Mold produces spores to reproduce. Mold spores are everywhere and are spread through air and water, but they only grow into mold if the conditions are right. Mold growth can only occur if there is sufficient moisture and food. The food is organic material, like natural fibers, drywall, plants, soil, wood, and ceiling tiles. There is nothing you can do to eliminate these materials and mold spores from your home, but you can take measures to prevent mold growth, or destroy mold and prevent further growth.
If you notice mold growing on nonporous materials inside your home that means it only exists on the surface of that material so you can just bleach and wipe away. Porous surfaces, like drywall and wood require more extensive remediation. Moldy porous materials are essentially infested and must be removed. Drywall and wood are probably the most common building materials in your home, and the damp Connecticut climate makes it nearly impossible to prevent mold growth. image via www.indoor-air-health-advisor.com
SIGNS YOU HAVE MOLD GROWTH IN YOUR HOME
If you notice cracked or peeling paint on any walls, cabinets, or interior trim, mold is likely the cause. The same goes for discoloration or bulges. You may even be able to see the mold itself, which often indicates a larger problem. You can also use your nose to sniff out mold problems, but the scent is hard to describe. Think of musty basement smells, or old furniture. Some people are actually great at detecting mold because they are allergic to it. The symptoms are often mistaken for the common cold or seasonal allergies. If you have symptoms that don't go away, or if you feel especially bad after being in your home for a long time (like after waking up) there is a good chance you have a mold problem.
FINDING THE SOURCE
Some places in your home are more vulnerable than others. These include any places that are often colder than the ambient temperature inside your home: windows, window frames, wall cavities, heating and cooling systems, basements, insulation, and ceilings. Mold in each of these locations has a specific cause:
You bathroom walls and the walls around the perimeter of your home are the most prone to mold. Wall cavities contain humid air and many designs do not allow the humidity to escape. In such cases mold can thrive and spread without being noticed. Roofing and Siding Contractors CT can inspect your walls if you have unexplained persistent allergies or notice any visible anomalies.
Mold can also hide between your wall and wallpaper. The glue used to adhere the wallpaper may contain organic material that can support mold growth and if the wallpaper is not breathable there may be moisture as well, creating a perfect breeding ground for mold.
Moldy walls can be caused by a variety of factors. CT gutters are prone to clogging, which can cause water to spill into the wall. Improper installation of ct home siding or insufficient insulation can also cause excessive humidity inside wall cavities. Another common cause is a roof leak ct (see our roof inspection checklist for signs) or leaky pipe. image via www.sandiegomold.com
Basements are generally less ventilated than the rest of your home. Moisture in the air will only build since the air down there is stagnant. Basements are also prone to flooding, especially from melting snow in the winter. Check your basement for any dampness. It is a good idea to keep a hygrometer in your basement to monitor relative humidity. If it is close to or over 60%, or significantly higher than the rest of your home you should check for mold on walls, beams, or any other wooden support structures. Basement mold can spread to other parts of your home and compromise the entire support structure. Basement renovation services CT from Fiderio & Sons include inspections and water restoration services. image via www.longislandengineer.com
Moldy ceilings usually signal a leaky roof CT roof leaks may result from ice damming, damaged shingles, loose flashing, or simply old age. Problems with your roof should be addressed immediately before they affect other parts of your home. Call Fiderio and Sons if you need a roofing estimate in ct. Moldy ceilings in the bathroom are probably not caused by a roof leak, but rather inadequate ventilation in the bathroom.
Mold can be found in many places in the bathroom. It may be growing on your shower door, ceiling, walls, between tiles, under sinks, on the windows, or in the window frames. Mold growing on nonporous surfaces, like tiles and glass, can be bleached and wiped clean. If you have a serious mold allergy you can prevent mold growth by replacing your existing bathroom materials with antimicrobial wall tiles, shower pans, and tubs. We offer this service as part of a one day bathroom remodel. Mold growing on porous surfaces, like window frames, ceilings, cabinets, and walls may need to be replaced. Make sure any wood surfaces in your bathroom are treated with some kind of moisture-resistant coating.
Insulation is meant to prevent condensation from forming on your interior walls and support structure, but since insulation exists along the temperature boundary of your home where the relative humidity is higher, it can support a colony of mold. Check visible insulation for mold and inspect any areas that have been exposed to water leaks. Moldy insulation should be removed and replaced.
Temperate and humidity may be drastically different on each side of windows in Connecticut. CT windows need to have decent insulating properties (U factor of 0.32 or less for CT climate.) Mold can grow on your windows if there is sufficient moisture and dust/debris for the mold to feed on. It is important to keep windows clean and dry. Make sure you understand what window ratings mean when selecting replacement windows, ct.
Sunrise windows with a low-e coating and argon gas have superior insulating properties and can resist condensation. Self-cleaning glass from Sunrise Windows further reduces the chances of mold growth. If you do notice mold growth on your window glass, you can simply wipe it away, but window frames are trickier. If condensation is forming on your window and collecting/dripping on the frame, it is likely that you have mold growth. CT replacement windows with vinyl frames can insulate better and better resist mold. There are a few ways to determine whether or not you need replacement windows in Connecticut. Call our Meriden showroom for a window estimate in CT, design tips, or if you need to schedule an installation.
TAKE ACTION TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR HOME HEALTHY
A full service remodeling contractor ct can advise you on all of these concerns and coordinate any necessary remediation. Mold problems are serious and putting off remediation only leads to more significant problems that will require a more extensive repair. A final incentive to give your home an inspection this month is that if you do find any problems, the repairs may qualify for tax credits, but only through the remainder of 2013. We are also offering a limited time free consulation and a $250 off coupon as our "gift of good health."