Impact of Wet Moldy Basement on Other Building Areas
BASEMENT MOLD WATER IMPACT - CONTENTS: Photographs show examples of a wet, moldy, rotted-framing sub basement that served as a moisture problem source for the whole building. How to inspect & test for mold in building basements. How to inspect & test for moldy basement insulation or basement contents & stored items
POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about the effect of wet basements and moldy basements on other building areas: movement of moisture and mold contamination through buildings
This article includes photographs and text illustrating a very wet, moldy, rotted-framed sub-basement inspected by David Grudzinski, a Cranston RI professional home inspector and member of ASHI and NACHI. Page top photo of a rotting, flooding, moldy sub basement, courtesy of Mr. Grudzinski.
BASEMENT WATER & MOLD IMPACT: how moisture & mold from a wet basement or crawl space travel up through the building living area and into the building attic or roof cavity
[Click to enlarge any image]
At BASEMENT MOLD we described visual clues that you can spot in a building basement or crawl space that show the leak history, water sources, and moisture sources in a building.
Mr. Grudzinski's photograph (left) shows severe rot and structural damage found in a building sub basement that had been exposed to periodic flooding. Moisture from this area traveled upwards through the rest of the building where it was also a key contributor to ATTIC MOLD.
Grudzinski's page top photo (above) shows more collapsing framing as well as mold growth. This sub basement was dangerous even to enter, and conditions there apparently indicated a threat of structural collapse of the floor above.
"In the basement of home, a small door in the floor was found. There was a sub basement. The form were still present. The rot and mold was extensive. This white mold was al over, and the room was very humid. " - D.G.
Grudzinski found the sub basement so wet, in fact, that his camera lens fogged up between photos, as he demonstrates in this photograph.
"Some of the forms used to pour the sub basement were still in place.
Some rotted and fell. Notice the fog.
In the time it took to take 2 pictures, the camera fogged again."
Careful examination of these clues, such as leak stain patterns, can also make clear whether water is entering a basement from the ground level (maybe bad gutters and downspouts?) or from a lower source such as ground water or a hidden spring.
"As you can see form the water mark, this sub basement has been subjected to flooding, [probably recurrent flooding.] "
More on basement or crawl space leak prevention and drying out procedures can be read at CRAWL SPACE DRYOUT - home.
If there is visible mold on other basement, sub basement, or crawl space surfaces, don't forget to also check
the conditions in the building attic or roof spaces where moisture may be trapped - see ATTIC MOLD CAUSES
the condition of building insulation in those areas that
during a mold remediation the insurance company, mold consultant, or mold remediator may want to leave in place because it "looks clean".
the overall condition of the building for evidence of rot, and insect damage, structural movement, or even risk of structural collapse
In the photograph shown
here, not only was there extensive Stachybotrys chartarum contamination visible as "black mold" on the
basement drywall, a special vacuum test of the fiberglass insulation in this basement ceiling disclosed high levels of Aspergillus versicolor, Aspergillus sp., & Penicillium sp..
Basements and crawl spaces that have been wet or exposed to high moisture are common reservoirs of hidden mold such as moldy insulation.
This article is part of our series: MOLD in BUILDINGS which describes how to find mold and test for mold in buildings, including how and where to collect mold samples using an easy,
inexpensive, low-tech but very effective mold testing method.
The wet conditions in this sub basement formed the principal moisture source in the building above, leading to a moldy attic that we describe at ATTIC MOLD CAUSES.
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Questions & answers or comments about the effect of wet basements and moldy basements on other building areas: movement of moisture and mold contamination through buildings.
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Kansas State University, department of plant pathology, extension plant pathology web page on wheat rust fungus: see http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/path-ext/factSheets/Wheat/Wheat%20Leaf%20Rust.asp
"A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home",
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency US EPA - includes basic advice for building owners, occupants, and mold cleanup operations. See http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.htm
US EPA - Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Building [Copy on file at /sickhouse/EPA_Mold_Remediation_in_Schools.pdf ] - US EPA
US EPA - Una Breva Guia a Moho - Hongo [Copy on file as /sickhouse/EPA_Moho_Guia_sp.pdf - en Espanol
Allergies, Allergens, Allergy Testing in buildings - References & Products
Allergen Tests in buildings advice about how to test, what to look for, in evaluating the level of dog, cat, or other animal allergens in a building
"IgG Food Allergy Testing by ELISA/EIA, What do they really tell us?" Sheryl B. Miller, MT (ASCP), PhD, Clinical Laboratory Director, Bastyr University Natural Health Clinic - ELISA testing accuracy: Here is an example of Miller's critique of ELISA
http://www.betterhealthusa.com/public/282.cfm - Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients
The critique included in that article raises compelling questions about IgG testing assays, which prompts our interest in actually screening for the presence of high levels of particles that could carry allergens - dog dander or cat dander in the case at hand.
