What Causes Mold?
Mold is commonly found in homes and commercial buildings. Tiny mold spores can easily get into your home through open doors and windows, ductwork for heating and air conditioning systems, or vents. These spores can also travel into your home or business on shoes or clothing.
Many building materials such as ceiling tiles, drywall, wood products, insulation, carpet, and fabrics contain nutrients that promote mold growth. When these tiny mold spores encounter damp conditions, you may develop a significant mold problem that requires professional mold remediation.
The best way to prevent mold from developing in your home or commercial building is to first understand the conditions that cause it to grow. The following are the most common causes of mold.
Since mold needs a moist environment to thrive, areas with high humidity are perfect breeding grounds. When there are consistently high levels of humidity in your home or business, the moisture in the air can get into your ceilings, floors, walls, and furniture, allowing mold to grow. This can be particularly challenging in humid climates.
Additionally, there are other typical causes of persistent humidity including:
- Inadequate ventilation in rooms containing high levels of moisture, such as kitchens and bathrooms
- Rainy weather for a prolonged period of time
- Living near a large body of water
To reduce the risk of mold growth whenever moisture levels are high, such as taking a shower, you should always run exhaust fans, when available. In addition, if your home or business is located in a humid climate, you may need to invest in a dehumidifier to lower the moisture content in the air.
Condensation develops when warm air makes contact with a cold surface such as metal, windows, tile, concrete, or brick. The moisture content in the warm air cools rapidly upon contact with the cold surface, transforming it into water droplets.
While low levels of condensation can easily be wiped dry and typically aren’t a cause for concern, heavy condensation can produce enough water to cause damage, resulting in the growth of mold.
You can reduce condensation by using a dehumidifier, improving the ventilation in the area, and insulating any objects or surfaces that are commonly much colder than the ambient air temperature in a room.
When small rooms with high moisture levels like bathrooms are poorly ventilated, excess moisture can become trapped in the room, allowing it to settle on various surfaces. The poor air circulation reduces your ability to eliminate mold spores and other allergens, and creates the ideal conditions for mold to grow.
To ensure proper ventilation, always use the exhaust fan in a bathroom that includes a shower and if possible, open a window to allow the increased moisture in the air to leave the room. You should also open a window and turn on the exhaust fan over a stove when boiling water or washing dishes to improve the airflow in the room. If you have areas that are difficult to properly ventilate, such as a basement, you may need to use a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture content in the air and minimize your risk of mold growth.
Because most pipes are concealed from view, it’s common for leaks to go unnoticed for long periods of time. Unfortunately, this can result in significant water damage to drywall, cabinets, and flooring, creating optimal conditions for mold growth. If not detected early, the mold can spread through the walls and into the insulation, making it much more challenging to eliminate.
In most instances, you’ll need professional mold remediation to get rid of mold caused by leaking pipes. This is the only way to ensure that the affected area is properly sanitized and any insulation, drywall, or other materials where the mold cannot be removed are replaced. As part of this process, your mold remediation expert will also repair the leak that caused the water damage in order to prevent future mold.
If your roof becomes damaged due to severe weather, wear and tear, or foreign objects, you may develop a leak. Over time, a leaking roof can cause water to enter your attic, creating an optimal breeding ground for mold. The moisture from the leak can soak into your walls, insulation, and ceiling, causing vast areas of mold to form that are difficult to remove.
Mold from a leaking roof must be eliminated by a professional mold remediation expert. Any insulation and other items in your attic that have signs of mold growth must be removed and replaced, and you must thoroughly dry out any areas containing moisture. In addition, you’ll need to repair the damage to your roof to prevent future leaks.
Flooding can occur for a variety of reasons, including severe weather or a burst pipe. Unfortunately, flooding can wreak havoc on your home or business. It can often take days or weeks for your home to completely dry after water damage, creating ideal conditions for mold to grow.
After flooding, you will need to take several steps to repair your home or business. First, you will need professional water damage remediation to thoroughly dry and restore any damage. Then, you will need professional mold remediation to eliminate any mold that has grown as part of the flooding.
There are several factors which make basements a common place for mold to grow:
- They are underground and are therefore exposed to higher levels of moisture
- They typically lack proper ventilation, creating higher levels of humidity
- Appliances such as washing machines can increase the moisture in the air even more
- Water leaks from your home can accumulate in your basement, causing water damage
The combination of chronic dampness and potentially dark space can lead to mold growth. If your basement isn’t properly ventilated, you may want to set up fans and a dehumidifier to draw excess moisture out of the air. If you notice mold growth, contact a professional mold remediation expert to treat the problem properly so that the mold doesn’t grow back or cause health issues.
Cousino Restoration & Environmental Can Help You Get Rid of Mold in Your Home or Business
If you find mold in your home or business, it’s critical to have it treated immediately by a professional to ensure it is eliminated properly. At Cousino Restoration & Environmental, we can help ensure your mold problem is addressed correctly so that it doesn’t return.
We’ve been providing comprehensive mold remediation services throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan for over 45 years. Our team uses the most advanced equipment and methods to safely and effectively remove all mold and prevent regrowth. No job is too big or too small. We can handle every aspect of the process, including:
- Mold inspection
- Mold testing
- Mold mitigation
When you work with Cousino Restoration & Environmental, you’ll have peace of mind that the entire process is handled properly and that your property will be free of mold moving forward.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.