It is usually not hard to identify mold growing on your walls, floors and even furniture. But it may take a while to find as mold can sometimes grow in hidden areas, such as in the attic, basement, crawlspace, and behind structural materials. It’s usually found after water damage occurs and its presence can lead to heightened allergies and respiratory issues like coughing, itchy eyes and throat, nasal congestion, and even respiratory infections.
While it’s highly recommended for a professional mold removal service to address mold and prevent it from coming back, the best way to prevent it yourself is to know what causes it.
Excess water and moisture are the main cause of mold in homes. As mold only requires moisture and an organic food source commonly found in building materials, it won’t take long for it to grow. It can grow anywhere in your home; however, some areas are more commonly affected than others, especially if they tend to have a higher moisture content.
Below are the common causes of mold.
If you live in an area with high humidity, you should be aware of frequent mold problems. Due to the naturally high presence of moisture, it can be tough to keep mold from growing.
Mold in areas with high humidity will usually be found on walls, ceilings, dark closets and in the kitchen. If you live near an ocean or large body of water, such as coastal areas or by a lake, mold can also become worse with the lack of ventilation.
To prevent this issue, remember to keep the air flowing throughout your home by turning on the HVAC system, allowing fans to run, and keeping doors and windows open if it’s breezy outside.
While a leaking pipe can certainly cause water damage, it can also lead to a mold problem. One of the most common spots for mold is underneath kitchen sinks from leaking pipes.
Leaking pipes throughout the house can also contribute to ceiling and wall mold. If you notice any dark areas on walls and ceilings, be sure to contact a professional to conduct a mold test. Also, don’t forget to fix the leaking pipe.
Roof leaks are a common cause of water damage and mold, especially after it rains. While a leak can slowly build up over time and accumulate moisture, mold will grow within the structural materials and spread into the attic.
Be sure to check all tiles and facades of your ceiling for water damage and/or any possible leaks to prevent mold growth.
During the winter, condensation can build up on cold surfaces if the temperature fluctuates. Commonly cold surfaces like concrete surfaces, floor tiles, metal piping and even brick walls are prone to developing condensation. While they don’t always pose a problem in the wintertime, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them while maintaining proper ventilation to make sure they stay dry.
Otherwise, the accumulated condensation will attract natural mold spores and begin to grow a fungus fairly quickly.
When flooding disasters occur, mold is commonly found soon afterwards. This is why it’s important to call for emergency flood restoration right away. Otherwise mold can grow in as little as 24 hours.
While it can take days and even weeks to properly dry out a home, flood cleanup professionals can prevent mold by applying anti-microbials to keep drying areas clean. But even after the drying process, it’s best to contact a professional mold inspector to test for mold so you won’t have a problem in the future.
Damp and Wet Clothing
Any clothing that just came out of the wash or wet swim wear after coming home from the pool or beach must be hung out to dry. Any damp clothing left to sit on the floor for up to a day will quickly smell musty and can even develop mold.
Keep in mind during the spring and summer months, wet clothing can contribute to a mold problem with the added moisture in the home. If you hang them up to dry right after washing, you shouldn’t have a problem.
Poor Ventilation in the Home
As previously stated, one of the main causes of mold in the home is poor ventilation. Moisture can accumulate in each room, especially the kitchen, basement, attic, and bathrooms. Stagnant air will also produce a musty smell, which is the first warning sign to keep the air moving.
Otherwise, moisture from outside, and steam from appliances, cooking and bathing will sit in the home, leaving surfaces sticky and damp.
As long as you keep fans and your HVAC system running, you shouldn’t have to worry about a ventilation problem.
As all basements are underground where the moisture level is higher, this area of your home is more prone to mold growth. Basements usually have poorer ventilation than the rest of the home which also makes mold growth more likely.
So increased moisture and humidity will produce mold, especially if there are any leaking pipes. But if you keep fans running and your basement dry, you can avoid any possible mold growth.
Leaking Air Conditioning Unit
While these units are widely popular in humid climates and summer months, they can also leak and produce a mold problem if there’s an issue. Mold around A/C units will be white in color, so be sure to look closely when inspecting your unit and check the ducts, piping and filters.
Most foundations will sit on a slope, allowing any water to drain away from the home to prevent water and mold damage. If for any reason your foundation is sitting at the bottom of a hill, you can expect frequent flooding and even mold damage.
If you have found yourself in this situation, contact a professional landscaper to help modify your yard and slope. Drains can also be installed to direct water away from the foundation.
Professional Mold Removal
While the common causes of mold stated above can certainly help to prevent mold from growing in your home, there’s no way to guarantee you won’t have a problem.
If at any moment you found mold in your home, don’t hesitate to contact a mold removal professional. For the home and business owners in the Aurora, IL area, contact ServiceMaster of Aurora for professional mold removal services.
Our technicians use professional products and equipment to remove all mold growth and address the source while preventing cross contamination. We will also take steps to prevent the mold from returning such as removing the source of the moisture.
Give us a call at 630-896-0030 for professional mold removal services in Aurora, IL or the surrounding areas.