Does mold in the basement affect upstairs?
One of the most vulnerable or mold-prone areas of the home is the basement, and it’s easy to see why.
As the name implies, basements go below the floor level which makes them easily accessible to ground moisture due to the closeness to groundwater.
There’s water flow from rains, as well as capillary suction.
What more? Mold in the basement can easily arise from moisture issues. Symptoms of moisture include vapor diffusion, as well as air movement.
This happens slowly and manifests in many ways. You might notice a deterioration of wood or carpet, efflorescence, staining, and blistering of the wall, as well as water trickling out of walls.
Other common symptoms include standing water on the floor. This is the worst-case scenario that could occur.
Other symptoms like humid & damp air, the saturated base of concrete blocks, as well as condensation on cold walls during summer, are signs of moisture problems.
With such conditions, mold growth is almost a certainty.
How Far Can Mold Problems Spread?
The topic being discussed indicates where our interests lie. How mold growth in the basement affects adjoining areas or other sections of the home.
As long as conditions (moisture and humidity), are optimal, the spread of mold in homes is highly likely.
Due to its rapid spread, mold in the basement begins to grow in the basement ceiling from where it further develops and moves to other sections including the upper floor and eventually your entire home.
At this stage, you’re exposed to a significant level of health risk from mold spores floating in the air around your home.
How Mold in Basement Affect Upstairs
In many homes, basement areas see less cleaning activity.
In other words, basements aren’t cleaned as frequently as in other areas of the home. This is because such areas see less activity and are mostly used as storage among other uses.
Due to infrequent cleaning, mold easily grows undetected.
With sufficient levels of moisture or dampness, mold easily grows and spreads on a variety of surfaces such as wood, books, furniture, and concrete.
As long as it’s not detected early, it quickly spreads from the basement areas to the nearest sections of your home including the upstairs.
The easiest way by which mold spreads upstairs from the basement is when air conditioners are used.
Whenever you put on an air conditioner in your basement, what it does is that it blow mold spores from your basement space into the HVAC system and air ducts.
As such air circulates through the house, it eventually deposits mold spores across other sections of your home.
Here, mold spread from your basement to other areas worsens your situation as you increasingly get exposed to mold spores which cause a variety of health conditions.
The Objective is not to have Mold Growing anywhere within your Home
Your best bet of containing a mold problem is by eliminating suitable conditions that promote its growth. These favorable conditions for mold growth have been stated earlier to include moisture and dampness.
Such could arise from leaks and seepage of groundwater into the basement.
You’ll need to have a professional come around to assess your mold situation. The growth of mold can be curtailed by addressing the moisture issues first. This is followed by mold remediation or removal.
For improved mold control, a scheduled inspection by a professional is necessary.
Identifying Mold in Basement
To prevent mold from spreading upstairs, you’ll need to be more vigilant by carrying out frequent observations to determine its presence.
Before you call in the pros, you can smell around your basement for mold. Basement mold has a musty smell. The smell of wet wood around your basement can signal mold growth.
Also, you’ll need to look at the most vulnerable or likely spots. Inspecting these areas might reveal mold presence.
Here, look out for mold in the ceiling above a finished basement, around plumbing lines as well as areas near dryer vents. Areas around sump pumps are also likely to harbor and promote mold growth.
Visual identification of mold is also necessary.
For identification to be successful, you’ll need a well-lit area or a flashlight. Here, you’re looking for growth that appears green, white, black, yellow, or pink-like stains.
This might look furry or have a slime resemblance.
Health Risks of Mold Growth
As mold grows and spreads undetected, it becomes a health risk to occupants of the affected home. This is due to the spread of spores released from mold which are inhaled by humans and pets.
Because they’re toxic, they cause many health conditions ranging from skin rash, running nose & congestion, as well as a sore throat.
Other adverse health effects include coughing, eye irritation, sneezing, wheezing, headache, and lung irritation.
Complications could arise for persons having compromised immune systems, allergies, cystic fibrosis, a chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, and asthma.
Will Shutting the Basement Door Help in Keeping Mold Spread Under Check?
When it comes to mold spread, even the tiniest of openings will be sufficient enough to serve as a passageway for spores. Shutting your basement door does nothing to solve a mold problem at all.
It’s likely to worsen the situation.
You’ll have to adopt a more comprehensive approach to treatment such as addressing the underlying moisture problem followed by mold removal.
With professional help, a lot can be done to resolve basement mold than having your basement door shut.
Conditions Promoting Mold Growth in Basement
Before mold spreads upstairs from a basement, conditions promoting its growth must be present. As long as your basement has enough moisture, mold presence and growth will be almost certain.
Moisture is brought about by any of the following; leaky sprinkler spray hitting a building or flooding.
Other conditions include wet clothes hung indoors to dry, a building being located in high humidity areas with poor ventilation and sink or sewer overflow. What more?
Damp crawl spaces, steam from cooking and showers, plumbing leaks, and clothe dryers exhausting indoors will create the perfect moisture condition for mold growth.
So far, we’ve seen that mold in the basement can easily affect upstairs or other sections of the home.
With such a reality, you should address the problem by looking at the causal conditions which involve moisture presence.