Causes and Prevention of Mold Growth

Causes and Prevention of Mold Growth 

Knowing what causes mold growth and how to prevent it can save you time and money. While we all are familiar with the term mold, many of us have no idea what causes it to grow and how to prevent it, especially if you live in a very humid climate. Mold can be harmful to your home and your health. Usually, mold pops up after a storm and water damage occurs. However, there are several other essential factors to consider that can cause mold to thrive.  Let’s learn more about what causes mold to grow and how you can stop it from progressing!  

What Causes Mold Growth?

How does mold grow? Well, the simple and straightforward answer is water. While there are five key ingredients needed to support mold growth, water is the one factor every single type of mold requires to thrive. The other factors are light, temperature, food source, and PH (mold is all about that acidic environment).   Mold thrives in a moist environment. The water source doesn’t have to be a leaky faucet or storm-damaged basement. Excessive humidity also causes mold growth. Mold requires a moisture level of greater than 60% relative humidity to grow. While every home has areas that don’t have ideal ventilation, knowing how much moisture is in your home can prevent mold growth. The most common rooms mold growth occurs in are the basement, bathroom, and attic. While mold is more commonly found in these rooms, it can grow on any surface.  

How Does Mold Grow Indoors?

Mold thrives in many outdoor environments. It can wiggle its way into a home through open windows, vents, doorways, and air and heating systems. It can also attach itself to clothing, pets, and shoes. Once the mold spores settle on a damp surface, leaky areas, walls, pipes, plant pots, or roofs, the mold grows.  In addition, many of the materials used for the structure of your home has ideal nutrients to encourage mold growth. For example, materials such as paper products, cardboard, wood, and ceiling tiles are perfect habitats for mold to grow.   

What Are the Top Causes of Mold Growth?

When thinking about common causes of mold growth, remember that water is a crucial ingredient. If you have any areas of your home that has water leakage or causes excess moisture (think the steam from boiling water regularly in a poorly ventilated kitchen), mold can grow.    Excessive Humidity: Your job is not to remove all mold spores from the air (an impossible task) but to ensure conditions are not ideal for mold to grow. As we said before, the most significant factor in mold growth is excess humidity.  Flooding: Flooding can occur from natural disasters (a storm) or a home accident, such as a burst pipe. Regardless of the cause, flooding causes a plethora of problems. One of the biggest problems caused by flooding is mold growth.  Leaks: While a sudden onslaught of water is the ideal way to end up with a mold problem, the constant leaking of small amounts of water, combined with humid temperatures will lead to mold growth over time. Leaks are most common in kitchens and bathrooms. But keep an eye out for these other areas as well.

  • Leaky Foundations: It is hard to detect a leaky foundation, and because of that, it is important to monitor your foundation walls regularly. Leaky foundations create moist soil behind the foundation, and this moisture eventually impacts the concrete’s surface. And as we know, wet surfaces are the perfect environment for mold to grow. 
  • Leaking Roofs: A leaking roof can cause water to get into your home and stagnate. Stagnate water is a breeding environment for mold spores to grow and multiply. Depending on how well ventilated your attic is, the mold can grow throughout the whole area or can only be present where the leak is.
  • Leaky Pipes: While leaky pipes cause many problems in a home, mold growth is one of the biggest problems. Removing the mold only puts a band-aid on the problem. It is essential to locate the source of the water leak before repairing the damage. 

Food Sources: While mold doesn’t thrive from peanut butter and jelly, they need food sources to survive. In an outdoor environment, the food sources for mold are endless; any area with vegetation and the right humidity level is a paradise for mold. However, mold can feed off of wood, cardboard, dust, dirt, paper, insulation, and fabric in your home. You can’t remove these things from your house, but keeping a clean house makes it less likely mold will accumulate. Darkness: Sunlight (AKA the mold deathray) is a natural mold deterrent. The sun’s ultraviolet rays destroy mold at the cellular level. Because mold doesn’t like the sun, it often thrives in places that don’t see a lot of sunlight, such as a basement. Certain areas of your home can’t see sunlight, so airing out your house can be a helpful substitute for the sun.    

How To Prevent Mold Growth

  • Avoid excessive plants in a room as the damp soil can contribute to moisture 
  • Use proper ventilation to avoid excessive moisture.
  • Wash bathroom rugs, towels, and mats regularly.
  • Repair your roof gutters to prevent stagnant water.
  • Block heating vents.
  • Identify areas that are regularly damp and keep them dry.
    • For example, the windowsill in the bathroom.
  • Air out your house and let in the sunshine!
  • Always keep your indoor relative humidity below 60 percent (between 30 percent and 50 percent is ideal).
  • Purchase a dehumidifier to help eliminate excessive moisture if you live in a damp or humid climate

Have you noticed you have mold in your home? Maybe you can’t see the mold in your home but are suspicious? Hiring a professional such as Klean-Co can answer your mold fears and put your mind at ease. We have a highly trained, professional mold remediation team to ensure your mold problem is eliminated correctly. We leave your home and your health safer using modern technology and tools. Call us today to see how we can help you!  Interested in more tips on mold remediation? Check out our Facebook and Instagram

Published: May 2, 2022
Author: KleanCo
Categories : Mold Damage