Should I Finish My Basement Without Checking for Mold?

Home renovations are a big deal these days. The number of magazine and TV shows dedicated to the subject is proof that more and more people are interested in renovating and improving their living spaces. There are a seemingly endless number of projects that can be undertaken, and the spectrum of quality is even wider. That’s part of what fascinates people so much about home renovations: Some of them turn out great, while others seem to create nothing but drama.

Basements are one area that’s getting more attention in recent years. There are a lot of unfinished basements in America, and people are looking at ways to get more out of this valuable square footage, rather than using it only for laundry and storage.

It’s also true that basements tend to attract mold; in fact, basements are one of the most common places where mold becomes a serious problem. This is because humidity levels are often higher in the basement, especially if it hasn’t been waterproofed and/or finished.

For homeowners who are considering basement renovations, the question is this: Should I get my home professionally assessed for mold before going ahead with my basement renovation plans? Or is it safe to dive right into my project, assuming there haven’t been any problems in the past?

The answer really depends on how safe you want to play it: But for many homeowners, “better safe than sorry” is a good rule of thumb when you’re on the verge of putting tens of thousands of dollars into basement renovations.

Think of it this way: If your basement has an existing mold problem – even a relatively minor one – basement renovations could effectively “seal” the mold problem behind all those new materials. This means the problem still exists, and will probably get worse over time. What does this mean for the quality and durability of your re-finished basements?

We know that serious mold cleanup efforts sometimes involve ripping out drywall and other building materials to get at the source of the problem and eliminate it properly. When your basement has been recently re-finished, this is the last thing you want to have happen. The warranties and guarantees on most home renovation contracts will cover things like faulty workmanship and/or materials – but when it comes to a mold problem, you’ll be on your own.

Who to call for a professional assessment

When you call for a professional mold inspection and/or mold testing services, the most important thing is that you find someone who truly is a professional. This means they have all the requisite licensing and certification. It means they have the experience, training, and equipment needed to test and assess residential mold on the highest, most scientific level. It also means they should have a nice collection of positive reviews from past clients who appreciated the professional results that were delivered. If you find a professional with these qualities, you’ll be well on your way to beginning your basement renovations with greater peace of mind.