It is easy to recognize the presence of mold mostly as a result of its earthy, damp and unpleasant smell. Most places in our homes are susceptible to the mold problem. Regardless of the type of mold that grows in the interiors, most of them are known to cause serious health effects to people who have been exposed for a long time. Furthermore, they compromise the value of a real estate since a buyer will not find a home with mold appealing. It is important to take necessary precautions to prevent the growth of mold. This article looks into the conditions molds love most in a home and how to get rid of them, to ensure a mold-free home.
High Levels of Moisture and Humidity
Mold spores are usually light and they float in the air until they find favorable conditions to grow. Moisture is one of the primary conditions that accelerate the growth of mold in a home. Wet air causes molds to grow on benches, walls, and other surfaces. It can be a recurring problem, especially if you live in an area with high levels of humidity like close to a large water body.
The level of humidity increases when moisture in your interiors evaporates into the air. Humidity will be present for a long time in a home that is not well ventilated. Drying your clothes indoors can also increase the level of moisture, which favors the growth of mold. Damp materials and puddles of water may take a long time to dry, creating a perfect breeding ground for molds.
The Presence of a Food Source
Molds thrive well on different types of food source such as paper products, wood, leather, and cotton. Porous materials such as couches and beds are the most common materials where molds love to grow. This is because removing molds from these items is often impossible and they will have to be replaced to solve the problem. Drywalls are known to contain large amounts of cellulose, which is the most popular source of food for molds. It is quite difficult to eliminate mold from a drywall and the only way you can do this is by cutting out the affected area and replacing it with a new one. Disposing of materials that contain molds should also be done carefully to prevent any chances of the problem recurring.
Optimum temperature range is likely to enhance the growth of mold at your home. Mold spores that already released into the air require a temperature range of between 32 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The most conducive temperature for the growth of molds is between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Mold could multiply rapidly if the temperature is maintained for a long period, a major reason why mold has the potential to grow in a freezer. Molds lay dormant when the temperatures go below 32 degrees, and only become active again when temperatures go above this point.
A room that is poorly ventilated prevents free circulation of air in the house. This causes moist air to get stuck within the interiors where mold can thrive. Humidity builds up when water and steam evaporate into the air. The air inside your house needs to be circulated with the air outside to create a balanced moisture level in the interiors. This necessitates the need for fans and other ventilation systems to allow wet surfaces to dry out faster. Since most of the mold spores can be blown inside a home or get transported through clothing or pets, a good ventilation system will be useful in clearing the mold spores still floating in the air.
Of all the places you can expect to find mold, basements are the most vulnerable because no one uses them often. This means that there is low ventilation that prevents free circulation of air and condensation occurs more frequently, leading to high levels of humidity and dampness. Basements are generally colder compared to other rooms, creating a perfect environment for mold growth. Any water from excess rains, leaky pipes or flooding usually runs inside the basement soaking up everything in its way. The number of molds multiplies rapidly over time because this place is usually neglected until need arises.
Surfaces that are often cold can build up higher levels of condensation in a home. Condensation collects on cold concrete floors and cold metal pipes. This creates a perfect breeding ground for molds especially when you have a carpet over the top since it will trap moisture in between. Since the carpet covers the cold surfaces, the growth of molds will go undetected until they start becoming visible on the walls.
Darkness and low lighting
Molds cannot grow under ultraviolet light and they will require dark places for their survival. Some of the common dark places where molds can grow are behind furniture, inside basements, and rooms that have a poor lighting system. This creates a favorable condition for their growth since water puddles and other traces of moisture in dark areas will go undetected for a long time. Dark areas prevent you from detecting early growth of molds and mitigating the problem before it becomes too late.
Although there are many other conditions that accelerate the growth of molds, the key cause of its rapid growth is high levels of moisture and humidity. The different sources of moisture in a home include drying wet clothes in the interiors, leaky pipes and ceiling, flooding, condensation, and a damp basement. As long as all the primary conditions are available, molds will always grow and multiply rapidly if no action is taken to mitigate the problem. The best way to minimize the growth of molds is to cut off all sources of moisture and other conditions that facilitate their spread. Keeping your house and basement well ventilated will help control humidity and temperature levels, and thus prevent mold growth in your house.