Mold in Basement: Is It Toxic?
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’re heading out to Wisconsin where Kimmy has a question about mold. What can we do for you today?
KIMMY: It’s on the walls and it started at the bottom of the wall. It’s black mold and in some areas, it’s somewhat green but most of it is black. And I was trying to get the basement refurnished. And when the guy came and started it, he had to stop because the mold is coming through the panel and you can still see it at the bottom.
TOM: Yeah. Now, this is a home that you own, Kimmy?
KIMMY: No. I’m renting.
TOM: You’re renting it. OK. So, this is the landlord’s problem; this isn’t your problem. And it’s a potentially serious problem, depending on how much of it is there. That type of mold is what’s known as Stachybotrys: that sort of blackish, greenish mold. And in some cases, it can be – cause an allergic-like effect on people. Could make you not feel very well. And people that are really sensitive to molds can get super sick around it.
Removing it is possible but there’s a process to it. It’s not just a matter of tearing out the old walls or scrubbing it away. Because if you do it incorrectly, you can release those mold spores and they float around the air. And it can get up into the parts of the house that don’t have mold and kind of contaminate it.
So, I would take some pictures of it. I would send a letter to the landlord and let him know what’s going on. And he’s got to address it, because this is a potentially very serious problem. You can’t let it continue.
KIMMY: Thank you so much. I appreciate it. I noticed that since I moved here – asthma runs in my family but I never had asthma. And now I have asthma, I have bronchitis.
TOM: You may be living in a sick house. Your dog seems quite happy, though.
KIMMY: You know, they tried – I even – they even said that it could be dog hair.
TOM: No, no. If you’ve got that kind of mold, you’ve got a serious problem. You need to put him on notice that they’ve got to fix it.
Kimmy, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.