Mold is a very common type of fungus, especially in humid regions like here in North Carolina. There are a number of molds, appearing in virtually every color. They can be white, black, blue, green, red and a host of other colors. Some are slimier than others or have other subtle differences. But there are many similarities as well. All types of mold are spawned from spores that are floating everywhere in our environment. And, most importantly, they all require moisture to grow.
Causes of moisture in the air
Because mold requires moisture, anywhere in your home that is exposed to water, whether by steam or liquid, can quickly develop mold. Rooms, especially at risk, include the basement, the kitchen, and any bathrooms. Specific causes of moisture in the home are:
- Humidity in the summer
- Drainage problems
- Flooding in the basement
- Poor ventilation around showers and stovetops
- Leaking or ruptured water pipes
- Roof leaks
- Windows being improperly sealed
Symptoms of mold exposure
Exposure to mold causes a variety of reaction in humans ranging from no symptoms to mild allergies, to severe allergic reactions. For those with mold allergies, common reactions include:
- Nasal congestion
- Sneezing and coughing
- Asthma attacks
Ways of controlling moisture in the home
Whether one is trying to keep moisture out of the home to prevent mold, or trying to reduce moisture to help eliminate mold, many of the same steps will need to be taken. The kitchen and bathrooms are very common sources of moisture problems. If there is no bathroom fan or fan above a stovetop, this should be remedied as soon as possible. Mold near food, your toothbrush and other areas one sees as safe and hygienic can lead to a lot of exposure.
Another measure to take is to maintain a humidity level below 60 percent. Some people like keeping the windows open and don’t mind a spring or summer breeze. While this is often pleasant, it can create a very moist, humid environment perfect for mold growth. A hygrometer can be purchased inexpensively and used to monitor humidity levels around the home.
Since cooler air is less able to hold moisture, air conditioners are a great way to maintain proper humidity levels during the summer. Dehumidifiers also are designed specifically to do this task and accomplish it well.
If there are other sources of moisture in the home, like a leaky pipe, leaky roof or poor drainage, simply have these fixed. The greater Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary) has a moist climate that does encourage some mold growth. By being aware of what causes mold to grow (moisture) and by taking the steps described, you can prevent this potentially harmful fungus from moving into your home. If you think you have mold or need any questions answered, please give The Mold Solutions Group a call and ask for Rich at (919) 918-7677.