Mold is an important part of nature, helping with the decomposition of organic matter and the recycling of nutrients in ecosystems. While outdoor mold is essential, mold growing indoors presents health hazards and can cause property damage. Molds reproduce by means of tiny airborne spores that travel virtually anywhere, even in our homes.
Even though there are traces of mold spores indoors, they need the right “ingredients” to produce mold. Unfortunately, the conditions for mold growth are found in most homes: a food source (such as drywall, carpet, and wood), warmth, darkness, enough time to grow, and most importantly, moisture. Since moisture is an essential factor in mold growth, here are the common culprits that cause elevated moisture in homes:
- Flooding can bring in a huge amount of water into your home, causing severe water damage and possibly mold growth within 24-48 hours. Calling a professional restoration company immediately after the disaster is your best chance of mitigating water damage and preventing mold growth.
- Increased humidity can occur in homes in many ways — humid weather, continuous rain, cooking, showering, etc. To help prevent mold growth in your home, make sure your house is well-ventilated and keep the humidity below 55 percent.
- Insufficient ventilation leads to increased humidity, and thus, to mold growth and other problems like indoor pollution. Make sure to open doors and/or windows when practical and to use fans as needed.
- Leaking pipes are a common problem in homes and must be fixed immediately. Oftentimes, leaks are hidden from view, such as inside walls, so make sure to inspect walls for water stains regularly.
- Roof leaks are also a way for water to seep into your home and cause mold. If you see water stains on the ceiling, check for water damage in the attic and have your roof inspected and fixed as soon as possible.
- Condensation occurs when warm moisture-laden air comes in contact with cold surfaces. Condensation can be visible on walls, windows, concrete floors or metal pipes. Reduce condensation by adjusting the humidity in your home.
- Basements provide excellent conditions for mold growth due to poor ventilation, cooler temperatures (that promote condensation), and frequent water leaks and flooding. Learn how to prevent and deal with basement flooding in this article.
Mold can also grow in various unexpected areas in the home, which can make mold remediation more difficult. Learn more mold prevention tips in this article and the dos and don’ts of minor mold cleaning here. For professional mold removal, as well as fire and water restoration services, contact your local PuroClean office.