There seems to be a lot of concern about moisture and mold especially in the South where the weather is very hot and humid. Molds are a part of our natural environment and they grow throughout our natural and built environment. On the outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees. On the other hand, when it comes to dealing with mold on the indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds are fungi and they reproduce by means of tiny spores; these spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) when they find the right conditions.
Mold may begin growing indoors when the mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. The key to controlling mold is to control moisture and wet conditions. It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. There are many types of mold, and none of them grow without water or moisture. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling the moisture indoors. Repair any leaks you may have to eliminate the water. To help with humidity and moisture you can use fans and dehumidifiers. We also suggest you eliminate any wet materials in your home and clean all areas where mold growth is present. If you clean up the mold, and don’t fix the water problem, then, most likely the mold problem will come back.
Mold/mildew and moisture problems may be present if you have some of the following symptoms:
- Musky or suspicious odors
- Leaking Roofs
- Plumbing Leaks or standing moisture around tubs, sinks and toilets
- Inadequate or improper venting of kitchen appliances and bathrooms (high humidity)
- Poor drainage in crawlspace areas and basements
- Standing water pooling around home
- Condensate or wet Insulation under the home
- Discoloration or stains on walls, ceilings and the floors from possible moisture
- Movement in walls may indicate something else is going on.
If you are unsure or are suspicious of any mold, mildew, or of your indoor air quality in your home, the best way to determine any problem is to have a proper and professional full indoor air quality test conducted by a properly trained professional. Periodic inspections (at least annually) of the general conditions of the home can be very beneficial and can help prevent serious problems before they get too far. Be proactive and protect your investment by observing the conditions around your home or have a trained professional that can help you identify any problem areas.