Fuzzy white patches, slimy black spots, powdery green specks… all of these are examples of mold – tiny organisms that can grow both indoors and outdoors. While outside, they serve as an important part of the ecosystem; however, they can be problematic if found indoors.
At Air Quality Experts, we always monitor and recommend improvements to the air quality in your house. In this article, we are going to take a close look at what causes mold to grow in your house and what to do if you notice these unwelcomed fuzzy spots.
10 Common Causes of Mold Growth in Your Home
At some point many people notice mold growing in damp, dark places around the home, such as in the basement, on shower curtains, or around the kitchen drain. It is important to remember that household mold is not only unsightly, but also presents a serious risk for your health and the health of your loved ones. As such, it is crucial to find and eliminate the causes of mold in a timely manner to prevent any long-term damage.
Remember to watch out for these common causes of mold in your home:
1. A Build-Up of Condensation
During the winter months, temperature fluctuations could lead to a build-up of condensation on cold surfaces, such as concrete, floor tiles, metal piping, and even brick walls. To avoid condensation build-up, make sure to properly ventilate and seal each room and remove any condensation on a regular basis.
2. Wet and Damp Clothing
Have you ever done a load of laundry, taken it out of the washing machine, and put it aside to hang up later on? If the damp clothing sits out during the warm months of summer or spring, it only takes 24 hours for mold to grow and proliferate! As such, remember to always hang or dry your laundry as soon as possible.
3. Leaking Pipes
Leaking pipes present the most common cause of mold in under-sink cupboards and behind drywall. Leaks in your roof pipes can also contribute to wall and ceiling mold. If you notice signs of mold or moisture in any of these areas, make sure to immediately check your piping for leaks and book a full-home or partial-home mold assessment as soon as possible.
4. A Leaking Roof
If a roof becomes damaged due to severe weather conditions or regular wear and tear, the leaks can quickly lead to build-up of mold and moisture in your home. Over time, even the tiniest of leaks can create a huge backlog of moisture in your attic or ceiling, eventually proliferating into mold that can be found on ceiling boards or surrounding walls.
To prevent the issue, make sure to regularly check your attic or ceiling for damage and leaks. Air Quality Experts is here to help you with these inspections!
5. Persistent Humidity
If you live in a geographic area with persistently-high humidity (or run an air humidifier non-stop), you are likely to encounter issues with mold – an expected consequence of the high moisture content in the air. You might notice this type of mold growing on ceilings, walls, in dark closets, or under the kitchen sink.
In fact, humidity is an incredibly common problem for areas near large bodies of water, such as the ocean. As such, if you live in South Florida, it is important to trust Air Quality Experts to conduct a mold assessment in your home to prevent more serious problems down the road.
6. Poor Ventilation in Your Home
A poorly ventilated home is a real magnet for mold, as it facilitates the easy spreading and buildup of its spores. Avoid stagnant air in your house at all costs and watch out for steam created by cooking, appliances, and bathing. This steam can create unwanted moisture buildups if there is poor ventilation.
7. A Damp Basement
Because the basement is below ground level, it is naturally exposed to higher levels of moisture and often suffers from poor air ventilation. As such, dampness and increased humidity can cause mold to grow over time. Make sure to never overlook your basement maintenance to prevent any dangerous mold outbreaks.
8. Foundation Dampness
If groundwater does not drain away from your house due to the yard landscape, you are likely to encounter a mold problem sooner or later. Garden moisture and rain water can slowly trickle and pool around your home’s foundation, contributing to the growth of mold on walls. If this is the case, a landscaping expert can help to adjust your yard to allow for more efficient water drainage.
9. Home Flooding
A common unfortunate consequence of home flooding is mold growth. The truth is, your home will take days, or even weeks, to fully dry out after the flood, giving mold enough time to grow and spread. After your home has dried out completely, make sure to invite a mold assessment expert, like Air Quality Experts, for a thorough mold testing and inspection.
10. A Leaking AC
Most homes in South Florida contain an air conditioning system, or HVAC. While AC is a true life-saver during hot summer days, it can bring with it the growth of many mold types, such as Mucor – an allergic type of mold that grows in thick, white patches under leaking systems or due to condensation build-up.
If you suspect that your air conditioning system may be causing mold, make sure to regularly check your AC piping, filters, and ducting to ensure there are no leaks or build-ups of moisture. Air Quality Experts can help to check if your HVAC system may have a mold contamination issue.
Protect the Health of Your Family with Air Quality Experts
Unfortunately, mold in your home is more than a cosmetic annoyance. Constant exposure to mold and its spores can contribute to health issues for you and your family, leading to various allergic and respiratory symptoms. The first step to winning the battle is to determine what causes mold in your home through a professional mold testing and inspection.
At Air Quality Experts, we will be happy to conduct a full-home or partial-home mold assessment and provide you with a comprehensive, easy-to-understand report.