Finding Mold in your Home
If you’ve found mold in your home, the most important thing to do (besides having it cleaned up properly, of course) is to track it back to its source. Mold needs a couple of important ingredients to survive: a food source, moisture, and temperature. If you think about two of the most common areas mold likes to grow in your home - the basement and attic - it becomes apparent that all three qualities are often in easy abundance.
Starting at the base of your home, mold in the basement can take many forms. Basements are common sites for mold growth for a number of reasons:
- they are often damp and improperly sealed from outdoor water
- they are lightly trafficked (so you don’t even notice the mold growth beginning)
- they have poor air flow in contrast with other areas of the home (so any moisture takes a long time to dry out)
- there is often lots (and lots) of delicious mold food: old papers, abandoned furniture, clothing or carpets.
Mold in your basement can come from a variety of sources: condensation from high humidity, leaky pipes or a flood are three ways that moisture can be introduced. The first sign that you may have mold in the basement is often a damp, musty smell, or a headache or sinus congestion that disappears once you leave the room. Mold likes to go unnoticed and may be growing behind drywall or on the underside or inside of things, like vents, carpets, or in your HVAC, so if you suspect you have some mold growth happening, do a visual inspection with a flashlight. Check for mold around pipes, washers, or sinks, and underneath areas like kitchens and bathrooms. If you find a particularly damp area, but see no mold, you may still have growth happening behind the drywall, or under flooring - utilizing a professional mold removal company such a MoldTech means that our qualified technicians can assess the situation in non-invasive ways and make sure that any remediation targets the exact location of mold in your rooms.
Once you’ve discovered mold, making sure that you find the source and deal with it promptly is possibly more important than cleaning it up - there’s no point in cleaning or removing mold affected drywall or furniture if the leaky washer just begins the process anew again the next day. Repairing on the interior or grading or cleaning downspouts on the exterior of your home will reduce the amount of water around the foundation of your home, and will go a long way in preventing mold growth from excess moisture.
Up top your home could also be at risk for mold growth. Low-hanging trees, old insulation, and improperly connected vents could be adding or retaining moisture in your attic. The attic has the added bonus of heat - while mold can grow in cooler temperatures, heat plus moisture creates an ideal ecosystem for some species of molds, which can quickly colonize and cause a lot of damage to your home. Basic maintenance and updating and monitoring the conditions of your attic can go a long way in preventing mold growth - and again, tracking any mold to its source in the attic, and quickly removing the mold and its source of food or water will help keep your home running efficiently and safely for years to come.
- Learn more about mold air testing in Newmarket