Molds can be found everywhere. Outdoors, they are part of the natural environment; they help break down organic matter. Indoors, mold spores are present, though molds are not supposed to be part of the indoor environment. Why is it that molds are present in some homes, but absent in others? The answer to this question is moisture.
Moisture is what makes the presence of mold in homes possible. Mold spores are found indoors, as these are carried from one place to another by air. It is normal for mold spores to be present inside the house; the problem starts only when spores land on a moist surface. This will result in the growth of mold, which can turn into a full blown infestation if left undetected.
The presence of mold in homes will never happen if things are kept dry. Unfortunately, it is impossible to keep homes completely dry. The high moisture levels indoors can be caused by many factors, including flooding, the use of humidifiers, water fixture-related problems such as leakages, as well as the entrance of water from the outside (through the walls, roof or floor). Homeowners should know that indoor mold growth can be easily avoided, and the trick to keeping homes mold-free is moisture control.
There are many things homeowners can do to control moisture and prevent mold in homes. First, in the event of an indoor water leak or spill, one should dry all wet materials 24 to 48 hours after the leak or spill occurred. Second, one must clean or repair roof gutters on a regular basis. Blocked gutters can cause water to seep into walls and through the roof. It can also cause the collection of water in the base of the home’s foundation, which in turn results in further water damage. Also, homeowners should ensure that the ground slopes away from the foundation to prevent said water damage.
Another way to prevent mold in homes is by keeping the indoor humidity low. It is suggested that indoor humidity be kept below 60 percent relative humidity, preferably between 30 and 50 percent. A relative humidity level higher than 55 percent already encourages the growth of mold. One indicator of high humidity indoors is moisture collecting in the likes of windows, or condensation. The moment one notices condensation, he or she should dry the wet surface immediately and reduce the moisture or water source.