If we’re to control mold, we need to understand how it grows. Mold requires four things in order to grow: water, food, suitable temperature and air. The requirements for these four things differ from one type of mold to another. For example some require more water than others.
Air is readily available everywhere, so that condition for mold growth is always met. But if those spores land somewhere dry, they can’t grow because one of the growth conditions it requires is not available. Most places in your home are probably too dry to grow mold, but some areas may not be. That’s why indoor mold growth is usually found in basements and bathrooms and in other places after plumbing leaks and floods.
If mold finds moisture, but no dead organic matter to feed itself, it can’t grow either. But, it’s amazing what mold can find in your home to use for food (mold absorbs nutrients through microscopic threads). These are just a few:
- Dust on fiberglass insulation
- Wood framing and floors
- Even ceramic tile! (it actually uses something on tile’s surface, like small bits of food and dust)
Mold in your home isn’t just unsightly but it can also cause extensive damage to your home that is costly to repair. Even worse, its damage can be so great it can compromise your home’s structural integrity.
But obviously, the most important reason to get rid of any mold you see in your home is that it has been associated with several types of health concerns.
How to Control Mold Growth
Mold growth looks like hairy spots of many different colors and it can smell “musty” or “earthy”. Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
- Controlling humidity levels. Humidity levels below 60% are recommended;
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding. Organic materials that come into contact with water should be dried within 24-48 hours;
- Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.