The Most Common Hot Spots For Indoor Mold Growth
Mold requires an adequate moisture source to develop and spread in your indoor environment. Some areas of your Ohio home may be more vulnerable to underlying moisture problems that can cause and support fungal activity. Areas like your basement, attic, crawlspace, kitchen and bathroom often suffer from moisture-related problems — making these spaces the most common hot spots for indoor mold growth. With a sufficient moisture source, mold spores can germinate and spread to contaminate virtually any surface in your indoor environment. In time, mold and moisture will wreak havoc on your building materials and leave you with serious property damage.
Whether it is poor ventilation, improper insulation, roof leaks or a combination of issues — attics often suffer from underlying moisture buildup that can leave Ohio homeowners with a serious attic mold problems.
- Poor ventilation- Poor ventilation in your attic allows warm, moisture air to get trapped in your attic space. Cleveland homeowners need to install a strategic combination of soffit vents, ridge vents and/or gable wall vents to allowing the right amount of air circulation and proper ventilation. Be sure to keep vents free of obstructions and blockage at all times.
- Improper insulation- Attic insulation is intended to minimize warm or cool air loss from the floor below. Improper insulation installation causes moisture-latent air from the lower levels of the home to rise and become trapped in the attic.
- Humidity- A lot of Ohio attic suffer from humidity issues. This is often the side effect of a combination of poor ventilation, improper insulation or excess clutter. Homeowners should regularly monitor relatively humidity levels in the attic space to prevent moisture buildup on attic building materials.
- Condensation- Warm, moist air in your attic can condense on your roof sheathing and leave you with damp building materials during cooler climates. If you can maintain attic humidity levels below 50%, it will help to prevent attic condensation.
Basements are notoriously damp with poor air circulation and foundation wall seepage issues. Once mold takes hold in your basement, it can spread quickly due to conducive conditions and leave you with a widespread basement mold problem.
- Poor air circulation- Most basement have very minimal air exchange, which makes basement especially susceptible to moisture buildup over time if a homeowner is not careful and do not address water presence immediately.
- Foundation seepage or leaks- Leaky foundation walls or foundation seepage are very common problems in Cleveland basements. If you have any foundation damage, it will only make your problems worse. Water intrusion at your foundation walls need to be properly addressed in order to prevent basement mold growth.
- Flooding- Like foundation leaks and seepage, basement flood is a common problem that often leads to significant water damage and mold problems.
- Humidity- When trapped moisture from flooding or water intrusion begins to evaporate, you will be left with elevated humidity that can make your basement the ideal breeding ground for mold. The humidity then usually stays high thanks to lack of air circulation and no sunlight. When the relative humidity of your basement exceeds 50%, your basement can be at risk for mold growth.
Crawl spaces can be especially vulnerable to moisture buildup from events like elevated humidity, seepage and/or water intrusion. If you are not careful, you could be inviting crawlspace mold into your Ohio home.
- Water vapors- Dirt or sand crawlspaces are constantly exposed to moisture emitted from the ground. Dirt or sand naturally hold onto water. The moisture from the dirt or sand ground will evaporate into the crawlspace atmosphere. Rising water vapors will rise and cling to your wood floor joists, sub-flooring and insulation.
- Flooding- In areas where the water table is high and weather conditions are suitable, ground water can penetrate a crawl space can cause flooding.
- Water Intrusion- Like with a basement, crawlspace foundation walls can be problematic. Crawlspace foundation walls should be well-maintained and properly waterproofed to prevent water intrusion. If your foundation walls are compromised in anyway, water intrusion can lead to crawl space mold growth.
- Humidity- Like your basement or attic, your crawlspace can be especially susceptible to high humidity. Between the moisture emitting from your ground soil, improper ventilation and a variety of other factors, it can be very difficult to maintain a health relative humidity level of 50% or less.
When we think moisture, of course we think of bathrooms. Everything we do in bathrooms is revolved around water — from showers, baths, sink usage and toilet usage. Bathrooms are typically dark and dank, and bathrooms tend to collect plenty of dead organic matter for mold to feed on. Bathroom mold can get into the little nooks and crannies behind bathtub liner. Moisture can collect under partially tiled areas, and mold can develop under you tiles completely unnoticed. The most effective way to combat bathroom mold is prevention. Prevention is as simple as controlling moisture levels and cleaning regularly to remove organic matter that feeds mold. Cleveland homeowners should always use exhaust vents when showering, dry surfaces immediately, and pay attention to plumbing for potential leaks.
Like bathrooms, kitchens see a lot of moisture. Between cooking and cleaning, the kitchen of your Cleveland home could be vulnerable to mold growth. Mold loves moist, humid environments and can be lurking in hidden places like beneath appliances, in cabinets, and under sinks. With the right conditions, your kitchen can be the ideal breeding ground for serious mold development. Homeowners should monitor kitchen humidity and always run exhaust fans when cooking. It is important to make sure your kitchen is dry and free of standing water by drying wet areas immediately. You should regularly assess for potential leaks from any plumbing features and appliances.
While some areas of your Ohio home may be more vulnerable to mold growth than others, it is important that homeowners are conducting routine maintenance checks throughout the whole building structure. In the event that you uncover a potential mold or moisture problem, contact the mold remediation professionals at Mastertech Environmental for help.