The Dangers of Black Mold in Basements

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Any type of mold in a home can cause serious health issues in those who are at risk but one of the most dangerous types is Stachybotrys chartarum. Although Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold as it is commonly known, can be found almost anywhere in a home, the basement is particularly susceptible to its insidious growth. This is due to the prime conditions for its growth that are present in either an unfinished or a finished basement. Any area that has a high moisture content, poor ventilation, and is dark can be a breeding ground. It feeds on material with a high cellulose and low nitrogen content , such as wood, fiberboard, gypsum board, and paper. A basement is also often more neglected than other parts of the house, therefore allowing the mold a longer period to grow undetected.

Possible Complications
Not everyone suffers from exposure to black mold. But for those who are vulnerable to it, the complications can be very bothersome at the least and a serious health issue for others. These symptoms can range from nasal congestion, wheezing, skin irritations, and eye inflammation to fever and shortness of breath, or even fungal infections of the lungs. Those who suffer from asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or who have compromised immune systems are most at risk for developing complications from exposure.
Health issues are not the only complications of this infestation. Its growth on wooden building materials, especially those used in the framework of a finished basement, can be especially dangerous because it uses these paths to infiltrate the rest of the house. This can cause a weakening in bearing walls and beams, thus compromising the entire home.

Although there are methods that can be used by the do-it-yourself home owner, it is usually wisest to contact a professional basement contractor or mold removal specialist. These people have been trained to root out the source of the contamination and to fully exterminate it. The work of a professional basement contractor is guaranteed, and they are able to deal with many problems that the everyday home owner isn’t. A professional will not only remove the black mold that is visible but will also search for any that may be hidden in ceilings, floors, and walls. The peace of mind gained from hiring a professional is usually well worth the money spent.

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