Misconception of Mold
Mold in a lot of homes are vulnerable to mold damage, and one of the reasons why it’s so common is that people don’t know how molds develop and spread. There exists the misconception that molds only happen to areas which are exposed to a lot of moisture and water. Although this is true, it’s also incomplete.
Mold can actually form in almost any area of your home. Areas that have a lot of moisture are very vulnerable, but warm, humid and dusty areas are vulnerable too.
Molds also have a tendency to grow on wood, and since most homes have wooden components, it goes without saying that they are vulnerable to molds. So to prevent the growth and proliferation of mold, it’s important to keep in mind that they can appear anywhere, even those areas which are relatively dry. So if you would like to know more about mold prevention then here’s what you need to know.
What Causes Mold Growth?
Mold infestations are caused by a lot of things that we don’t normally notice. A few good examples include:
– Outdoor Flooding (e.g. floods, storm water, overflowing lakes, etc.)
– Liquid Spills
– Indoor Flooding (e.g. overflow from water fixtures and damaged plumbing components)
– Water Leaks
– Drying Set Clothes Indoors
– Moisture from the Bathroom and the Kitchen
– Excessive Use of Humidifiers
The presence of water is very important for the growth of mold, and this is because mold are ultimately organic in nature. They feed on various microorganisms, most of which thrive in warm, wet areas. Without this food source, molds cannot survive for very long.
This is why mold cannot grow on clean metal surfaces. There’s nothing there for them to feed on (unless the surface is dirty, in which case they might stick to the dust and dirt already on the surface).
However, water is not always necessary. Sometimes, a little moisture and a lot of dust is enough to set off the spread of mold. So the best way to protect your property from mold damage is to remove their sources of food. This means that not only will you have to keep your home clean, you will also need to keep it relatively dry and free from microbes.
Unfortunately, due to the local climate, many properties are vulnerable to mold. Moisture is pervasive in most homes, particularly in dark or unventilated areas. So it’s important not to get too complacent about the threat of molds, because they can happen even in places that have never experienced a serious flood.
How Does Mold Grow?
Mold needs water, oxygen, nutrients and tolerable temperatures to grow. If even one of these factors is missing then mold cannot spread. Since we can’t control the oxygen, and temperature control is only possible for certain parts of your home, the key to preventing the spread of mold is to deprive them of water and nutrients.
It’s worth mentioning, for example, that many mold species can obtain moisture from moist air when the relative humidity in an area is above 70% to 80%. Also, many molds can extract decomposing organic materials from almost any surface, including dirty sheets of metal.
It’s also worth mentioning that mold can thrive at room temperature, and that very few molds can survive beyond 100 F. So dealing with this problem is not easy. Although keeping your house clean can somewhat address the problem. Cleanliness is only effective if your home is still free from mold. It can’t help you if the problem is already there, or if your home is naturally wet and humid.
The firststep is to remove moisture from your home. This probably seems like a very easy thing to do, but you have to remember that molds grow in places where you least expect them. Certain types of mold, for example, can grow in air ducts and air conditioning systems, while others cab appear inside your walls. Other places include:
– Piles of Cardboard and Paper
– Rotting Food
– Underneath the Patio
Aside from making sure that your home is free from moisture, you should also take the time to clean areas where mold can proliferate. Keep your home clean, and you may be able to prevent the proliferation of mold in your home. It’s not a fool-proof solution, but it’s better than doing nothing.
Remember that molds thrive in dirty areas, because it offers them plenty of sustenance, which is why you should clean them as much as possible to prevent the spread of the infestation.
Dust removal should be a priority in your cleaning process, as it removes a valuable food source for the mold. Washing away dirt and grime is also a good way to prevent mold growth, provided you dry the area afterwards. If your home was recently hit by a flood then you should also take the time to clean the affected areas to remove any remaining bacteria.
If you have powerful disinfectants in your home, you should use them as well. Likewise, if you can spare the funds then you should by a cleaning agent that is designed specifically for mold prevention.
Cleaning, however, is not enough to keep your home free from mold or mold damage. If your home is exposed to a lot of moisture or if it is humid then you may need to contact a mold remediation company to make sure the mold won’t spread.
Aside from mold restoration, these companies also offer mold abatement and mold testing services. And to ensure that all mold spores are removed, they employ mold detectors to make your property as mold free as possible.
Finally, you should pay attention to the type of molds in your home. Most homes encounter black molds or Stachybotrys, but there are actually many kinds of molds to worry about, and they have numerous names. A few common examples include Mucor, Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Acremonium and Penicillin.
Different types of mold have different feature, and they can appear on different parts of your home. Knowing how different molds grow, and what makes them thrive will help you keep them out of your property.