Factors that cause mold to grow
The following conditions will create a conducive environment for the growth of mold in your home.
- Mold spores
- Darkness (UV light destroys mold)
- Source of their food like drywall, wood, and cotton
- Warmth (mold can’t grow under hot or freezing conditions)
The main factor that causes mold to grow in the home is moisture. While the other factors will contribute, they are normal home conditions. The presence of moisture combined with these factors is what causes mold to grow in your home.
If you are looking for ways to remove and clean mold from your house check these previous articles –
Humidity and moisture is a major cause of mold
Mold is common in homes during rainy and humid weather. Such weather makes the air wet and this creates a favorable environment for mold to grow on surfaces.
In places like the coastal strips and highlands where humidity levels are naturally high, mold growth in homes becomes a common and recurring challenge.
Homes lacking proper ventilation also face a recurring mold challenge due to moisture evaporating within the house rather than out in the open air. Such houses will always retain humidity within their air.
Other people have gotten in the habit of hanging wet clothes indoors. Such homes have hanging lines and stands within the house and this too causes mold challenges. Household HVAC systems are also known to generate humidity while heating or cooling the air.
Humidifiers have been used in homes as a remedy to the humidity challenge. However, these are only effective where humidity is below 55%. Levels higher than this will not be remedied by humidifiers.
Humidity creates a favorable environment for mold to grow. In addition, because of humidity, water puddles and damp materials will dry rather slowly yet these wet surfaces in themselves also encourage the growth of mold.
Leaking pipes also cause mold
Leaking pipes, especially the undetected ones are another cause of mold in the home. The reason why some leaks go undetected is that pipes are hidden inside walls. These are more dangerous because the more time it takes the leaks to be discovered the faster mold grows.
Mold from Leaking Roofs
Leaking pipes and leaking roofs are more or less the same when it comes to causing the growth of mold. Leaking roofs particularly at the attic will dampen the air and surfaces around hence causing the growth of mold.
Roofs and leaks are best maintained by a regular check up. Water stains on the ceiling are an obvious sign of a leaking roof
Mold growth due to Condensation
Condensation is the process where vapor is converted into liquid. This is evidenced by beads of water collecting on a surface that is exposed to humid air.
It is common to see such beads or water on cold metal pipes, concrete floors, and walls. Such surfaces are likely to have mold growing on them.
Poor Ventilation yet another factor
Poorly ventilated homes often have humidity problems therefore attracting mold. Poor ventilation will cause permanent dampness in the air.
When steam and evaporated water are released into the air, ideally they are supposed to be fanned out to balance moisture levels. In the event there is no outlet, these two will be retained in the air within the house causing high levels of humidity.
Ventilation, especially in ever wet areas like the bathroom, laundry, and kitchen where you are likely to find steam, should strictly be observed.
Mold on Damp Clothes
Clothes, if left wet for a long time, will most likely attract mold on them and on the nearby surfaces. Again, wet clothes dampen the air in your home.
Dryers used for drying clothes in the home should be vented outside the house otherwise, they will release a lot of moisture in the air. It is recommended that people dry their damp clothes out in the open air. Some homes have indoor clothe lines and racks. Hanging clothes on such increases moisture in the home except the room is properly ventilated.
Flood causes mold
Floods have a lasting impact in the home. This is because after a flooding incident, it takes quite some time for the home to dry up completely. Since it only takes 24hrs of a favorable condition for mold to grow, it is possible that mold will grow in your house during this time.
During this time, you might find toxic molds growing in your home as these require environments that remain wet for a long time for them to grow. An example of a common toxic mold is stachybotrys chartarum.
Mold from a Damp Basement
Generally, basements are more susceptible to high moisture levels compared to other rooms in the home. Usually, they are colder and not properly ventilated. In addition, in case of water leaking or flooding in the house, the basement will always be on the receiving end due to its low position. Mold will grow and spread fast on basements because they are the most overlooked places in any home.
Mold Caused by Water from the Foundation of the House
It is common for water to collect in your yard and around the basement particularly if the ground slants towards the house. If this is not dealt with, you are likely to experience some serious mold challenges. To prevent water from collecting around your basement, dig trenches that will direct flowing water away or invest in some landscaping to level the land.