No homeowner fancies the idea of mold growing in their family home. Mold growth is a nightmare. You never quite see it coming, and it’s quite tricky to resolve.
Left unchecked, mold can take over your indoors and trigger many health problems, from respiratory infections to throat issues to skin irritations.
Don’t let these microorganisms invade the home as they’ll make indoor living unpleasant. If you are experiencing unprecedented mold growth, you might want to learn why mold is present in your home.
Major Causes of Mold
Typical of fungi, mold grows and thrives in certain conditions. Reducing or removing those conditions causes mold infestation or colony to die. Below are fix factors that instigate and contribute to mold outbreaks in your home.
1. Mold Spores
One major factor that gives rise to mold is mold spores. Preventing these microorganisms is quite hard, as they’re prolific and abundant. Spores are invisible to the naked eye and can float into your from the outdoors.
Mold spores usually spread through air movement. They can also be introduced indoors via contaminated clothing or materials. It’s almost impossible to remove mold spores from your home completely.
Keeping the indoor conditions less favorable to mold is the only remedy you have to deter these microorganisms.
Mold problem also happens when these next four elements that create optimum conditions are present.
As with all organisms, water is the key to life. Mold thrives in damp or moist conditions. There’s no specific humidity level where mold can’t thrive. It all depends on a combination of factors and sources of moisture.
Whether the environment is extremely humid or slightly damp, you can be sure mold can grow there. The longer the dampness prevails, the higher the chance for mold to grow.
Mold usually starts growing in hidden and damp spaces. Minor plumbing leaks under the kitchen sink or bathroom that go unnoticed for many weeks can cause dampness that ultimately triggers mold growth.
Mold might also grow in areas like the ceiling, especially if there’s a roof leak. It may also appear on the inside walls due to leaks from water lines, drain waste, and cracks on your plumbing lines. Dampness might also occur due to condensation when water lines sweat, especially in high-humidity environments.
Bathrooms are another hotspot for active mold growth, particularly corners of the showers that are perpetually wet. Small, black patches might form on the grout lines. But these aren’t the only areas. Door tracks and shower curtains might also spur mold growth. If you remove water, mold won’t grow.
3. Food Source
Mold is a microorganism that needs to feed to survive and reproduce. There are countless sources of food outdoors, where green plants and organic materials exist. You can find mold on tree trunks and under old logs. Mold is also present in the soil, grass, and rocks.
Your home also contains mold food that you wouldn’t think of. Mold in your bathroom usually feeds on the cellulose in the wood panels or wallboard. It can also feed on small amounts of dirt and dust in there.
When mold gets into your home, it can cling to various things. The microorganisms can consume drywall insulation, damp cardboard, gypsum sheetrock, and the surface of your clothes or linen.
Microscopic materials trapped in your carpet and the residue on your smooth tile surface also provide nourishment to mold.
Numerous particles like dust and pollens float in the air around your home. Molds also feed on these airborne particles. Air also contains the spores of other types of mold species that also feature on the mold’s diet.
Eliminating food sources for mold is impractical. The best chance you have is to control other elements, especially the dim, moist and warm spaces where toxic black mold could hide and grow.
4. Oxygen Supply
Similar to animals, mold needs oxygen to survive. Oxygen enables mold to grow and reproduce. Without oxygen, mold spores won’t perform the biological processes that lead to cell division and mass formation. A steady supply of oxygen is crucial for the multiplication and spread of mold spores.
As well as contributing to the chemical and biological growth of mold, air movement enables mold to move from your basements to the living spaces all the way to the attic. The spread might be a few inches or well across the floor or between rooms or even your entire house.
Mold requires a small amount of air to prosper. Air that’s present or trapped inside wall cavities or beneath your insulation can also give rise to mold. Closed containers and sealed boxes have ambient air, which can assist mold in surviving.
Just like food, it’s almost impractical to eliminate air in areas where mold will inhabit. One of the best defenses against molds is moving lots of air through proper ventilation and fans. Proper ventilation ensures moisture evaporation that allows damp surfaces to dry. So, it all comes back to regulating moisture.
Mold can’t withstand direct exposure to sunlight. The ultraviolet rays in the sunlight destroy mold’s cellular structure. This explains why mold only inhabits dark or dim places like under a tree canopy or north-facing tree trunks and rocks.
However, indoor lighting isn’t harmful to mold as it doesn’t produce the same types of photos that eliminate mold or stop its spread. So, mold can still grow in homes with fluorescent or incandescent lighting. A funny smell is a common sign that mold is growing indoors.
While you can’t bathe your entire home with sunlight, you can use certain types of indoor lighting that emulates the sun’s wavelengths. Such light can dismember mold. However, this approach isn’t cheap. Mold might still take hold of warm and moist places with limited light conditions.
Possible Solutions to Deter Home Mold Growth
Not sure what solution to use? Let’s look at what you can do to curb mold problems or mildew in your home.
- Control humidity – Get a dehumidifier to dry out the air inside your home and below-the-grade areas like the basement.
- Deal with condensation – Wipe down cold surfaces, cover food when cooking, use air conditioning, and insulate water pipes to stop sweating, contributing to moisture buildup and high humidity.
- Use insulation – Proper insulation stops moisture from the outside from infiltrating your home through cracks or openings on your concrete wall.
- Fix plumbing issues – Ask your local plumber to inspect your plumbing system and repair water leaks along your water lines before they cause water damage.
- Reseal windows – Check the caulk around your windows. If they’re loose or missing, re-apply them, so the windows don’t allow moist outside air in.
- Waterproof the basement and foundation – Drainage problems often instigate moisture in your basement. You can correct the problem by ensuring proper drainage around your home. Basement gutters, weep holes, sump pumps might come in handy in keeping your home dry.
- Improve ventilation – poorly ventilated homes can also foster mold growth. Get an air conditioner and run it to move air around your home.
Want to Know What Perpetuates Mold Spores in Your Home? Contact Service Master of Colorado Springs to Arrange a Mold Inspection
Our licensed crew can perform thorough mold cleanup and removal with over 30 years of industry experience treating mold. We use a holistic approach and can remove large steaks of mold to deter future growth and prevent the situation from getting out of control.
We can help you identify the sign of mold growth, uncover what causes mold in your basements and property then get rid of it within 48 hours—Call (719) 356-3189 to schedule an inspection and mold remediation.