Can Mold in the Basement Affect Upstairs?

Molds are a common trait of basements because they are often damp and seldomly receive sunlight and air. Have you ever wondered if the mold in your basement is dangerous to your family’s health? Or are you unsure if the mold in the basement can affect the upstairs? If so, read on to discover the implication of living with a basement infiltrated by mold.

The basements are often used to store unused items. Therefore, it is always dark and receives less maintenance when compared to other regions of the house. As a result, molds can grow in the basement for a long time undetected. In addition, various materials like wood and concrete are available for the growth of the spores. 

Three things are essential for the growth of molds: a moist environment, a surface to attach, and nutrients. Mold spores are lightweight. Therefore, they can easily be carried through the air. If the upstairs in your home suits the criteria for mold growth, the spores efficiently migrate there. In addition, mold spores can travel throughout the house, attaching to toys, clothes, furniture and other surfaces. The mold will spread if you have moisture issues, such as a leaking pipe or cracked walls impregnated with moisture.


Does Mold from Basement Affect Upstairs?

Yes, mold from the basement affects the upstairs. Whether you frequently visit the basement or not, the presence of mold there will significantly impact your life. Molds can reach the basement ceiling, from which they can spread to other rooms.

Once a mold takes root, it spreads very fast with its spores. Air conditioners can facilitate the spread of the spores as they pass through the vents across other areas of the home. Mold and its spores have been implicated in major respiratory problems.

How Does Mold Spread from the Basement to other parts of the House?

There are a few ways that the mold or spores can quickly spread to other areas of the home. First, it can grow along the wall. Molds are nasty as they cause paint to degenerate and reduce the wall’s integrity. Therefore, the spores can easily pass through the cracks to other rooms.

In addition, spores are carried in the air. Suppose the spores get lodged into air conditioners, ventilation, or heating vents. They are easily moved to other rooms. The spores begin to grow if the environment is conducive for their survival. If left unattended, they continue to spread to other areas of the home, such as the bathrooms, kitchen and toilet.

Is Mold in the Basement Dangerous?

When mold begins to spread, it looks for damp and dark places to take root. Mold produces allergens, which are substances that can cause irritation. The effects of mold could be acute or chronic. Acute results indicate that the symptoms show within a short time of exposure. However, it may take several weeks for some before they manifest any symptoms. Individuals in the home could suddenly develop the following symptoms:

  • Running nose
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Rashes and redness of the skin
  • Respiratory distress

Note: Living with mold can trigger an attack for individuals with a history of asthma. Also, children, the elderly and individuals with an allergen are at a greater risk for developing acute symptoms that may be debilitating. If such occurs, contact the doctor immediately!

How To Deal With Mold

Immediately you notice a mold in your basement, do your best to remove it. If the mold is on a hard surface like concrete, you can scrub it off. However, if it is already on soft surfaces like rugs, you may need to hire a professional.

How to Prevent Mold in your Basement

Preventing molds in your basement requires you to dedicate time to clean and check the area. Suppose you aim to prevent molds. Your focus should be on keeping your basement dry. Moisture buildup is one of the factors that can facilitate the growth of mold in the basement.

Also, schedule routine checkups to ensure nothing is dripping water as this could promote mold growth. In addition, it helps if you maintain the moisture levels above the basement. You can purchase a dehumidifier to keep the moisture levels in check. However, a dehumidifier will be useless if there is already mold growth in the basement or upstairs.

In addition, it helps if you wash your dirty plates immediately after eating. Also, remember to clean out the kitchen trash as it may become fertile breeding grounds for molds. 

Suppose you see mold growth within an area, clean it out immediately. However, it is not enough to remove. You have to kill the spores. Suppose you are doing it yourself. A 50-50 bleach and water solution will do the trick. However, if you notice it in various spots, you may need to bring in the big guns- mold experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is mold in the basement dangerous?

Yes, mold in the basement is dangerous. It could have significant impact on health.

Can you get sick when you have mold in your basement?

Yes, you can get sick. Exposure to mold or spores can trigger short and long term health problems.

How can you tell if mold is growing in your basement?

Check the walls, floors and other surfaces for stains, patches, or streak that may appear white, green, or black. In addition, if your basement has a damp, earthly, or musty smell, you should probably look out for molds.

What can you do when you find a mold in your basement?

Remove it immediately if it is not widespread. But if it is, call an expert mold remover to get it done.


Molds tend to grow when the basement is too damp. A simple solution to mold spouse growth is to ensure you include the basement when doing routine home cleaning. Therefore you can identify the growth of mold before it becomes widespread. Subsequently, you can take appropriate action to protect your health and that of your family members. Remember to inspect the home for underlying moisture issues to prevent mold reoccurrence.



Bill is a DIY plumber, handyman, and homeowner with more than a decade of experience. He has replaced and repaired sump pumps, backup pumps, float switches, check valves, and many other things around his family home. An engineer and tinkerer at heart, he is always looking to see how things work and taking on new home projects that help him grow his skillsets. He is a husband and father of two boys, has a bachelors degree in Computer Engineer and minor in Mathematics and likes to make homebrew beer in his free time.

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