What Causes Mold To Grow In Homes And Basements?
What Does Mold Needs to Grow?
- Mold spores which are like seeds to a plant
- Nutrients, or food sources like wet carpet, wet carpet padding, wet drywall, wet fabric, wet clothes, wet drapes, wet toys, food, hair, fur, dust, and anything organic
- Darkness, or dimly lit rooms. Sun light or ultra violet light helps to prevent mold growth.
- Warm temperatures
- Moisture from flooding, backed up sewers, water damage, or high humidity
- Time to grow.
Most homes and basements in the Chicago area have all the conditions at any time, which makes reacting to water damage situations correctly vital in preventing accelerated mold growth. The difference between mold growing in your home ,or basement really comes down to moisture levels and what happens after water damage.
Fact #1: Humidity Above 60% Causes Mold To Grow
It is all a good idea to close windows on rainy days especially if it is going to be consecutive days of rain. Closing the windows and running a dehumidifier can be a big difference between mold or no mold growth in your home or basement. It is not uncommon for mold to grow on walls, benches, floors, ceiling tiles, or other surfaces in your home or basement, because high humidity or “wet air”.
Mold growth downtown in the loop or up north by Wrigleyville can be a recurring issue, because of high humidity in the air due to the close proximity with Lake Michigan. Anywhere there is a large body of water close to a home, or basement there is increased chance for mold growth. I have seen people with hot tubs I their basements with nothing, but a small homeowner dehumidifier. It pays to be aware of the humidity levels in your home, condo, place of business, or basement at all times.
Fact #2: It pays to have good ventilation in the bathrooms, laundry rooms, basement and attic to avoid mold growth.
TIP #1: Use an exhaust fan if you like to take hot or steaming hot showers. Leave a window open and maybe put a fan in the window to air out the extra moisture depending on the humidity outside. It is important any time that you have water damage, or high humidity that you have a place for water to go as it evaporates. Professional water removal service companies like 2nd Chance Water Restoration of Chicago can bring out large air movers and industrial size low grain refrigerant dehumidifiers to dry water damage in a hurry.
TIP # 2: DON’T AIR DRY YOUR CLOTHES INDOORS….I know that sounds silly, but it happens.
Some people install small dehumidifiers in the home and think that will be sufficient not realizing that their humidity level in a particular corner of a basement maybe over 60% thus causing ,old to grow. Check your humidity levels in your basement often especially on rainy or high humidity days.
It is important to install dehumidifiers whenever there is water damage in your home, place of business, or basement, because puddles and water takes much longer to dry without them. Dry air soaks up water off the ground practically. Dry air, heat and air flow will dry water quickly. However, putting air movement with heat without dehumidification is a perfect way to grow mold in someone’s property. You have to have appropriate dehumidification going on in combination with the heat and air flow, or your property will look like a Petri dish in a high school science fair experiment.
Fact #3: Leaking pipes, or plumbing supply line failures Cause Mold Growth
One of the most common cause for water damage and mold growth is leaking pipes, or pipes that have failure around bends and corner joints.leaks inside a wall can be particularly good at aiding mold growth as they tend to grow undetected unless there is a significant amount of water. Usually mold is growing by the time someone finds out there is a leak in the plumbing pipe.
Fact #4: Leaks Roofs Cause Mold Growth
Leaky roofs can also be hard to detect as a small leak ca cause mold growth in the attic long before anyone sees the water damage problem. Like leaky pipes, attic mold is not usually detected until it has been there a while.
If you are able then it would be a good idea to check the attic for signs of water damage, leaks in the roof, or mold. You can usually smell attic mold. You could also simply look at your ceiling from time to time for water damage stains, or water damage marks which tend to be round and brownish in color.
Fact #5: Condensation Can Help Mold Grow
Any surface especially metal ones that are cooler than the air around them will create condensation. Concrete floors and walls can have condensation even if there is carpet, or insulation above them. Vapor barriers in basements that are designed to prevent moisture from coming in can also keep moisture from going out, when there is water damage or high humidity for any reason.
Fact #6: Poor Ventilation In Your Home Or Basement Can Help Mold Grow
Poor ventilation leads to air that may have moisture having o where to go. Any steam, or water evaporation causes high humidity levels which is the prime ingredient need to jump start mold growth. Poor ventilation will not allow wet or saturated surfaces to dry efficiently so air flow is always important in any water removal project if mold growthis to be prevented. Ventilation is extra important in attics, basements, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
TIP #3: Wet Clothes Or Dryers THAT ARE NOT VENTED OUTSIDE PROPERLY WILL CAUSE MOLD GROWTH
Leaving wet clothes in a pile, or in the bathroom will cause mold to grow on the and mold will spread when you pick them up. Any clothes that have been hanging around for more than a day probably have contributed greatly to the mold count in the house. Moldy clothes, or fabric should not be transported throughout the house. Bag the clothes and get them directly into the washing machine asap.
Make sure that your dryer is properly ventilated outside, because the humidity that they put out can cause mold growth as bad as nay water damage event. Do not steam, or hand wash with hot water large amounts of clothes without proper ventilation. Running hot water, or boiling a lot of water during cooking on a consistent basis will cause mold growth without proper ventilation.
Fact# 7: Flood Damage And Water Damage Causes Mold
Mold problems are almost inevitable after your home has had water damage due to flooding as it can take days to dry while mold only needs 24-48 hours to really start growing. Toxic mold usually requires more time and higher degrees of saturation like Stachybotrys chartarum which needs cellulose materials to be very wet for several days, or weeks to grow.
Flooding has been known to create conditions that are very suitable for toxic mold growth so taking water damage removal seriously should you have flooding in your home or basement.
Fact #8: Basement Mold In Chicago Is A Serious Issue:
Basements often contain higher amounts of moisture or humidity than other areas of the home, or business, because they are usually ventilated poorly and the sub surface location puts it a better place to collect moisture. Basements also tend to be colder than other areas of the house which leads to more condensation which leads to the moisture that mold needs to grow.
Any water damage in the upper portions of your property tend to flood down in the basement as water sinks to the lowest level possible. Water damage from flooding in the basement tends to go unnoticed for significant amounts of time, so mold can be present when the water is discovered.
You can find more information about basement mold here.
TIP #4: Water Coming In Through Cracks In The Foundation Or From Condensation Of The Concrete Causes Mold Growth.
Water building up, or pooling around the foundation of the basement, or in a crawl space cause frequent water, or high humidity in these areas, so this water issues need to be addressed to prevent mold growth. Make sure that the ground around your property does not slope toward your property and make sure that down spouts aren’t clogged and pointed away from the building. A lot of basement flooding is attributed to broken, clogged, or poor designed rain down spouts. You may have to add ditch, drains, or other plumbing solutions to get the water away from the property and to keep it out of your basement.
if you are wondering how far we will go for a water damage removal, or mold remediation emergency and still provide a free service estimate just call 630-546-2239, or checkout our professional service area page.