One of the most inspected areas for Mold Inspections are basements. Basements are subterranean, meaning basements are under the earth’s surface. It is cooler under the earth’s surface and the soils under the surface holds moisture. Mold growth occurs on organic surfaces such as wood, furniture, and porous items. Mold does not grow on steel or metal unless there are dirt and dust particles, mold can grow on those organic materials.
Moisture can get out of control when not properly managed in subterranean areas, causing mold growth over time on organic surfaces. There are also some one time-events that can happen such as water rising from the ground and into the sub flooring, or leaking through windows, foundations, vents and doorways. Other events such as a pipe bursting and plumbing leaks (hot water heather leak when they fail), if not fixed will cause mold growth.
First and foremost, in any subterranean space a dehumidifier should be running continuously year round. A dehumidifier will reduce and maintain the level of humidity in the air surrounding it. The dehumidifier works by grabbing the moisture in the air and then dumping it into the “tray”. Instead of emptying this tray every day or every other day or never…run a hose from the dehumidifier to an area where the water can be delivered such as sump pump or sink.
Mold needs moisture and organic materials to grow, such as in the basement photo below. This basement had water intrusion, no lid on the sump pump and no working dehumidifier. Water was also coming from all four corners of the basement and was not corrected.
Because the water issue was not resolved and there was no dehumidifier, mold growth occurred. Mold growth does not happen overnight, it takes a while for it grow and when it grabs a toehold on organic materials, it will grow in the right conditions fast.
There are other instances where mold growth occurs because there are no dehumidifiers running.For example, in the picture below, if you look closely, you will see a film on the wood paneling, these are colonies of mold growth. There was no water entry into this basement, mold growth occurred overtime due to the moisture in the air and the organic materials (wood paneling) for mold to grow on.
Mold growth was found on the wood paneling. The basement above was inspected during the summer, which is hot but cooler below the earth’s surface. There was no dehumidifier running and the basement was very humid. In situations such as above, if mold growth is on one side it will be on the other side of the paneling.
Last – don’t do this! All this does is hide the problem, not take care of the problem – it may even cause more!
Check your basement for any leaks, water intrusions and provide a dehumidification system.If you do not, mold growth will occur, you may not see it now, but trust me, you will soon