Question: I purchased a home here in Hamilton in July ’06. I found out from neighbours that my home had been a grow-op. This was never disclosed to me. I have had air quality testing done and I am showing high levels of penicillium/aspergillus spores in the basement (2800). Outside is over 11,500.
There is no visible mold and alot of renovation was done to the home. I just don’t know how to get rid of something that is not visible. I also do not know of the dangers involved in living here. Please advise.
Answer: Most basements are damp and majority of them will show high counts of airborne Aspergillus/Penicillium spores. Some species of Aspergillus such as Aspergillus versicolor require relatively very little moisture for growth and that’s why basements will almost always have some Aspergillus/Penicillium spores. It’s possible that the growth of Aspergillus/Penicillum in the basement of your home is not due to the grow-ops.
From the information you’ve provided, it doesn’t sound like there is any mould related danger in your home. The basement had 2,800 spores per cubic meter of air compared to over 11,500 spores from the outside. In this case I would think your basement is not terribly bad (compared to the outside!) but you may want to find a way of keeping it relatively dry if it’s already damp. Also, keep monitoring for any visible mould growth, musty smell, and excessive moisture.