Water stains like these are often seen on drywall within basements. Water infiltration into basements is very common in New Jersey as soil around the foundation walls is seldom sloped away from the home. When soil is not sloped away from the foundation walls surface water, rain water and snow lay against the exterior of the home. Foundation walls are ALL permeable to one extent or another. Water laying against the foundation walls will saturate the walls and eventually end up on the inside of the basement.
Often when we see water damage like this we are concerned about the possibility of mold growth. Mold is a huge issue. Many people watch TV programs or perform research on the internet and obtain information that may or may not be true. If there happens to be something that might look like mold on the interior of the home one must error on the side of caution.
Since there is no generally accepted safe levels of mold calling for mold testing does not always provide the answer to the question “is corrective action necessary”. Asking your doctor what your risk level when exposed to mold might be. According to many all molds to one extent or another are respiratory irritants. Those with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to health problems.
When stains like this are observed corrective actions are necessary as water infiltration will only get worse over time. In addition should other problems come into play it is possible damage can occur to the foundation walls that can be very expensive to cure.