Mold and its Consequences

Mold and its Consequences

Mold is a type of fungus that occurs naturally in the environment, and it is necessary for the natural decomposition of plant and other organic material. It spreads by means of microscopic spores borne on the wind and is found everywhere that life can be supported. Residential home construction is not, and cannot be, designed to exclude all mold spores. If the growing conditions are adequate, mold can grow in your home. Mold may grow in the presence of several conditions. However, moisture is the only growth factor that can be controlled in a residential setting. By minimizing moisture, a homeowner can reduce or eliminate mold from most parts of the home. Moisture in the home can have many causes. Spills, leaks, overflows, condensation, and high humidity are common sources of home moisture. Good housekeeping practices and responsible home maintenance are essential to prevent or eliminate mold growth. If moisture is allowed to remain on a nutrient source, mold can develop within 24 to 48 hours.

RECOMMENDED PREVENTATIVE STEPS

* Keep humidity levels low. Use exhaust fans in all “wet” areas such as bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms, and vent clothes dryers to the outdoors.

* If moisture condenses on windows or other hard surfaces, raise the temperature indoors and maintain a low indoor relative humidity level.

* Make sure gutters and drain lines for roof water run off are present on the home and regularly cleaned in order to divert the roof water run off away from the foundation. Keep water away from foundations.

* Check for signs of mold before bringing items into the home. Potted plants (roots and soil), furnishings, or stored clothing and bedding, as well as other household items, may contain mold. Should severe mold growth develop, call on the services of a qualified professional mold-remediation contractor.

* Make sure there is fresh air, adequate airflow, and heat in all rooms of the house that have a potential mold problem.

* Inspect for leaks on a regular basis. Immediately repair water leaks, floods and spills (or have the appropriate person do so) and immediately extract water from all areas that have been subjected to flooding.