Sleepless in St. Clair Shores
There is fuzzy black stuff in my basement – what do I do?
Question for Joe
I have a lot of questions for you but one that is keeping me awake at night. I had water in my basement on multiple occasions and my husband and I cleaned up the water, so we thought. The other day we were moving furniture around and we discovered that there is a wavy line of black mold and fuzziness that is about 1’ around the basement wall and it is really starting to smell bad. I WANT IT OUT NOW!!!! I have kids that play down there everyday. What do I do? Do I have an insurance claim?
St. Clair Shores, MI
Shannon, in the words of Charlie Brown, “UGH”
Sandy, first things first! DON’T LET THE KIDS PLAY IN THE BASEMENT! What you describe is likely a form of bacteria and not necessarily “black mold,” however, caution is warranted. I am not a licensed Industrial Hygienist (A licensed person who tests for mold) and I cannot tell you what kind of substance it is, but we are all smart enough to know it’s not good and something special needs to be done, and quick!
Contact your insurance agent to determine your coverage, but mold is not typically a covered insurance loss. Even when it is covered, the amount is often limited. Regardless, handling this problem yourself could cause more harm than good. If is not handled correctly the cost will grow faster than the bacteria! At this point, you need to contact a reputable mold mitigation specialist that can assess the effected areas and determine the magnitude of the growth. For your own protection you need to call in an Industrial Hygienist who will take samples of the air inside and outside of the home, and will swab the effected areas to determine the type of growth. This testing will produce a very detailed report identifying the type of bacteria and the removal process that your mold mitigation specialist must follow to effectively remove and clean the affected areas. There will be a cost associated with the testing and will likely vary due to size of project.
Once the mitigation specialist completes the work, the Hygienist must come back to conduct a post-test of the same areas to determine if the mitigation was successful. With the right contractor you will be successful on the first try. Now, save the post-test report in a very safe place. You will need it when you sell your home. You have to disclose the now ‘former’ mold issue, the mitigating actions taken and that the home is now safe to occupy.
Sandy, just like weeds in your yard, if you don’t pull the root it will come right back. And in this case, the root is the “water problem you have”. If not addressed, it will happen all over again. Good sleep is something that should not be wasted so start today by calling the professionals at CONSTRUCTEAM to do a free analysis of your basement to see how we can stop the mold madness!!
And remember at “Ask Joe” He will know, there is never a “DUMB” question, but always a “SMART” answer!
Joseph P. Cipriano Jr.