The growth of mold is a fairly common occurrence for plenty of homeowners, but it is definitely not a welcome one. Mold can grow in numerous places, such as on walls in basements, on wooden furniture in bedrooms, in bathrooms, and even in your attic. It’s a substance that not only looks gross but is one that can also be dangerous and cause physical body harm if left to grow and multiply in large quantities.
Mold can wreak havoc in even the most beautiful of homes, and in some cases turn what is meant to be people’s safe sanctuaries in uninhabitable zones. Thankfully, for those who suffer from mold problems, or those that want to prevent it, there are tips, tricks, and steps you can put in place to minimize the chances of it growing so that you can protect your home and the contents inside it from getting damaged. Here are some ways in which you can prevent mold from growing in your home.
What is Mold, Exactly?
Mold is a type of fungus, much like mushrooms, and can come in a variety of colors such as black, white, orange, green, or purple. Fungi are tough little organisms and because if this, they’re capable of surviving and growing pretty much anywhere—inside and outside the home.
Mold thrives on moisture and therefore is far more common in humid and wet environments. It reproduces through lightweight spores that travel through the air meaning that once they start growing in one corner of a room, they can quickly multiply and pop up in different areas as well. Mold likes damp, meaning that areas that may have been water damaged are particularly prone to these fungi. Mold isn’t much of a problem to a human’s health in small quantities but can start to affect a person’s health if too many spores are inhaled.
The Dangers of Mold
When mold begins to grow and congregate in big numbers, that’s when it can become a big problem. Mold can be damaging to both buildings and people alike, and depending on the type of mold, can have severe consequences if not dealt with quickly.
Dangers To The Home
Mold can cause a lot of unsightly aesthetical issues to a house and can make it look worn out and unappealing due to how disgusting and unsettling it looks. Mold can stain walls and surfaces and leave them permanently damaged, meaning that a lot of items such as wallpaper and plaster will have to be replaced. Mold can be more sinister than just affecting how your home looks, however, as it also has the potential to rot away and corrode materials, which can cause structural damage. Mold actually feeds on organic materials such as wood, paper, and many fabrics, meaning it has the potential to literally eat away at support beams and pieces of furniture, causing them to rot and fall apart. This can lead to massive structural issues such as a collapsed ceiling, floorboards caving in, and walls falling down, which are all expensive issues.
Dangers To People
Mold can also affect humans’ health as well, and sometimes in serious ways. Mold can cause breathing problems, as sometimes the spores and cells that are being spread through the air can be toxic and produce allergens, irritants, and mycotoxins, which can make breathing more difficult and cause bursts of intense coughing. Mold is a serious issue for people who already have compromised lungs, such as those who suffer from asthma, so it’s particularly important for these people to deal with mold as quickly they can.
Some forms of mold can be even more devastating and cause serious issues to those who are already immunocompromised. People who react badly to mold can begin to suffer breathing problems, headaches, bloody coughs, and in extreme cases, weight loss.
It’s also believed by the World Health Organization that mold may increase the risk of bronchial and fungal infections. These types of infections include bronchitis, pneumonitis, sinusitis, and lower respiratory tract problems in young children.
How To Prevent Mold
The best way to deal with mold is to prevent it from forming in the first place. There are many different ways households can do this, with the best ways including:
- Ensuring that your home’s humidity levels stay between 30% and 60%. Mold needs dampness in the air to grow and spread, so keeping your house in a dry state will help prevent the spread and formation of the fungus. A good way to reduce the moisture in the air is to invest in a dehumidifier, a device that can suck out the moisture from the air and make your house less damp and a less suitable environment for mold.
- Replace broken, warped, or missing shingles on your roof. Any issues with the roofing structure can give water, ice, and humid air an avenue into your house, which can cause leaks to form in your house, or damp to creep down your wall. These damp areas can become a hotbed for mold to form, so to prevent it, it’s best to get a roofing company such as Rock Solid Exteriors to inspect your roof and provide the care it needs to keep water, animals, and especially mold, out of your home.
- Inspect hoses, pipes, and other fittings on a regular basis as any leaks or drips can begin the spread of moisture around your home, which in turn can lead to mold forming and making it’s way through your home. You especially want to make sure that any pipes that carry drinking water are airtight as any mold that forms on these can contaminate your water supply and make you extremely sick if you consume that water.
- Clean humid rooms with bleach or mold-killing products. A lot of mold can be wiped off and cleaned from your walls, however you should not just clean rooms when mold begins to form. A good protective measure is to clean rooms without any mold, as the bleach will mean that it won’t be able to form and grow. You want to make sure these rooms are well ventilated as you do this, as these products can cause dizziness and headaches if inhaled.