Inner Banner

Tag Archives: basement mold

Should You Build An Egress Window This Spring?

Shively Spring is here and it is finally beginning to warm up. Soon, the hot Central Maryland summers will arrive, and homeowners will be lowering the temperatures in their homes or looking for the coolest room in the house as a respite from the heat. 

For many people, the coolest room in the house is the basement. It is below ground, and the cool air is kept tight. It doesn’t go up into the above floors or get warm, like the top floor of the home typically does (especially in older homes.)

Since the time people stay in the basement will greatly increase, it may be time to consider what might happen if there is an emergency and you are stuck in the basement. Can you exit quickly? Is the exit large enough for everyone? Are you even able to open the window or door to get out? 

It may be time to have an egress window installed in your basement. Egress windows are essential for your family and others who are staying or visiting your home. An egress window does the following:

    1. Safety: Basements are often used as extra bedrooms. I see these all the time in my Central Maryland customers. If you or a family member is staying in your home, you should have an egress window installed immediately. Should there be a fire or other emergency, the egress window is an easy and accessible escape route for them. It also can be an entry point for emergency personnel. It is particularly helpful if there is a stairwell on the opposite side of the home where individuals are staying http://annedickson.co.uk/2022/03/
    2. Comfortable buy gabapentin over the counter :  Maryland building codes require egress windows to have an opening of, at least, 5.7 sq. ft. This opening brings natural light to the basement. It also can make it much more comfortable. Your basement may not be a bedroom. It could be a rec room, home office, or a living room. The egress window will add light to an otherwise dark and dingy room. 
    3. Property values are increased. Adding an egress window to your home will also increase the resale value. As this space may be used by the next owners as a closet, storage, or another type of living space. In fact, not having an egress window in your basement may be a disadvantage. The prospective new buyer may even require one to be installed. 

Also, if you install the egress window in the spring or summer, there won’t be any cold-weather drafts coming through which will keep your electricity bill down. Caulk also bonds better in warmer weather. Installing the egress window this season is a smart decision, and won’t interrupt your lifestyle or increase your living expenses. 

M Taylor Enterprise has installed many Egress windows in the Montgomery County, Maryland area. We can install them efficiently and quickly.  Contact us at (301) 649-3406 or at matt@mtaylorenterprise.com for a free consultation.

*** For more information on Maryland temperatures, visit the Maryland state website.

Five Reasons You See Mold in Your Basement

One of the worst things that can happen to your home is to get a mold infestation. I have seen many homes that have it and it’s scary.

It’s scary because not only does mold smell bad and look horrible, it’s also a threat to the health of the homeowners. Once the mold is discovered, it needs to be removed as quickly as possible as it will only get worse.

Mold starts as a spore floating around the home. Mold spores are always present and can never be totally eliminated. Mold will not survive if it is allowed to sit. When water is added to it, the mold begins to grow. Mold has tentacle-like arms (hyphae) which spread and tangle as it moves along the surface. Basement mold has a fuzzy or slimy appearance. 

It then develops and grows when water gradually runs down from the roof and downspouts into the ground around your home foundation. It will run out of room and begin pooling. Eventually, the water breaks through basement waterproofing or through the cracks in the foundation. The basement will flood and cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.

So, before the worst-case scenario comes true, you can detect the signs of mold:

  1. Musty smell: This one is the most obvious. You will smell a strange and unpleasant odor. The stronger the smell, the worse the mold growth. It can be located near the damp area in the household.
  2. Rust: This means there is excessive moisture in the house. It also means that this is the perfect environment for mold to grow.
  3. Water damage: Mold is a given if you have had water damage. Water can be absorbed which makes it damp, creating another environment for mold to grow. During winter, indoor condensation leads to higher humidity, which helps mold grow. 
  4. Walls have bubbles: Mold may form bubbles on the walls. You will find this mold in bathrooms, the basement, and near windows. It may be from a leaky pipe or window seal. 
  5. Health issues: This is the worst sign and the one that tells you that mold has gotten out of control in your home. As a result of breathing mold spores every day, homeowners may develop allergies. They may have nasal congestion, watery eyes, or a nagging cough. The skin may also itch or have tingling sensations. It may also be flaky and dry and lead to hives. Mold spores may migrate to the lungs becoming asthma. 