http://www.tldp.com/issue/174/IgG%20Food%20Allergy.html contains similar criticism in another venue but interestingly by the same author, Sheryl Miller. Sheryl Miller, MT (ASCP), PhD, is an Immunologist and Associate Professor of Basic and Medical Sciences at Bastyr University in Bothell, Washington. She is also the Laboratory Director of the Bastyr Natural Health Clinic Laboratory.
Allergens: Testing for the level of exposure to animal allergens is discussed at http://www.animalhealthchannel.com/animalallergy/diagnosis.shtml (lab animal exposure study is interesting because it involves a higher exposure level in some cases
Allergens: WebMD discusses allergy tests for humans at webmd.com/allergies/allergy-tests
Animal Allergens: Dog, Cat, and Other Animal Dander - Cleanup & Prevention Information for Asthmatics and regarding Indoor Air Quality.
Recognizing Allergens: What various indoor allergens look like - identification photos to help identify pollen, dust mites, animal dander, toxic or allergenic mold - Common Mold and other Allergens, Irritants, Remedies & Advice
Rodent control issues, including dander, fecal, and urine contamination of buildings and Building insulation are discussed at our
Associations: Sick House, Sick Building, SBS - Air Quality, Government, Private Associations and Information Resources
Atlas of Clinical Fungi, 2nd Ed., GS deHoog, J Guarro, J Gene, & MJ Figueras, Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, 2000, ISBN 90-70351-43-9 (you can buy this book at Amazon) - The Atlas of Clinical Fungi is also available on CD ROM
"A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home", U.S. Environmental Protection Agency US EPA - includes basic advice for building owners, occupants, and mold cleanup operations. See http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.htm
"Disease Prevention in Home Vegetable Gardens,"
Department of Plant Microbiology and Pathology,
Department of Horticulture, University of Missouri Extension - extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G6202
Fifth Kingdom, Bryce Kendrick, ISBN13: 9781585100224, is available from the InspectAPedia online bookstore - we recommend the CD-ROM version of this book. This 3rd/edition is a compact but comprehensive encyclopedia of all things mycological. Every aspect of the fungi, from aflatoxin to zppspores, with an accessible blend of verve and wit. The 24 chapters are filled with up-to-date information of classification, yeast, lichens, spore dispersal, allergies, ecology, genetics, plant pathology, predatory fungi, biological control, mutualistic symbioses with animals and plants, fungi as food, food spoilage and mycotoxins.
Ozone Warnings - Use of Ozone as a "mold" remedy is ineffective and may be dangerous.
Rot concerns in buildings-some building mold such as Meruliporia incrassata "Poria" risks serious rot and hidden structural damage
US EPA: Una Breva Guia a Moho - Hongo [Copy on file as /sickhouse/EPA_Moho_Guia_sp.pdf - en Espanol
OTHER IAQ ISSUES: How To Find and Address Other Indoor Air or Indoor Environment Contaminants Besides Mold
Mold or allergens may not be the only or even the main indoor environmental contaminant. Don't let media attention to mold
cause so much enviro-scare fear that other, possibly more urgent hazards go un-addressed.
Rodents, Mice, Squirrel Control - I find high levels of mouse and rodent dander, fecal dust, and urine-contaminated dust in some buildings,
and high levels of these materials in building insulation in those locations. If you have a mouse problem, particularly if mice and their waste (fecals or urine) are contaminating
the building HVAC or building insulation, may need both steps to clean up or remove infected materials and steps to stop an ongoing
rodent problem. If squirrels are a problem, the cleanup needs to include closing off entry openings into the building. Get some
help from a licensed pest control expert.
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: email@example.com. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
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