Before we can address how to prevent mold growth in our homes, let’s take a look at what mold is and what it needs to grow…
What is Mold?
Molds are a type of fungus and are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. When a lot of mold is growing on a surface, it often appears black, blue or green. The color of the mold is determined by the type and is influenced by the nutrient source, surface type and the age of the colony.
What Does Mold Need to Grow?
Mold needs water to grow. Without water mold cannot grow. Mold also needs a food source, oxygen and a temperature between 40 degrees and 100 degrees F. Since mold decomposes dead organic material it can grow on wood, paper (such as on gypsum board drywall) and other materials made from wood. Mold can also digest some synthetic materials such as adhesives, pastes and paints. While mold cannot get nutrients from inorganic material such as concrete, plastic, glass and metal, it can grow on the organic dirt/dust layer present on these surfaces. Molds prefer damp or wet material. Some molds can get moisture from the air when the air is very damp, that is when the relative humidity is typically above 60%. The high humidity makes enough moisture available to make surfaces damp enough for mold to grow.
How Can I Prevent Mold From Growing In My Home?
The answer is simple: keep your home dry. If mold does not have water/moisture it cannot grow. Remember mold spores are everywhere so you cannot completely keep them out of your house. It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
If you have any questions about mold, please give us a call at 803-732-2000 and we will be happy to help!