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Mould plays an important role in nature. It helps with the decomposition of organic matter and the recycling of nutrients in ecosystems. However, mould growing indoors presents health hazards and can cause property damage. Moulds reproduce by means of tiny airborne spores that travel virtually anywhere, even in our homes.
Mould spores requires the right “ingredients” to produce mould. Unfortunately, the conditions for mould growth are found in most homes: moisture, a food source (such as drywall, carpet, and wood), warmth, and darkness. Since moisture is an essential factor in mould growth, here are the common causes of elevated moisture in homes:
1. Flooding can bring in a huge amount of water into homes, causing severe water damage and possibly mould growth within 24-48 hours. Calling a professional restoration company immediately after the disaster is essential in mitigating water damage and preventing mould growth.
2. Increased humidity can occur in homes in many ways — humid weather, continuous rain, cooking, showering, etc. To help prevent mould growth in a home, the house should be well-ventilated and humidity must be kept below 55%.
3. Insufficient ventilation leads to increased humidity, and thus, to mould growth and other problems like indoor pollution. Homeowners should make sure to open doors and/or windows when practical and to use fans as needed.
4. Leaking pipes are a common problem in homes and must be fixed immediately. Oftentimes, leaks are hidden from view, such as inside walls, which should be inspected for water stains regularly.
5. Roof leaks are also a way for water to seep into homes and cause mould. If there are water stains on the ceiling, the owner should check for water damage in the attic and have the roof inspected and fixed as soon as possible.
6. Condensation occurs when warm moisture-laden air comes in contact with cold surfaces. Condensation can be visible on walls, windows, concrete floors or metal pipes. Condensation can be reduced by adjusting the humidity in the home.
7. Basements provide excellent conditions for mould growth due to poor ventilation, cooler temperatures (that promote condensation), and frequent water leaks and flooding.
Mould can also grow in various unexpected areas in the home, which can make mould remediation more difficult. More mould prevention tips can be found in this article. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.