Mold exists in homes and businesses even when the owners are diligent about prevention. We live in the Northeast. The change of seasons is one of the reasons we love living and working here. Weather plays a significant role in pest control. Damp and wet weather, flooding, snow fall melting through leaky roofs, and structural damage from pests and nuisance wildlife create the ideal incubator for mold growth.
What is mold and how does it form in your home?
Mold is a fungus that thrives both inside and outside of your home. Mold is happiest in warm, damp, and often times humid conditions within your basement or attic. Outside, mold loves shady and damp areas especially where grass and leaves are decomposing. Mold spreads and grows by reproducing and making spores.
I found mold in my basement!
Mold thrives in the basement. In your basement, there are so many opportunities for mold to grow:
- Even a small crack in your foundation can allow water to enter and pool, creating a damp, humid environment.
- Open sump pits and French drains release warm, damp air into the living space of your basement.
- Floods from heavy rains can create a damp and moldy environment. Other pests love to eat damp wood and can add damage to an already unstable environment.
- Poor venting that does not allow steam to escape all the way outside.
- IT helps to run a dehumidifier and keep the air conditioner on.
- Do a regular check in your finished basement: leaky pipes, wet carpets, dry wall, cardboard boxes used for storage, sinks/showers, and toilets.
My roof leaked, could there be mold in my attic?
Yes, of course, if left long enough to be wet and dark, mold will grow. Even a trickle of rain can create a damp environment in insulation and wood.
- Once again, check for proper ventilation of ducts, dry vents and any other port that should be vented outside.
- Changing temperatures due to ice on the roof and sun melt can cause condensation.
- Poor installation of wiring, cables etc. can allows mice and chipmunks to enter your attic and chew through areas allowing cold, moist air into the attic.
Where does mold cause damage in my home?
Cleaning up the mold is only half the battle. You need to find the root cause of the moisture issue and access. Mold grows inside the material, instead of just on the surface, and so you can’t remove it completely. According to moldpedia.com here are a few examples of mold growth:
- Mold on Drywall Walls- Because drywall is a substance high in cellulose, it is one of the most common materials mold grows on in the home. As there is no practical way to completely remove mold from drywall, you will have to cut out and dispose of any drywall you discover which has mold growing on it.
- Mold Growing Behind Walls– Mold commonly grows out of sight behind walls in the wall cavities. These spaces often contain pockets of humid, moist air. Mold can also grow hidden behind wallpaper. Wallpaper glue can hold organic debris which can then become a food source for mold growth.
- Mold on Furniture- Furniture made of organic materials, such as wood, are another thing that mold soon ends up growing on if there’s a moisture problem in your home. Upholstered furniture in particular absorbs moisture, making it a prime candidate for mold growth.
- Mold in Insulation– Insulation can be a reservoir for mold. Any insulation which you can see exposed in your home should be checked thoroughly for mold, especially if there was once a water problem in that particular room, or if there was once mold growth anywhere in the room. Even if the insulation looks clean at first glance make sure to thoroughly examine and inspect it.
What do I do to get rid of the mold?
Don’t worry, we can help. We offer free appointments to uncover the extent of the mold damage and work with you on a plan to fully and methodically inspect your home or business and determine the best course of action.
Contact us if you find any sign of mold. Visit our page on Mold Remediation for more information.
Next week’s post will discuss the health effects of mold in your home or business. We will discuss treatment options to return your home or business to a safe and healthy environment.