Mold on Long Island



It's common to see mold in Long Island Homes, especially in basements and crawlspaces where moisture levels are high and air circulation is poor. Mold is a fungus.  Mold spores, are seeds looking for a place to attach and propagate and is everywhere including the dust in your house.   The key to preventing mold growth is to prevent excess moisture in the home.

What does mold need to thrive?

Mold needs several items to thrive, moisture, poor air circulation and poor lighting.  That is why mold usually starts at the lower corners of the basement walls where humidity is highest and light and air circulation is the poorest. 


What can I do to control mold in my house?

1. Keep the inside air as dry as possible during the humid summer months.

  • Our inspections have shown that homes equipped with the correct sized central air conditioner system (and use it continuously during the humid summer months) have the least incidents of basement mold.  Central air conditioners are a natural dehumidifier.  If the basement is open, there is need to duct the air conditioner to the basement since cold air (which is heavier than warm air) will find it way to the basement.  Just leave the basement door open and the dryer air will make it into the basement. 
  • A dehumidifier can also be used in the basement; however these units have drawbacks.  They require daily maintenance to empty out the collected water and they produce heat. 

2. Ensure no exterior water enters the through the basement walls.

  • Make sure you gutters are clean and not overflowing.  Also leaders must divert water away from the basement foundation walls.
  • Make sure all exterior grounds adjacent the basement walls are pitched down away from the house for at least six feet.  Note, trees and shrubs may need to be removed.
  • Check the pitch of pavement (driveway, patio, etc) that touches the exterior basement walls. If the is pavement settled toward the house,  the pavement should be replaced with new pavement that is sloped down away from the house;
  • If the basement contains unfinished walls, you must seal any cracks with masonry epoxy and paint the walls with a water proofing paint such as Drylok.
  • If you live in an area with a high water table where water seeps up from the basement floor then you must install a drywell.

3. Ensure no problems with the house mechanics.

  • Make sure there are no plumbing pipe leaks.  
  • Ensure that the bath or shower enclosure, etc are not leaking to the ceiling directly below.
  • Make sure the clothes dryer vent is connected, clean and diverting the humid air to the house exterior.

What Health Problems are related to mold?


Plenty, mold can cause throat problems, wheezing, coughing, nasal condition,Emphysema, Asthma, Fibromyalgia Chronic Lung and Sinus Infections, Fatigue Syndrome,  Mental and neurological symptoms, Respiratory symptoms, Circulatory symptoms, Vision and eye problems, Skin problems, Immune system problems, Reproductive system problems, Tiredness and discomfort, or just feeling sick.   You must consult a medical professional if you are concerned about the effects of mold within the living space of the home.  

How do I tell if I have a mold problem?

Does your basement have a musty odor?  Do you see stains on sheetrock, wood panel boards, foundation walls which may appear similar to cotton, velvet, granular, or leather and have varied colors of white, gray, brown, black, yellow, green?  Does anyone in your home feel sick or has a breathing related problem? When mold is visible, or suspected, testing is recommended. Call a licensed mold remediation contractor to correct the mold problem. 

Copyright Alfred Triolo, PE