Mold Remediation Blog

Is Household Mold A Common Problem?

And What Does It Mean If You Have Mold In Your Home?

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Household mold is something nobody wants to have on their property, yet the general public knows little about the subject. Sadly, many DC area mold contractors lack even the most basic certifications for dealing with mold. At Valor Mold, we think mold is a fascinating subject with endless things to learn, but we keep trying to learn them all anyway.
Some mold facts are terrifying, like the fact that mold spores are in every breath you take, no matter where you are standing. Or that mold is, quite literally, everywhere and has been around for over 900 Million years. Mold, my friend, is old.

So How Does Mold Get Into People’s Homes?

We’re often asked how to keep mold out of homes or how does it get in? The answers are simple: You can’t, and it was never out. While it is true that anything or anyone that steps outside and back inside will carry mold spores into your home, it’s also true that there have always been mold spores in your home, and there always will be. Mold is the poster child for the word ubiquitous.

OK, So If Mold Is Everywhere, Why Is It Considered A Problem?

While it’s true that mold spores are floating all around us, they don’t cause a problem until the concentration gets too high. Think of it this way: If you are riding a motorcycle and you accidentally swallow a bug, you might not even notice. But if you run into a massive swarm of millions of noseeums, breathing is going to become problematic in a hurry.
Mold spores are the same way. A few parts per million? You don’t even know they’re there. But get into the tens of thousands per million, and your body will start to react. You can experience symptoms such as:
  • Persistent coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Fevers
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
If your respiratory system is already compromised, you could even have an asthma attack. For healthy adults, mold can be annoying, but mold can be hazardous for children and the unwell or infirm. Sometimes, mold is dangerous no matter who you are.

What Causes Mold Spores To Concentrate

Mold spores tend to disperse. After all, spores are mold’s version of seeds, and seeds work best when spread over the widest possible area. Spores concentrate when mold itself finds a good home. When mold gets comfortable, it grows. More growth means more spores.

Mold Life

Mold is a living organism, and like all other organisms, it needs moisture and food to survive. Mold is an exceptionally efficient life form, and simple high humidity (above 55%) is enough to satisfy its need for water. That’s why people living in Hawaii will find mold growing on their electronics and books; even in the cleanest of homes.
Mold is also fairly blase about its food sources. If something is organic to any degree, mold will happily munch away on it. Take Hawaiian electronics, for example. Mold isn’t feasting on the diodes; it’s living off the dust that collects on the surface of the circuit boards.

Mold In The Home

As we said, mold is everywhere. Every property owner on the planet has mold in their home right now. Yep, even you. It’s whether or not it has a chance to colonize that decides whether you “have mold” or not.
Most people think mold hides from sunlight, but that isn’t true. Mold is especially adept at colonizing the moist, dark areas of people’s homes. However, sunlight does cause moisture to evaporate more quickly, making well-lit areas less hospitable to mold.
So any area in your home that has a steady source of moisture that the sun can’t reach will inevitably be colonized by mold. It has nothing to do with your home’s cleanliness, except where debris creates areas with less light.
Mold colonies are almost always an indication that an area of your home either has a water leak or poor ventilation, or both. As we said, mold doesn’t need much to survive. So simple condensation, like what you might find in a crawl space, that is allowed to sit is enough to feed an entire mold colony.
An active water source, like a leaky pipe, can send mold into a frenzy of growth. We’ve seen homes rife with mold after only a week or two of a hidden water leak.

How To Keep Mold From Colonizing Your Home

The absolute most important factor in keeping mold colonies out of your home is proper ventilation. Even in an area where condensation can form, the moisture will evaporate too quickly for mold spores to start colony growth if you have good ventilation.
You should also keep an eye out for water leaks. If your water bill takes a sudden jump, find out why. Chances are, you have a water leak somewhere in your home and a mold colony on the rise.
If your home is naturally humid, get a dehumidifier. There are whole house units that work with your HVAC system to keep your home at the proper humidity levels (30 – 40%) no matter the weather or season.
That’s all there is to it. Good ventilation and low humidity every day will keep the mold removal van away. You can also take steps to prevent mold from taking over your home when you are away on a trip. Shutting off the water at the meter before you leave is a huge one that most people forget.
If you are worried that you have a mold problem in your home, contact us at Valor Mold Removal for a free estimate. With our specialized equipment, we can present you with instant test results for every room in your home.

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