We all strive to keep our homes clean and free of dangerous contaminants.
But no matter how spotless you keep your home, you can still find yourself susceptible to mold growth.
But how did it get there? And two, how do you get rid of it?
I got the answers for you.
What Is Mold?
Well, for starters, mold is something that can—and does—grow pretty much wherever it wants. At the most fundamental level, mold is a fungus comprised of microscopic organisms that band together in a type of colony. While different types of mold are an essential part of any ecosystem, they certainly aren’t something that you want in your home.
Mold’s appearance varies depending on a variety of factors, but most often, you’ll see mold form in the following colors: green, orange, white, black, and even purple.
Is Mold Dangerous?
While most mold is pretty harmless when exposure to it is limited, sometimes mold growth—especially in buildings—can be detrimental to human health. The reason for this is that mold spores typically float off of the growth and into the air, where they are inhaled by people and animals in close proximity. Though not everyone is particularly sensitive to mold, many people can develop serious health problems if they inhale mold spores in large quantities.
What Causes Mold Growth on Walls?
Mold tends to set up shop on moist surfaces where it can thrive and spread. With that in mind, it makes sense that the following factors greatly increase the ability of mold to take over walls:
There’s always going to be a certain amount of condensation in your home. It tends to concentrate on the interior part of perimeter walls because this is where the coolest air tends to be located. As the moisture in the air reaches these cooler areas, it will condense and cling to these walls, making them the perfect place for mold to develop.
2. Water Leakage
This one is something of a no-brainer. Since mold loves moist surfaces, walls can become an ideal environment for mold to grow if leaky pipes have allowed water to seep into the interior structures of your home. This is particularly troubling because it might be a long time before you notice a leaky pipe, giving mold plenty of time to make your home its own.
3. High Humidity
This is by far the single most common factor leading to the development of mold on your home’s walls, particularly for those homes located in areas with particularly humid climates. With more moisture in the air, there are far more opportunities for it to condense on your walls, creating a potential breeding ground for mold.
How Can You Prevent Mold Growth on Your Walls?
Since the main causes of mold growth all have to do with moisture, the solutions that will prevent that mold growth all revolve around limiting the amount of moisture in your home. Let’s take a look at some of the best precautions you can take now, before mold even has the chance to take up root in your home.
1. Prevent Condensation
Preventing condensation around your perimeter walls can be a bit of a challenge. The best thing you can do, besides remodeling to include double-stud walls on the perimeter of your home, is to frequently inspect these walls to assess the level of moisture accumulation. If you notice a good deal of moisture building up in these areas, you need to find a way to eliminate it. We’ll cover how to do that in our third tip.
2. Prevent and Repair Leaks
While it’s obvious that you should repair any already leaky pipes, it’s less obvious to know how to prevent leaks in the first place. There are three ways of going about this, and they’re all based around protecting your pipes from cracking due to freezing temperatures:
- Always fully drain outside water faucets and unhook hoses before temperatures start to drop.
- Allow your sink faucets to run at a steady drip at night, as running water won’t be able to freeze when temperatures plummet.
- Consider insulating your pipes to protect them from freezing temperatures.
3. Reduce the Humidity Inside Your Home
If you really want to reduce condensation and the humidity in the air, you’ll want to purchase a dehumidifier—maybe more than one if humidity is a serious problem in your home. These appliances effectively remove the moisture floating in the air, preventing it from condensing on surfaces like walls. You should also ensure your home is properly ventilated, especially in high-humidity spaces, like bathrooms and laundry areas.
Hopefully this has answered some of your questions about mold and given you some useful tips on how to keep your home free of the nasty stuff to keep your home and family safe and clean.