Mold Growth in Your Home and Prevention
Whether homeowner, purchaser, or rental property owner, the word mold is one you never want to hear. Mold can wreak havoc on a property, not only requiring costly repairs but potentially creating an unhealthy environment for occupants.
If mold is caught early on, the result is often merely a nuisance. When mold has had some time to grow but has only compromised a small area, it can be cleaned up without much cost or work. Once mold has spread to an area roughly 10 square feet in size, however, it’s time to get professionals involved. That‘s when things get costlier.
Mold remediation professionals utilize several expensive pieces of equipment to get things under control. If present, standing water must first be removed with pumps and wet/dry vacuums. Commercial dehumidifiers remove ambient moisture, air scrubbers create negative pressure and capture airborne mold spores, and HEPA vacuums clean up the mold itself.
Air barriers seal the affected areas to stop dangerous mold from spreading. The cleanup crews dawn Tyvek suits, N95 respirators, and protective eyewear all times. Expensive filters used by the equipment must be changed regularly. And the costs add up quickly.
The best way to avoid the costs of professional mold removal is to prevent mold from growing in the first place. Of course, a homeowner, landlord, or investor cannot take responsibility for floods, hurricanes, or other acts of God. But, knowing how mold grows is an excellent way to help to avoid it.
How does mold grow, anyway?
There are but a few requirements for mold to grow indoors. Most homes or businesses already have more than half of the requirements for mold to grow present most of or all of the time.
First, mold spores need to be present. Mold being present indoors is more common than you’d think. That’s because tiny mold spores are very common outdoors and readily become airborne. Yet, mold spores don’t spread on their own. There’s more to the equation for mold to become actively spreading.
Second, there needs to be dampness or moisture present. Mold cannot grow without it. Dampness or moisture can come from a variety of sources. Common origins include water from flooding, broken or compromised pipes and leaky roofs.
Third, mold needs a food source. Fortunately for mold, but unfortunately for homeowners, building materials provide a variety of options for food. Some non-porous and many porous materials are mold-friendly including:
Fourth, mold needs warmth. You don’t hear many stories about mold growing in outdoor buildings in Alaska or Canada in the wintertime. That’s because when temperatures duck beneath freezing mold cannot grow. Are Florida and other southeastern states predisposed to mold growth? In a way, yes.
Mold needs warmth, and there’s no shortage of it in the southeastern United States. The sunshine state and its neighbors are also more prone to experiencing hurricanes, coastal flooding, and tropical storms. That’s simply the weather in that part of the country.
Make no mistake places like Seagrove Beach Florida is a beautiful area with beautiful land-bound as well as waterfront homes and condominiums that have stood through repeated tropical storms and even hurricanes. The homeowners there understand the demands of living in a humid, tropical (and beautiful) environment. Especially those that own a Destin condo. These tall buildings seem to take the brunt of the winds but if built right should remain safe.
The final condition needed for mold to grow in darkness. Mold is no friend of ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light has the ability to not only stop mold from growing but can kill it.