The Dangers of Mold
Not only is mold a sorry sight and carries a nasty odor, but it can also wreak havoc on your home and family. Mold left unaddressed for too long can cause serious long-term structural damage. You might need to pull out entire walls, reconstruct them, and fumigate your residence. This is a huge time and money investment.
And while that sounds like a headache, the even scarier threat mold presents is to your physical health. Black mold is the most commonly-known toxic growth, and can create grave respiratory problems for those breathing it in. It's particularly dangerous to the health of young children and the elderly.
It's important to note, though, that exposure to many types of mold can cause nasal and eye irritation, wheezing and coughing, fever, shortness of breath, and chronic headaches. Since mold can easily slide under the radar, sufferers of the symptoms often spend months or years inhaling the toxic airborne contaminants, unaware that a mold infestation is lurking somewhere out of sight.
The Causes of Mold
Having a handle on this topic helps you combat mold in a couple of ways. First, if you find mold somewhere in your home, understanding the potential underlying causes gives you a clear starting point for further investigation and can help you eliminate the chances of regrowth. Second, if you discover one of the below issues first, you'll know to look for mold where you might have otherwise assumed there was none.
1. Too Much Moisture on Cooler Surfaces
In bathrooms or in laundry rooms, moisture in the air often condenses on cooler surfaces like tile or vanity tops. This creates the perfect environment for mold to thrive, and it can quickly creep across walls and ceilings with ease (it feeds on drywall and wood).
2. Poor Ventilation
This is particularly common in bathrooms without windows, because the poor air circulation allows moisture to settle on every surface. It's also a problem in basements, where dampness from the earth is aggravated by a lack of ventilation.
3. Leaking Pipes
This one is huge. Leaking pipes can cause some serious water damage and pave the way for mold infestation. They can also drip unassumingly, creating pockets of moisture in walls that take longer to become obvious.
4. Roof or Foundation Cracks
The exteriors of your home are up against the elements, so wear and tear is natural over time. Heavy rain and snow weaken roofs and foundations, and cracks can emerge, thereby upping the chances that moisture will make its way inside.