Common Causes of Mold Growth
Unfortunately, there is always some mold around as its a natural component of the outside world. Molds have been on the Earth for millions of years. Mold can get into your home through open doors, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. It can be brought in on clothes, shoes, bags, and even beloved pets.
It's known to grow on a number of different materials including, but not limited to... paper, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, even...dust!
The important thing to remember is that mold will grow wherever there is moisture.
Mold can have many implications to your home and the health of your family. People with asthma, mold allergies, immune-compromised people, or people with chronic lung disease are at particular risk. So it's good to be on the lookout for the most common areas you might find mold growing, so you can take the necessary steps to eliminate it.
Kitchen and Bathroom Sink We’ll start with an obvious one. Any sink in your home is a source of water, which makes it a source of mold. Whenever you use a sink, it’s important that you clean up any water that spills onto the counter or the floor. Most may overlook the caulking used around sinks, but this may be the area of most concern of mold growth.
Shower Places that are often or always damp can be hard to maintain completely free of mold. Best practices are to run the bathroom fan or open a window whenever showering. Make sure to clean up any excess water every time you use the shower. Cleaning your shower or tub more frequently will usually prevent mold from recurring, or at least keep the mold to a minimum. Remember to replace the caulking around your tub or shower if there are any signs of mold growth.
Leaky Pipes Even though you’ll sometimes notice leaky pipes due to a loss of water pressure, they often go unnoticed when the damage isn’t severe. Pipes should be checked periodically to make sure they’re in good working order. When you find one that isn’t, you need to get it fixed or replaced right away. Dry all items completely. If a leaky pipe has caused extensive water damage hire a professional.
Leaky Roof Sometimes it’s obvious to see that you have a leaking roof. You may notice water dripping or dark stains start to form on your ceiling. Other times, the leak may be more subtle, showing up as a very small spot. Finding the source may be tricky. It’s not uncommon for roof leaks to start high and for water to travel down rafters or drywall before dripping through the ceiling or running down the wall. Sometimes the water will travel several feet from the entry point to the point at which the leak shows up. If you’ve got a leaking roof, the health of your house is in critical condition. You need to find the leak and fix it fast. A roof leak that continues over time will cause water damage and mold growth. Make sure to clean or repair your roof gutters regularly to avoid any potential water damage issues from happening to your home.
Heating and Cooling Units Both heating and cooling systems cause humidity, which creates a good environment for mold to flourish. You should routinely check for moisture around your vents, inside your ductwork, and around the main part of the unit itself. Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly. If you suspect that your HVAC system is contaminated with mold, do not run your HVAC system as it could spread mold throughout your home. Call a professional to remediate the problem. Use air conditioners and/or de-humidifiers when needed to reduce your homes humidity level. An ideal relative humidity level is between 30% - 50%. You can buy an inexpensive meter to check your home’s relative humidity level at a home improvement store.
Wet Clothes or Towels If you’ve ever left wet clothes or towels lying around for an extended period of time, you probably come across mildew. Left too long and it will cause mold to grow as well. Make sure that you don’t leave any wet clothes or towels on the floor, and if you hang something up to dry, be sure that you check the floor underneath and wipe up any water that’s dripped onto it.
By keeping moisture at bay whenever possible, you can cut down on the accumulation of mold in your home. If mold is already growing in your home, you need to act fast! Mold damages whatever it grows on. The longer it grows, the greater the damage, the more expensive it is to resolve. In most cases, if the moldy area is small, you can handle the job yourself.
DIY Mold Clean Up
First and foremost, it is important to take precautions to limit your exposure to mold and mold spores.
Wear a N-95 respirator (available at many hardware stores) to avoid breathing in mold spores.
Wear long gloves (made from natural rubber, neoprene, nitrile, polyurethane, or PVC) that extend to the middle of the forearm. Never touch mold or moldy items with your bare hands!
Wear goggles to avoid getting mold spores in your eyes.
Scrub mold off hard surfaces with soap and water. Be sure to dry everything completely.
Mold can be removed from hard surfaces with a bleach solution of 1 cup of household bleach in 1 gallon of water. If you choose to use bleach, always ventilate the area and exhaust the air to the outdoors. Never mix chlorine bleach solution with other cleaning solutions or detergents that contain ammonia because toxic fumes could be produced.
Absorbent and/or porous materials such as carpet or ceiling tiles may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. We recommend never using carpet in places like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.
Do not paint over moldy surfaces, the mold must be removed first! Then you can add mold inhibitors to paints before painting. You can buy mold inhibitors at paint and home improvement stores.
However, if there has been a lot of water damage and/or mold growth, you need to hire a professional restoration company like Clean Indeed to do the clean up for you. This is especially the case if you were not able to dry your home within 24-48 hours of a water damage situation. After that amount of time, you can only assume you have mold growth. At Clean Indeed, we offer 24/7 Emergency Water Damage Services so we can address the problem as quickly as possible to not only minimize the potential structural damage to your home, but also to prevent the growth of harmful mold.
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