Your home is your biggest investment, both financially and emotionally. Could your home have a mold problem? A lot of people ask this question and the internet is full of scary stories and pictures. It is best to seek professional help if you think there is active mold in your home. Here are some facts about mold.
Mold is a living organism. It breathes air, it consumes food, it requires water (moisture) to survive and fortunately when you take one of these components away, it dies. Mold is a fungus, kind of similar to a mushroom, but a lot smaller (sometimes it can’t even be seen to the naked eye). It eats organic matter– anything that was once living such as your floor joists, drywall, furniture, fiberglass insulation, etc. Mold thrives in environments where we live- structures made of organic materials. Mold likes temperatures between 32-100 degrees F, and relative humidity between 60%-99%. You can find these environments typically in a dirt crawl space or basement.
Mold grows. When mold spores find the right combination of temperature, food source, and moisture–they grow. When mold grows it reproduces airborne seeds to grow more mold. These seeds are tiny particles that float through the air, called spores. The slightest breeze can lift them into the air, carrying the spores to new surfaces. If mold spores land on inorganic materials such as clean metal, ceramic tile, porcelain, etc. it will not grow. If mold spores land on dry surfaces of any kind it will not grow.
While we can’t eliminate organic material because our homes are made of it; and while we can’t get out of the humid temperature zone without moving; and while we can’t get away from mold spores because they are everywhere; we CAN control is moisture in our homes. Therein lies the secret to mold prevention in your home.