2016/07/22

Does My Basement have Mold?

10 Warning Signs There Could Be Mold in the Basement

At the beginning of last year, I had an appointment with homeowners who were concerned that there may be mold in the basement.…

This was a young couple, first-time homeowners with a baby on the way and hoping to have their basement renovated before the due date.

During my inspection, I discovered what looked like black mold along with a serious moisture issue in this basement. I can’t legally say that it is mold until it’s tested in a lab, but the warning signs were there.

The moisture could be due to plumbing issues, leaky window wells or a crack in the foundation.  In this case, I could see the water coming out of the wall and it was obvious that there was a crack in the foundation that needed to be repaired.

But there was still that mold issue…….

I explained to this nice young couple that letting this problem linger would be a huge mistake and you don’t want to give the mold more time to develop. If it does, it will cost you more in the long run to get rid of it and further jeopardize the health of your home.

Mold remediation was done first by our sister company Cleanol, who came in to gut the finished basement. Cross contamination was an issue and our client was relieved to have Cleanol take care of the mold issue and prevent it from spreading to the rest of the house.

Once that was done, the RCC crew was able to deal with the moisture problem from the inside.  It is not ideal, but since this house did not have enough space around the perimeter to do the excavation and perform the waterproofing from the exterior we installed an interior drainage system including a new battery backup sump pump system.

INTERNAL WEEPING TILE INSTALLED AND GRAVEL BEING PLACED ON TOP

INTERNAL WEEPING TILE INSTALLED AND GRAVEL BEING PLACED ON TOP

Mold can also be an unseen problem in your home.…..

While some people take an “out of sight, out of mind” approach when it comes to what’s going on in their basement, this is definitely not the approach that you want to take with mold. Mold can pose some potentially life-threatening illnesses and must be addressed quickly before serious problems arise. Once you are able to recognize the danger signs of this very serious problem, you can get a head start on trying to resolve this matter before it becomes unmanageable.

Top 10 Warning Signs There is Mold in The Basement

1. You Can Smell Mold 

You are actually able to smell an odor of mold. If there is mold present in your home, you will smell mold even if you cannot see it. If you do smell it, you should inspect your home thoroughly. If you cannot find it, do not just ignore it and call a professional to investigate.

2. Watch for Your Own Health

You may find yourself struggling with health issues. If you are listless, feel congested, have headaches, or suffer from dizziness, these are just a few of the very serious symptoms there is mold in the house, whether you can see and smell it or not.

3. The Mold Is Visible

You may even see mold growing, though sometimes it can be very difficult to see. It is very tempting to see a small spec of mold and ignore it. The minute you see mold, you need to act even if it seems small and insignificant. If you ignore it, it can grow into a much larger problem.
You can spot-clean the mold with various household solutions like borax, bleach, vinegar or laundry detergent. However, it’s recommended to completely remove the affected area (i.e. drywall that is porous) to keep the mold from spreading. 

4. Condensation

When you see condensation in your home, you need to take this seriously. Condensation is a sign that there is excess moisture in your home. Having a moisture problem is what breeds the mold that is so harmful to your home and your health. In fact, I recommend purchasing a good quality dehumidifier  like Aprilaire, to keep the dry air circulating through your basement.

5. Signs of Water Issues

Long-term water issues are another sign of mold in your home. As previously mentioned, moisture is a key sign of mold because moisture is required for mold to grow. If you notice water stains, cracking or bubbling of paint or wallpaper, or walls that are warped in any way, you will want to check for mold in the basement.

6. A Previous Flooding Incident

If you have had any flooding in your basement, you likely have mold that has started to grow. The mold from this incident could easily start growing behind walls or under the floors.

7. Water Leaks

If you have a water leak that you may not have known about until now, you likely have mold in the basement. Even if you do not see the signs of the water leak, that does not mean that you do not have mold. You should investigate further to ensure that your basement is mold free.

8. Humidity

A big sign of mold, aside from moisture, is humidity. Humidity will lead to condensation. Mold can even live off of the humidity in the air, especially if humidity reaches a level above 60%. Keep your humidity levels down with a good quality dehumidifier. 

9. Having a Damp Basement

Since there is not a lot of ventilation in the basement and it can be cold in there, it can get a lot of moisture making it perfect for growing mold. Having a damp or wet basement could be a sign of mold.

10. Standing Water

If you see pools of standing water around your foundation, this is a sign that you should consider checking for mold in the basement. This is because the water can seep through your foundation and bring moisture into the basement.

Your home is your most valuable asset and it’s health (and yours) is important. If you notice any of these warning signs, you should call in a professional to check for mold and moisture in your home.


About The Author

jamieJamie Hallett has been a part of the RCC family for over 17 years. He got his start by working in the trenches alongside our most experienced crews learning all aspects of the waterproofing industry. He quickly moved his way up within the company as a foreman, running crews before making the switch over 8 years ago to being a waterproofing consultant.

Jamie has a wide knowledge of all types of foundations and their particular problems and is one of our few consultants who deal with basement lowering and underpinning. His experience, knowledge of waterproofing and honesty set him apart from our competitors and make him a valuable asset to RCC.

For a FREE No Obligation Estimate, call Jamie at: 416-991-7825

 


RCC Waterproofing and Foundation Repairs has been servicing Ontario customers for 96 years. Their repairs have outlived lifetime warranties by at least two times. The company provides professionally trained sales representatives to view, assess and quote on repairs. The installers are employees of RCC and most have long term working relationships. RCC carries full insurance including WSIB coverage and HST registration.

RCC Waterproofing offers:
  • A Lifetime Waterproofing Guarantee!
  • 24-hour emergency services for Ontario residences
  • Fully trained technical sales representatives to view, assess and quote the repair
  • 96 years of third-generation family success both in products and services and superb warranty
  • Full-service options, providing either exterior or interior repairs depending on issues, location, and structure
  • A successful record of servicing over 75,000 customers

To learn more, contact RCC Waterproofing at 416-747-1920 or Toll-Free 1-888-766-2071 or Contact RCC for a Free Inspection