Why does mold grow?

Mold is a naturally occurring part of the environment. It helps to break down dead organic material like dead leaves and trees, but indoors, mold growth is to be avoided. The appearance of mold is usually a sign of a larger, more pervasive problem, such as water damage from a previous water event that was not properly remediated, or moisture from supply lines to dishwashers, refrigerators, and wash machines. Cracked fittings behind walls can develop from corrosion, seasonal freeze/thaw cycles, or settling. Left undiscovered, these issues can result in sizable mold problems or structural problems.

Mold in the Home

There is mold in every house and is usually not a problem until the spores land on a wet surface. No mold can grow without water. Once those spores begin to grow, they produce gasses called mycotoxins. This process is called off-gassing. These mycotoxins are what cause the allergic reactions in you and your pets. The reactions are common, and they can be immediate or delayed. Mold spores can be found floating through the air and in house dust. These spores will activate once they contact water. Therefore, we emphasize having Restoration 1 of Fox Valley clean up and fix persistent water problems in your home. In fact, according to your insurance company you only have two obligations: Pay your premium and mitigate any water problem as fast as you can. Which is why mold is usually not covered by insurance unless you have a mold rider on your policy. Mold is evidence that you did not do the later.

Moisture Control is Essential

Moisture control is essential to mold control. Once again, mold cannot grow without the presence of water it also needs a food source which is usually absorbent materials like drywall, wood, carpeting, ceiling tiles. Fixing leaks and other water problems as soon as possible and drying the space and its items completely is the key to eliminating your mold problem for good. You have about 48 to 72 hours to dry materials before mold growth begins.

Some things you can do to prevent mold from returning are:

1. Reducing the humidity in your home by running dehumidifiers or your A/C: Air conditioning is a dehumidification process.

2. Vent your appliances properly: Appliances such as dryers, stoves and heaters should be properly vented outside.

3. Watch your bathrooms for excess humidity: Bathrooms are a stubborn source of humidity. Open a window or run the bathroom fan when showering and leave the fan running long after you have showered to exhaust all humidity from the bathroom. Also check to make certain that your bathroom fan is properly ducted through the roof.

4. Pay attention to moisture in your attic: Many older homes have fans exhausted directly into the attic which results in black mold growth on roof deck and rafters.

5. Move Air: Move air with the use of portable and ceiling fans when practical. Prevent condensation by increasing air temperature, covering cold surfaces such cold water pipes with insulation