How does mold grow in the house?
Mold growth is an extremely common problem in homes, especially the ones that provide a damp environment. Although mold spores are usually invisible to the naked eye, they pose a major threat while growing indoors. Mold can potentially cause various health issues and damage your belongings, which make it crucial to remove and prevent mold from growing in your home.
What promotes mold growth?
Mold is a type of naturally occurring fungi that break down dead organic matter. One of the biggest problems with indoor mold growth is that this fungus can grow easily in various places. However, mold spores do need certain favorable conditions before they can start growing. These include:
One of the most notable characteristics of mold is that it always grows in damp environments. This alone shows the significance of moisture in supporting mold growth. In fact, mold spores would never grow in the absence of water. Therefore, keeping your walls, carpets and other surfaces dry is crucial in preventing mold from growing.
One of the reasons why mold can grow on almost any surface is that these fungi can draw nutrients from a variety of sources. While you may have noticed stale food items going moldy, mold can actually metabolize almost any organic matter that contains carbon, such as leather. Even on inorganic surfaces like glass or metal, mold can draw nutrition from dirt particles. Hence, it is quite impossible to remove all sources of food for mold from the environment.
- Suitable temperatures
You may be aware that while putting food in a refrigerator, the temperature should not be set higher than 40° F. This is because if the temperature is 39° F or lower, mold would fail to grow. The optimum temperature for mold growth ranges from 77° F to 86° F. Even if you do not suspect the presence of mold in your home, do not refrigerate food at a temperature that can potentially result in mold growth.
Molds do need oxygen in order to survive as they are obligate aerobes. Now, liming oxygen in a specific area in your home is outright difficult. Even if you did lower the oxygen levels, it may not work as mold can survive even in conditions with very low oxygen concentration. Hence, there isn’t much that you can do about this, either.
Why and how should you get rid of mold?
When mold occurs outdoors, it does not pose a problem. In fact, it plays an important role in the natural process of decomposition of organic matter. However, when it starts growing indoors, mold causes several problems. These include:
- An unhealthy environment with a musty smell in the air that makes it difficult to breathe.
- Various illnesses, including fungal allergies and respiratory infections.
- Worsening of chronic respiratory problems like asthma.
- Allergic symptoms similar to hay fever.
- Sicknesses for pets in the home.
- Damage to various belongings in your house.
As mold spores germinate through the air, molds can spread very fast. In fact, these spores can even enter your HVAC system through the air ducts, resulting in mold growth inside the ductwork. This would be a severe problem, with the HVAC system delivering air contaminated with mold.
If you suspect that mold has been growing in your home, immediately get in touch with professionals. A reputed company that offers decontamination services would be able to get rid of the mold and clean the areas effectively. DIY techniques aren’t usually advisable as you could expose yourself to mold in the process. Professionals possess sophisticated equipment and use all the necessary protective gear.