Looking at news articles about mold infestations in institutional buildings like hospitals and universities can be alarming. People have died from health conditions that worsened due to mold exposure. Yet, many people don’t know the optimal conditions for mold growth. Understanding where mold likes to grow is the best way to prevent it from growing in your home or business.
The first thing you need to watch out for if you are trying to prevent mold growth is humidity. Humidity levels above 60% are excellent environments for mold to grow. If you are trying to prevent mold growth, keep the humidity below 50%.
Humidity is an obvious problem once you discover mold growth, but mold doesn’t show itself immediately. It takes a couple weeks for mold to become visible, and you might not notice increased humidity until then.
Basements, crawlspaces, attics, and anywhere there is plumbing are regular places to find mold growth if humidity is not controlled. This means making sure things are properly ventilated. It also means making sure there are no leaks, and you may need a dehumidifier.
Mold is also more prone to growing in warmer environments, but warm is a relative term. It can grow between 40 to 100 degrees. This is why indoor areas are so prone to active mold growth when there is humidity. Temperature isn’t a factor you are likely to change to the extreme levels that would inhibit mold growth.
As a living organism, mold needs food of some sort. It can find it nearly anywhere. This means that mold can eat organic matter found in dust. It is nearly impossible to remove food sources without regular cleaning. That is why neglected areas in homes and commercial buildings are often mold havens.
Like many other things, mold also needs oxygen. This means that there may be some enclosed areas in your home that are oxygen poor, such as surfaces covered in plastic. However, most areas in the home will have some oxygen availability.
One of the best ways to prevent mold growth is to keep your space dry. The other things need molds to grow are readily available. Mold does not necessarily die when it is dry, but it does remain inactive. If you have a mold problem in your building, you will need to hire a professional to make sure it is removed properly and completely.