Causes of mold

There are situations and events which can encourage the growth of toxic mold. We’ve outlined some, but not all, below.

Flooding

Mold needs moisture in order to grow and thrive. Many mold problems originate as a result of some kind of water intrusion, especially those that are not resolved quickly. In which case, water and pipe leaks are common culprits, since they provide plenty of moisture, and are often undetected for days, months, or even years if minor enough.

When leaks are discovered, appropriate steps are not normally taken to minimize potential mold growth problems.

By the time they are discovered, it is often too late, since the mold will have had ample opportunity to grow in the same hard-to-find places where water leaks occur, such as in wall cavities.

High humidity

If you live in an area with high humidity, then you should always be on the lookout for potential mold problems. Naturally, the outdoor humidity affect indoor humidity levels, creating a perfect environment for toxic mold growth.

A relative humidity (RH) level of greater than 55% promotes the growth of mold and other fungi. (more about relative humidity). Although relative humidity remains fairly consistent outdoors, it fluctuates drastically inside as a result of being altered by the artificial heating and cooling (i.e. climate control by the HVAC system).

In which case, it is critical to closely monitor the relative humidity level in various parts of your home or building, since relative humidity can also vary from room to room.

In addition to using humidity sensors to monitor the moisture level, you can also run dehumidifiers and employ other products and methods to control humidity in the home or building.

Blocked gutters

Gutters that are blocked can cause water to seep into walls, through the roof, and can cause water to collect at the base of the foundation, which will result in further water damage in the home or building.

Leaky roof

Like other types of water leaks, water intrusion through the roof is difficult to find until it is too late. If you suspect a leaky roof, check in the attic for signs of water damage or mold growth. Also be on the lookout for signs of water damage or mold growth in ceilings on the uppermost floor of the home.

Water/pipe leaks

Mold needs moisture in order to grow and thrive. Many mold problems originate as a result of some kind of water intrusion, especially those that are not resolved quickly. In which case, water and pipe leaks are common culprits, since they provide plenty of moisture, and are often undetected for days, months, or even years if minor enough.

When leaks are discovered, appropriate steps are not normally taken to minimize potential mold growth problems.

By the time they are discovered, it is often too late, since the mold will have had ample opportunity to grow in the same hard-to-find places where water leaks occur, such as in wall cavities.

Poor ventilation

If the air pressure in your home is “negative”, meaning the air pressure outside is greater than it is inside, then it will force moisture and contaminates back into the home. If the air pressure is well into the “positive” side, then it can cause moisture to be forced into walls. The air pressure in your home should be slightly positive, or at least balanced.

Unventilated dryer or other appliances

If the steam from these types of appliances is vented inside, then this significant amount of additional moisture creates a great environment for mold to flourish.

Wet materials indoors

This can include rags, steam from cooking, indoor clothes lines, carpet, or furniture. If these or other items are damp for extended periods of time, then the moisture level can be high enough to accommodate mold growth.