Mold only needs three things to grow and thrive – moisture, heat and food (like wood, cardboard or fibers).And while many of us would like to believe that there is no way that mold is lurking in corners our home, the truth is that it could pop up quickly and silently. This means that many homeowners don’t even know it’s there until it becomes a problem. “Mold can almost happen overnight,” says Doug Peterson, a water mitigation project manager with 12 years of experience. “There are hundreds of thousands of types of mold and some will grow in 24-48 hours.” Mold isn’t always a cause for alarm – we have already dispelled some of the myths associated with mold. But it is important to be aware of potential mold sources. Because you still be in the dark about where it could pop up in your home. Here are three of the most common areas homeowners discover mold:
For many of us, the attic is rarely visited. It’s used for storage or not used at all. And this is an area with high humidity and elevated temperatures. That means the attic is ripe for mold growth. “There is a lot of mold in attics,” says Doug. “Ventilation is often to blame.” Many homeowners discover mold after adding insulation for energy efficiency. If not done properly, insulation can clog the vents and soffits. This means air flow is restricted and that stale air becomes a problem quickly. “The attic can become like a can of pop when it is hot outside,” Doug explains. Just like the warm air and cold beverage cause condensation, an attic can also experience moisture from condensation. The biggest way to avoid this is to ensure the attic has ventilation – installing controlled vents and checking soffits for blockage.
Basements become the biggest mold issue when they are unfinished and rarely used (just like attics). This means that homeowners rarely inspect for water and damage and are more likely to overlook small leaks. Basements have a higher relative humidity and can experience water in the basement from drain backups or septic failure. But even if the basement is never used, the worst thing a homeowner can do is ignore the problem. “Many homeowners will notice a small water leak and ignore it,” says Doug. “In a few weeks, there’s mold up the wall.” When water happens, a prompt response can make a huge difference. Check out our tips for what to do right away when there’s water in the basement.
Bathrooms are more likely to experience mold than kitchens or other living spaces. The biggest reason – all those showers (and the resulting steam and moisture). “You have to get the moisture out of the room right away,” explains Doug. “But this means you need to run a fan for 15-20 minutes after a shower.” Many homeowners don’t realize that just running the vent fan for a few minutes may not actually get rid of all the moisture. And all that moisture can make an area ripe for mold growth.
The bottom line
Mold is a natural part of the environment, but can also cause major problems in our home if left unchecked. This is especially true for pregnant women, infants, the elderly and anyone with lowered immune response.
But if you find mold, Werner can help. Read more about our mold remediation services and contact us for more information.