best interest to try and block your HVAC system off. Instead, if you want to try and make sure that mold spores won’t have free reign of your home, you can regularly inspect your HVAC system for signs of damage or unwanted growths. 

How Can You Prevent Mold from Taking Root in Your Home? 

While you may not have mold in your home at the moment, there’s always a chance that it might settle in. As mentioned, mold does not enter your home with unwanted moisture. However, if you let the humidity in your home go unchecked, it’s possible that those spores stuck in your HVAC system may take root. 

The good news is that you can take preventative steps to both lower the humidity in your home and prevent mold spores from making the rounds through your air ducts. 

When it comes to preventing mold spores from getting into your home, you can make a consistent effort to inspect your HVAC system. Try to clean your system at least once a year to see the best results. You’ll also want to replace your available filters on a regular basis to keep from spreading debris throughout the rest of your home. 

In terms of moisture, there are several waterproofing measures available to you that can help you control your internal humidity. Some of the most preventative measures available to you include dehumidifiers and vapor barriers. 

Do note that interior drainage systems and sump pumps can also help you keep seepage out of your home. By preventing these large-scale breaches, you can both protect those structural supports you have in your home and keep mold from accessing the nutrients it needs to grow. 

If you want help taking the steps you need to keep mold out of your home, you can reach out for help. The professional contractors in your area can inspect your home with you and let you know if there’s any damage in your home that might make it vulnerable to mold. In turn, they can help you determine what repairs you might need and, in turn, what waterproofing measures might suit your home best. 

Don’t let your pet start to suffer because there’s mold in your home. You can work with Raleigh, NC, professionals to clear mold out of your space and to keep it from coming back—or from settling in the first place. Reach out to the expert team at Tar Heel Basement Systems to schedule a free home inspection and to benefit from a free services quote.

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