Allergies affect over 50 million Americans, making them the sixth leading cause of chronic illness around. Mold allergy is more common in American households. Mold growth within the house triggers this type of allergy.
You can avoid experiencing the symptoms and effects of mold allergy by keeping your home mold-free. With no prior knowledge, you will have no idea where to start.
Our guide can help. Below are the twelve most possible sources of mold growth. Read on and discover them today:
1. Excess Moisture Causes Mold Growth
Like with other life forms, mold needs water to survive. One of the primary causes is moisture. If your home or place of work has high humidity (70%), mold will thrive.
The longer you wait to act and reduce humidity, the more chances mold will grow. Often, the growth begins in hidden places, including:
- Inside walls
- Ventilation or air ducts
- Plumbing pipes
The most common home areas with high humidity are the bathroom, kitchen, and basement. A site does not need to have standing water to have excess moisture. Sometimes, leakages and excessive warmth are enough to become an ideal place for mold growth.
2. Roof and Window Leaks
Check your home for leaks through the way rain or snow drips inside. If you find the leaks in a dark, low-traffic area, there is a high chance of mold growth. Often, these leaks come from the roof and around your windows.
DIY caulking is often enough to fix window leaks. If you cannot repair the leak, consider window replacement. You can get new windows by visiting Renewal by Andersen Window Replacement.
Repairing a leaky roof is not as simple as fixing a window leak. Find the source of the leak by following the lowest point going upward. After that, check for the vents or roofing shingles and replace the damaged ones.
Reseal joints with caulk and roofing cement. If the damage on your roof is extensive, get professional help. A roof replacement will help avoid the mold problem.
3. Lack of Sunlight
Have you noticed how mold only grows in dark areas or places where the sun cannot reach? Direct sunlight kills mold. Ultraviolet rays destroy its cellular structure.
However, indoor and artificial lighting do not affect mold. They lack photons and UV rays to prevent growth. Regardless, mold prefers to grow in dark and hidden places.
You can counter mold growth by exposing your home to sunlight. Open your windows and curtains allow sunlight to bathe the interior of your home. For areas the sunlight cannot reach, you can use specific indoor lights emulating sunlight.
However, using these lights is not a cheap or practical option. The good news is the lack of sunlight is not the only ingredient for mold growth. Consider other factors, such as humidity or dampness.
4. Unclean Carpets
Never let spills seep into your carpets, even when it is only water. Wet carpet padding creates the perfect environment for mold growth. When the carpet gets wet, put a rag or paper towel to absorb the liquid right away.
You can never go wrong with cleaning your carpet often. Without proper cleaning, you risk exposure to mold spores. The symptoms of mold exposure include:
- Skin rash
- Sore throat
- Runny nose and congestion
- Eye irritation
- Lung irritation
Even low-quality carpeting can hold bacteria, causing mold to thrive. Proper carpet cleaning involves a balance between dry and wet cleaners. Carpets in or near bathrooms and kitchens should get regular inspections.
5. Overwatered Houseplants
Did you recently get into caring for houseplants? One drawback of being a new plant parent is you do not always know the right amount of water for your greens.
Overwatering your houseplants won’t only kill the plants. It can also cause mold to grow in the soil of the plant.
If you start seeing white, fuzzy bits of mold on the surface of the houseplant’s soil, scoop it out. Take out the top inch of the dirt with a spoon. Replace it with clean potting soil and determine the proper amount of water for your plants.
6. Fresh Firewood
Do you often store firewood in your house? While the wood is fresh, it can release a lot of moisture, causing interior mold growth. Wood is one of its best food sources.
If you want to store firewood indoors, dry it out. Put it in a secure area, away from the elements. Ensure the room has plenty of airflow.
7. Wet Clothing or Towels
Let’s say you come home from the beach with wet towels and swimsuits wrapped in plastic. If you want to avoid mold growth, throw the damp clothing and towels onto a drying rack. Better yet, place them in the washing machine as soon as possible.
Wet cloth and fabric invite mold into your home. Mold latches and grows even faster on pieces of clothing when you keep them in damp bathrooms. If your bathroom lacks good ventilation, hang your towels outside and let the sun do the work.
It does not only apply to clothes used in swimming or bathing. Mold can also grow on clothes used for running, lifting weights, and other forms of exercise. When you get home from the gym or a run, hang it up to dry or wash it at once.
8. Stacked Paper and Cardboard Boxes in Your Garage
Like wood, mold grows and feeds on paper and cardboard. If you keep cardboard boxes in your garage, make sure the garage is as inhospitable as possible. Otherwise, it will become a playground for fungi like mildew and mold.
Avoid stacking boxes on top of each other. Instead, separate them to allow airflow. If you have the budget, get plastic storage containers to replace the cardboard boxes.
Consider placing a bucket or two filled with cat litter or activated charcoal. Doing this helps reduce and control moisture in your garage. Fix any leaks since they can create moisture or make the cardboard wet.
9. Flooded Homes or Basements
Flooding brings in a lot of risks to your home. It puts you in a financial rut from all the damage done to your home and things. At the same time, floods create health hazards long after it dries out.
Mold could grow in the basement or home when you do not clean the flooded area thoroughly. The excess water could enter your walls, furniture, and more. Even a tiny amount of moisture can create a significant mold infestation.
If the condition is humid and warm, mold will grow and spread faster. Mold grows 24 to 48 hours after a flood, as long as the area meets the right conditions. However, they only become visible 18 to 21 days after the flood.
10. Poor Ventilation and Unchanged HVAC Filters
How long do you wait before changing your HVAC filters? If you wait for longer, you’re putting your home at risk for mold growth. Dirty HVAC filters create the perfect habitat for mold and mildew.
At the same time, dirt keeps your HVAC system from doing its job well. Less effective HVAC systems allow allergens and mold spores to reduce indoor air quality.
If you have allergies, you are likely more sensitive to mold. Those with immune suppression or lung disease are more prone to fungal infections. If you have these disorders, keep out of the moldy area.
Instead, hire professional HVAC cleaners to accomplish the cleaning task. It will cost you some money, but it is better than suffering from allergic reactions. The money you spend for the emergency room is often more than a simple maintenance call.
11. House Appliances
Some home appliances welcome mold into the house. They are the ones producing high levels of humidity. When you do not have a vent leading outside of the house, the moisture can become a source of mold growth.
Install the vents for these appliances outside the home. When it is not possible, fit the vents with moisture traps instead. Doing so controls the humidity coming from these appliances.
12. Bathroom Air
The bathroom is a high-humidity room because of its intended use. A hot shower or flushing the toilet creates moisture. Let the bathroom air out to reduce the risk of mold growth.
After a shower, open the bathroom ventilation fan and let it run for twenty minutes at least. Never leave damp bath mats on the floor. Instead, hang them along with the wet towels.
Keep Your Home Mold-Free Now
Understanding where mold comes from is the key to fighting it and keeping it out of the home. We hope this guide on mold growth helped you find a solution to your problem.
However, learning about common mold growth areas is only the beginning. Look for a reputable mold removal company to inspect your home. That way, you can get rid of infestations before they become serious issues.
Did this guide help? If so, read our other posts today.
- About the Author
Alex Grigoryan is a Professional Home Improvement and Lifestyle Writer. He has been in the industry for over 6 years and has been writing for Chique Home Living since 2019. His work has been featured in prestigious blogs such as Spruce Home, Better Homes & Garden, and more.