Finding white mold in your basement can immediately spark unwanted worry and anxiety for any homeowner.
You may be wondering, “Is white mold in my basement toxic? Is this a dangerous risk to my family and my home? What can I do to prevent it from growing and spreading?”
Many homeowners ignore the urgency of seemingly harmless mold until it spreads into a serious infestation, so it’s important to know what to look for and how to prevent mold from growing in your basement.
Before you grab the sponges, rubber gloves, and face masks, there are a few things you should know about white mold.
What is white mold?
White mold is a natural fungus that grows when the humidity levels and temperature are ideal in your basement or home. Its semi-translucent coloring makes it harder to spot than its dark-hued cousins. However, its impacts on your health can be just as dangerous.
Mold is easily identified through its spores, not through the body of the mold, which often appears white. White mold’s body and spores remain white throughout its life cycle, while other molds grow spores of different colors. Numerous types of mold appear to be white mold in their early stages.
Note: Labeling any mold as “toxic mold” is actually misleading. No mold is toxic in itself. Some molds do cause mycotoxins that have toxic effects. However, extreme forms of mold are very rare and are generally only life-threatening to infants, the elderly, and the disabled.
Is it white mold or efflorescence?
Efflorescence and white mold are easily confused due to their similar coloring. The location of the white growth, however, can be the simplest way to tell the difference. Efflorescence is a crystalline structure you can only find on concrete or masonry structures, and it’s caused by salty residue left behind when water evaporates. White mold is most often found in damp, dark, and poorly ventilated areas.
If you aren’t sure if a white growth is efflorescence or white mold, drop a few pieces of the white growth into water. If it dissolves, it’s efflorescence.
What are the health implications of white mold?
White mold isn’t dangerous to most people. However, if you have an allergy to mold, living in a home infested with it can be dangerous to your health. Mold spores fill the air of an infected home, causing potentially serious allergic reactions.
Families living in a home with white mold can experience frequent coughing and wheezing from the mold spores in the air. It’s important to remove mold from your home as soon as you discover it. Mold infestations are not only a risk to you and your family, but also to any guests in your home.
How can I get rid of white mold?
Removing mold can be a challenging process. Once it has begun to grow, it’s often difficult to remove all the mold from your home. The best way to stop the growth of white mold in your basement is to remove mold spores as soon as you spot them. Products like ammonia, borax, bleach, or vinegar mixed with water can remove mold from the surface. However, fully removing the mold can be a long, difficult process.
If the infestation is too advanced, seeking professional assistance is the best way for you to remove the mold for good.
How can I prevent white mold?
Unfortunately, fighting off white mold is very difficult once it has started growing. The only way to stop mold in its tracks is to remove its ideal growing conditions. Factors like humidity, poor ventilation, and moisture buildup are perfect catalysts for mold growth in your basement.
Keeping your basement dry is the best way to prevent mold from growing and spreading inside your home. However, if your basement is under attack, you can remove the mold with the help of mold specialists.
Finding white mold in the basement is never something a homeowner wants to happen. Unfortunately, it’s a more common problem than many people think. The age, construction, and ventilation of your home can easily cause and contribute to mold growth.
Prevention and treatment of mold infestations is imperative to the safety of your home and health. If you’re worried about white mold growing in your basement, reach out to mold experts for help.