How Spring Weather Can Cause Mold: Understanding the Problem
Many homeowners nationwide breathe a sigh of relief once spring moves in with the warmer weather and replaces frigid winter air. However, you must remember that new seasons also bring potential issues. Spring weather may be more pleasant than cold winter, but it can cause problems for a homeowner, especially when it comes to mold. The last bits of ice and snow of winter thawing also bring higher moisture concentrations in the air, creating an ideal environment for microbial growth. As you begin opening up and cleaning your home for the spring, always be aware of high humidity and moisture, so it doesn’t create costly damage or health issues.
When You Control Moisture, You Control Mold
The fungus can grow just about anywhere once the right conditions develop, and moisture is a significant factor in creating that environment. For mold to appear within your home, there is generally the following:
- Mold Spores – Fungi spores are naturally present in the air, and there will always be a particular concentration throughout the air in your home.
- Food Sources – Microbial growth uses organic materials as a food source. For example, cellulose is a favorite food source for spores in household materials like insulation, wood, and drywall. In many situations, mold will also use dust as a food source.
- Moisture – This is a significant mold trigger, as the food sources and spores are always present. Once moisture is added to the equation, it causes the spores to colonize and grow out of control. You could have moisture from indoor flooding, excess humidity, condensation, or water damage.
It is imperative to control the moisture levels in your home to prevent springtime mold development. Higher moisture levels during this time of year can cause spores to latch onto surfaces and grow, causing health issues and costly damage.
Optimum Moisture Levels
Maintaining interior moisture levels between 30% and 50% is a good rule of thumb. Anything higher than 50% may create favorable conditions for microbial growth. However, letting moisture get under 30% can negatively impact your health. In any areas of your home that generate a lot of moisture, like laundry rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens, proper ventilation can help bring humidity back to an optimum level.
If you encounter a mold problem in your home, you must identify and address it quickly. The longer it festers, the more of a health hazard develops and the higher the cost of remediation and restoration.
Locating Mold Growth
While visible colonies make it easy to identify a mold problem in your home, you may not always have visible patches. Microbial growth can fester within walls, hidden corners, and behind trim work – all spaces that make it challenging to discover.
- One way to tell if you have an issue developing is to smell it. Colonies produce a musty odor, so if you notice this anywhere in your home, you may have a hidden problem.
- Another way to find mold is by checking areas prone to water issues. Bathrooms, kitchens, and places around windows and doors are vulnerable to water damage. Always check these spaces for increased moisture or microbial development.
- Other good places to look will be around plumbing fixtures, pipes, air conditioners, and anything prone to condensation.
- Basements, crawlspaces, and attics with poor ventilation may also have moisture problems that lead to fungal issues.
Preventing Spring Mold
You should contact professionals for inspection, remediation, and restoration should you smell or see mold growth in your home. Removing it on your own using DIY methods can also pose a health risk, and the chances are high that you could make matters worse. Even if the growth seems minor, the best way to get safe, efficient results is by calling in the professionals. AdvantaClean wants you to know there are several tips to follow that could keep your home mold-free this spring, such as:
- Fixing water leaks stemming from pipes and plumbing fixtures as soon as you notice them
- Clearing out your gutters to ensure proper working condition and minimize the chance of water intrusion
- Remove condensation around plumbing fixtures, piping, windows, and walls
- Immediately clean and dry all water spills or leaks before mold has a chance to form
- Maintain your air conditioner by cleaning out drip pans
- Try to keep humidity levels in your home under 50%
Spring is an exciting time with everything renewed and pleasant weather to enjoy. Don’t let weather conditions morph into mold development, a homeowner’s nightmare. AdvantaClean is here to help with all your mold inspection, remediation, and restoration needs, give us a call today!