Mold and Moisture in your home
Mold is present in our everyday lives, outside, inside, almost everywhere on a daily basis. Not all molds are harmful, often times it depends on the type and concentration of mold present. Mold spores from the outdoors make their way into our homes through open windows, opening and closing doors as we walk in, and anywhere air may leak into the home. This is a common occurrence, there is no such thing as a mold free home. Mold spores need two things to become a bigger problem and grow into mold colonies, water and a food source. If moisture levels (humidity and or leaks) are controlled, these microscopic mold spores may never grow into visible mold colonies. Think of the spores as a seed, floating around in the air, mixed with everyday household dust, if those seeds land and have the right moisture and food source conditions, mold colonies can grow, which then release even more spores. One of the most common mistakes SERVPRO finds in homes is high humidity and lack of airflow. Homes that sit vacant for any amount of time, even just a week-long vacation can grow substantial amounts of mold. If the conditions are optimal, this can happen in a relatively short amount of time. Living in the Midwest with the high humidity of the summer, maintaining climate control through dehumidification is very important. Many property owners turn the AC off while gone to save money, only to return to a moldy home and potentially thousands in remediation costs and repairs. The AC doesn’t need to be set to arctic temperatures while gone, but should be set so it runs enough to humidity from the dwelling. Air conditioners (especially central air units) in addition to providing cooler air, remove excess moisture from the air. They are very effective dehumidifiers. Air flow can be equally as important, especially in basements. Air flow is necessary to evaporate condensation off of surfaces and deliver that moisture rich air to the air conditioner or other dehumidifier. Surfaces that become moist from condensation are an optimal environment for mold growth. So, even a small fan, circulating air in a damp basement aids evaporation and helps move moisture to any dehumidifies that may be running. If you have a damp basement or smell a musty odor in the basement, give SERVPRO of Dubuque a call. We may be able to help identify a potential issue before it becomes a larger problem. If it has already become a more serious issue, we can make recommendations about the need for testing from an Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP).