Causes of mold in the home
There’s no mold in the desert. That’s because mold needs humidity to grow. Badly fitting windows and doors, cracks in the walls and anywhere else that water can intrude – leaking faucets and pipes, loose bathroom fittings, a hole in the roof – all of these things can create ideal conditions for mold to thrive. But so can a house that is watertight. Sound odd? It shouldn’t. Watertight homes sometimes have higher than normal internal humidity. How high would humidity have to be to be too high? Above 60%. If you’re concerned about the humidity levels in your home, you can test it easily with a hygrometer.
Molds as a threat to health
Not everyone is sensitive to the risks of mold, but for many people, a moldy home or workplace is the cause of poor health and suffering – and in some cases, can even shorten lifespan. Stuffed up noses, irritated throats, constant wheezing, skin and eye irritation – these are often caused by the presence of molds. Research by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) shows a strong link between indoor exposure to mold and upper respiratory tract symptoms, even in people who were otherwise healthy. The conclusion is clear: where indoor mold exists, health issues follow, which is why it’s so important to get rid of it.
Molds as a threat to the home
Molds in the home cause damage. They rot wood, eat through paint and crack plaster. What’s more, they do it over a period of time and since it generally goes unseen for quite some time, the damage will mostly not be covered by insurance.
Relatively easy fixes for mold
Getting rid of mold entirely is difficult, so focus on reducing moisture and concentrate on the places where moisture is most likely to be: bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms – and, if you have them, basements and crawl spaces. Clean up any mold you already have and then fix the problem so it doesn’t come back. Do this by:
- Using dehumidifiers and air conditioners
- Keeping drip pans clean, whether they are in air-conditioners, spin-dryers or somewhere else
- Insulating exterior walls and windows to reduce condensation
- Getting rid of leaks
- Don’t leave rooms closed up. Circulating air will help control humidity
- Where appropriate, use exhaust fans to move moisture outside the house
- Take a look at your gutters. Are they clear, so that rain flows away instead of splashing down the outside of the house?
- Train your teenagers (and adults, if necessary) not to leave damp clothes and towels in the laundry basket
We are here to help. If you have concerns about mold in your home, contact us. If there is no problem, we’ll tell you so – but if there is, we’ll help you fix it.