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Protecting Your Pets from Basement Mold

Mold has a detrimental impact not only on your health but on the health of your pets as well. What can you do to keep your home mold-free?

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Your pets are part of your family. As you’re taking care of your home, you’re also taking care of them. 

When it comes to the condition of your home, your pets can often let you know something’s wrong long before you might otherwise notice. Such is the case with mold. If your pet is exposed to dangerous mold growth, she may start to experience respiratory problems or other health conditions that make her life less comfortable. 

Luckily, you can work both to remove those growths from your home and prevent their return, as long as you know what signs of damage and danger to look for. 

home health and pet health

Mold in Your Home 

The molds that can appear in your home come in many forms. More often than not, you’ll find yourself contending with: 

  • Allergenic molds. As the name suggests, allergenic molds exacerbate your and your pet’s allergies. They can also, however, cause previously-unaffected parties to develop allergies after long-term exposure. 
  • Pathogenic molds. Pathogenic molds make existing health conditions that you and your pet suffer from, such as allergies or immune-deficiency disorders. 
  • Toxigenic molds. Black mold is considered a toxigenic mold and is among the most dangerous types of molds to find in your home. If a professional tells you that you’re contending with a toxigenic mold, you need to evacuate your home with your pet as soon as possible. The longer you stay in that space, the more likely it is that both you and your pet will have to deal with long-term health complications in the years to come. 

Note that several types of mold can take root in your home at the same time if you let moisture linger for too long. Some of the most common home molds include: 

  • Alternaria 
  • Aureobasidium 
  • Cladosporium 
  • Fusarium 
  • Mucor 
  • Penicillium 
  • Stachybotrys 
  • Ulocladium  

Mold’s Impact on Your Health 

Molds of all types tend to exacerbate any health conditions you might already be contending with. That said, you’ll first start to notice problems with your respiratory system if a toxic mold has taken root in your home. Some of the most common early signs you’ll want to look out for include: 

  • Congestion 
  • Coughing 
  • Sore throat 
  • Excessive sneezing 
  • Skin irritation 
  • Headaches 

If you go to a doctor and still can’t understand why you might be experiencing the aforementioned symptoms on a more regular basis than normal, be sure to reach out to the professionals in the Baltimore, MD, area for a home inspection. If you allow mold growth to settle in your home for too long, you may rapidly find yourself facing long-term health conditions, including severe respiratory problems and chronic illness. 

Mold Impact on Your Pet’s Health 

Allergenic, pathogenic, and toxigenic molds can make your pet’s life uncomfortable, if not put her life at risk. As such, you’ll want to watch your pets and see if they display any of the same symptoms you might upon long-term exposure to mold. 

Some of the most common symptoms that pets can display if they’ve come into contact with dangerous mold growth include: 

  • Respiratory problems 
  • Illnesses 
  • Bleeding noses 
  • Excessive scratching 
  • Harmful chewing 
  • Excessive licking 
  • Unusual lethargy 
  • Runny noses and excessive sneezing  

How Does Mold Get into Your Home? 

Wayward air currents carry mold spores into your home and allow them to first settle in your HVAC system. As you run your heat or air conditioning, those spores can move around your home. If you have a leak in your basement or foundation, then the spores will take root nearby, as they’ll have ready access to the nutrients they need to grow. 

If you’re looking to limit mold’s ability to grow in your home, make sure to schedule regular HVAC inspections and cleanings over the course of a year. 

Preventing Mold from Getting into Your Home 

If you want to protect your pet and the rest of your family from the negative effects mold can have on your health, you’ll want to try and lower the humidity levels throughout your home. One of the best ways to do this is to invest in home waterproofing measures. 

When you waterproof your home, you both limit the impact hydrostatic pressure can have on your structural supports and protect those belongings you want to put into storage. You can also lower your electric and water bills on a monthly basis. That said, there are some waterproofing measures that are better for preventing mold growth than others. These include dehumidifiers and vapor barriers. 

You can reach out to area professionals to determine whether or not these solutions might suit your home. Other solutions, like sump pumps and interior drains, can help mitigate larger home leaks while also eliminating the nutrients mold needs to grow. 

You may not want to try and install these solutions on your own. If you try to DIY a home waterproofing solution, you may only end up masking the true problem with your basement or foundation. If you end up covering up the real problem in your home, your pet’s health can continue to decline, as can the health of the rest of your family. Instead, if you want help clearing the mold out of your home or preventing it from taking root in the first place, the professionals in the Baltimore, MD, area can help. You can reach out for a home inspection and a free services quote today.