Mold should never be ignored. It will not go away unless it has been removed by a mold remediation company. If you detect any or all of these symptoms, contact a basement waterproofing contractor for a consultation. 

M Taylor Enterprise can inspect your home foundation to see if you have any mold issues. Call our home foundation and structural repair experts in Maryland at (301) 649-3406 or matt@mtaylorenterprise.comWe will do a free consultation, make recommendations then do any needed repairs done quickly and efficiently. 

We serve Montgomery County, MD, parts of Prince Georges, MD, and Howard County, MD.

Basement Waterproofing: Is Your Basement Safe?

Like most homeowners, especially if you have children, your basement is a busy place. You have a rec room there, or an entertainment center or a lot of storage or, your laundry room. Family members are down there for hours at a time and visitors may also be spending time there watching the game or playing pool. You may have a family member who lives there.

So, since you spend some time down there, you need to know of possible hazards in your basement. Watch out for the following: 

  1. Poor ventilation: If I’ve smelled it once, I’ve smelled it a thousand times when I go to work on a customer’s basement: a stuffy, musty smell. This is because the basement has very poor ventilation. This odor may cause asthma attacks and other upper respiratory issues for anyone who spends a fair amount of time in the basement.
  2. Chemicals being stored: Basements are places where we typically store paints, glues, thinners, and other volatile chemicals. These cans may not be closed completely, which means toxic substances will be released into the air. Exposure to these toxicities may cause serious health problems such as asthma, migraines, obesity, diabetes, thyroid issues, immune disorders and, even, cancer. *** 
  3. The dryer that is not vented: Your clothes dryer should run a vent pipe to the outside of the house. Unfortunately, and I have seen it, too, many homeowners have a dryer that only catches lint while recirculating warm air into the basement. The exhaust and chemicals from laundry detergent and other cleaning agents are sent into the basement air which can cause respiratory and vision problems. Basements are damp, which is precisely the environment in which mold thrives. Mold spores shot into the air from mold and mildew can lead to persistent coughing, excessive sneezing, runny nose, and dry, itchy skin.
  4. Gases from the sewer: Your sewer line may have come into your basement through the floor drain. Typically, the sewer trap dries out, allowing sewer gases to enter the basement. This is methane, which is quite toxic and is very unhealthy (not to mention noxious).
  5. Mosquitos and other pest infestations: Basements may also have pools of water in the floor, at the corners, or at the bottom of cracks in the wall. During the warmer months, these may attract mosquitos, carpenter bees, and other destructive pests. 
  6. Carbon Monoxide: Another popular feature that I’ve seen in many basements in Central Maryland, where we are based, is fuel-fired furnaces. If there is improper ventilation, these furnaces will release carbon monoxide. This is a major fire hazard. However, more importantly, carbon monoxide moves upward, into the home and may cause dizziness, headaches, and even death. Your furnace should be inspected once a year. Carbon monoxide detectors could also be installed in the basement and around the floors above it. 

As I tell my customers, your basement is a hotbed of activity, good and bad. If you are experiencing any of the above problems, contact a basement waterproofing contractor and have them complete a thorough inspection of your home. It may cost a few dollars, but your health and that of your loved ones is priceless. Keep it a safe place for everyone!

M Taylor Enterprise can inspect your home foundation to see if you have any basement waterproofing issues. Call our home foundation and structural repair experts in Maryland at (301) 649-3406 or matt@mtaylorenterprise.comWe will do a free consultation, make recommendations then do any needed repairs done quickly and efficiently. We serve the Montgomery County, parts of Prince Georges and Howard Counties.

*** For more information on mold and the health issues caused by it, visit the Functional Medical Institute website