There are a lot of things lurking in your basement. Aside from snakes, the worst thing you can have is toxic mold. Any type of mold, in fact is undesirable. You can initially sense its presence in your basement if there are musty odors around your house. Basement mold is usually hidden away in a crack or corner, but the smell is a great determining factor of its presence.
Here are some ways to determine if there is a mold infestation in your basement:
1. Check the floors and walls of the basement. Black mold appears in streaks or patches. It appears slimy and colored black or green or sometimes white with orange spots. Look for stains with yellowish tint, which is an indication that you have a mold problem. Check underneath sinks and around pipes as well.
2. Determine if there are musty or mildewy smells every time you go into the basement. You might also notice this smell in your house. Be alert if you smell these odors when you turn on the heating or air-conditioning units. There is a small possibility that mold has infested the systems. However, that rarely happens.
3. Check your basement using a mold-testing kit. They can be readily purchased from any hardware or home improvement store. You can also buy them online. Have the kit tested in a mold laboratory to determine the type of mold present in the basement and the extent of its growth.
4. Look out for signs of black mold poisoning. Black mold is also known as toxic mold. It creates dangerous conditions in the home. Exposure to this can cause poisoning. Symptoms also include respiratory problems, coughing, headaches, and nausea, dizziness and skin rashes.
5. Look closely at organic surfaces in the basement such as evidence of water entry. Most probably, mold has grown on moist surfaces in the basement. Floor stains or remains of cardboard boxes that were wet and removed are important clues.
6. Check out the backside of the basement stairs, most particularly those in the lower risers or treads. You will probably find mold growing in these areas.
7. Make sure to inspect furniture and other materials stored in the basement. Check out underside of game tables or furniture.
8. Check the insulation for mold and inspect further for dry wall mold. There is a great possibility that the cavities of a roof leak could cause mold growth on the hidden drywall surfaces.
9. Determine if the paint or wallpaper is peeling. This is a good moisture indicator and should warn you of the possibility of mold growth in these areas. If you do your laundry in the basement, keep in mind that un-aired clothes dryer can attract mold growth due to its humidity.
10. Check the shelves and closets in the basement for mold presence, especially if you keep partially dry clothes in the basement.