Mold is becoming an ever increasing problem in homes everywhere. If it is allowed to get a grip it is not only detrimental to your property but to the health of the the occupants.
House mold requires certain conditions to flourish these are humidity, warmth, food, oxygen, time, darkness and of course the presence of mold spores in the atmosphere. If your home can provide these elements BEWARE!
The problem arises usually when the cold weather begins to set in and we begin to seal up our houses in a effort to keep the warmth in and make them more energy efficient. So why is this a problem? Quite simply without ventilation the humidity in your home will build up due to every day activities such as bathing, cooking, hanging wet laundry up to dry – even breathing produces vapour!
When the air begins to cool it cannot hold the humidity as vapour as readily and it begins to form water droplets, or condensation on cold surfaces such as windows, window frames, metal pipes, concrete floors, walls etc. Without ventilation pockets of stagnant air are created which make an ideal environment for house mold growth. There are of course other causes for house mold.
Damaged Outer Wall
1. Poor maintenance of your property can lead to leaks in roofs and pipes going un-noticed until the mold has already grown to considerable levels the same can apply to blocked gutters which can cause water to gather and then seep into your house through the walls and even the ceiling. Cracks in the outer walls which are not fixed will also allow water to soak through.
2. Wet Laundry and Clothing is another major cause of house mold. Piles of wet clothing waiting to be washed or laundered clothes which are left wet for a day or more will begin to form mold. The use of a tumble dryer when laundry cannot be air dried outside produces vast quantities of moisture into the atmosphere in your house therefore it is essential that it has a ventilation hose which goes directly outside. Of course drying laundry on clothes racks inside is just as bad if there is no ventilation in the room. This all creates ideal mold growing conditions.
3. If you have a basement which is not well ventilated – which tends to be the case in the majority of basements it will suffer from much higher levels of humidity. Coupled with the fact that it will most likely be cold down there condensation is likely to form on walls, floors and metal pipes which will in turn lead to dampness and mold growth. It is also very possible that water leaks of any kind will most definitely end up in the basement and because most basements are often neglected by house occupants mold growth can go undetected for a very long time.
4. If you are unfortunate enough to have the land around your house slope towards your property rather than away from it rain water etc. will gather in the foundations of you home causing dampness and mold. This is a problem which will not go away and will require some fairly major work either re landscaping the garden or having drains installed.
Everyones Worst Nightmare
5. The last and most extreme cause of house mold is flooding. Obviously in this instance your property is going to take weeks maybe longer to dry out properly. When you consider that a surface only has to be wet for around twenty four hours for mold to begin growing the risk of mold after flooding is enormous. These conditions are also more likely to support the growth of some of the toxic molds like for example Stachybotrys Chartarum.
Whatever the cause of the mold in your home it is vital that it is firstly cleaned and then the cause removed to prevent further spread and damage to property and health.
Caution: If you are unsure which type of mold you have in your home please consult a professional – it may be toxic.