Leaky Basements & Mold – Ottawa
A leaky basement is a problem common to many homeowners! Unfortunately, your basement may be a perfect haven for molds. Unhealthy mold and mildew needs a damp environment to grow, and a dark, wet basement contains the right conditions. This is most likely one of the last things you want, especially when the health risks are taken into consideration. Call Just Foundations for a free estimate today at 613-809-5878.
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that develops from microscopic spores that float through the air. In order to grow, mold needs an environment just like a leaky basement, as well as a source of nutrition to latch onto, like dust. Obviously, a basement that is not regularly inhabited or checked for issues is a problem area for mold growth. Some molds are not that harmful—however, Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly referred to as black mold, can cause serious health problems.
The Health Dangers
Some people are more sensitive to mold spores than others, and can develop allergy symptoms like congestion, eye irritation, sore throat, watery eyes, nasal and sinus pain, wheezing, skin rashes, and also asthma attacks upon exposure. It is especially important to note that the more a person is exposed to mold, the more intense the symptoms. Continued exposure overtime can give allergic reactions but also spark fevers, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, and difficulty breathing, and can cause a person to develop a life-long allergy to mold. Some mold spores are extremely small, and it is easy for people to breathe them into the lungs—therefore, it is simply not safe or healthy to live in a house that contains high levels of mold.
Although you may feel un-phased by the development of eye irritation or some sinus pain, there are further serious risks to take into consideration. Remember that black mold spores and the toxins which accompany them can cause invasive lung disease and recurrent sinusitis for some people. If you are someone with a compromised immune system, this is a serious health risk. Also, mold creates volatile organic compounds as it degrades, and too much exposure to these can result in the irritation of mucous membranes. This can lead to life-long central nervous system damage, leading to concentration problems, headaches, memory loss, a decreasing attention span, and dizziness.
People of all ages should try to avoid exposure to mold as best they can. People with pre-existing respiratory problems—especially kids, the elderly, and pregnant women—are at a much higher risk for serious health effects due to mold. Also, sensitivity to mold ranges from individual to individual: some are affected by one simple exposure, while others may develop symptoms overtime or no symptoms at all.
Damp basements allow mold to grow and thrive, and reproductive spores are able to travel through the indoor airspace. Avoiding your basement altogether won’t stop you or your family from developing health problems at all—mold circulates through ventilation systems and will carry and spread into other rooms in your household.
Smell a musty or mildew odor or feel a general dampness?
You likely have some type of mold problem. A good first step would be to clear away porous moldy wall materials and items covered in mildew that are infesting your basement space and be sure to wear a tight mask while doing so. In order to permanently rid your life of mold problems, it would be a good idea to call in a specialist to give you advice on how to fix and clean up your leaky basement.