The primary question we ask when walking into a client’s home is: “what is causing the mold growth?”
What Causes Mold Growth?
The main issues that cause’s mold to grow in a home are condensation, leaks, and poor ventilation. Anything that causes moisture build up will lead to mold growth.
The cause of mold may vary during each season. Ultimately, increased moisture levels will bring increased mold levels.
“If we treat the visible mold without addressing the cause, within a short period of time the environment will return to an imbalanced state. Mold will gain the upper-hand. ”
When warm air cools down, water vapor condenses to liquid form. The temperature to which air must be cooled to become saturated with water vapor is called the dew point. When fully saturated, the air can no longer increase its carrying capacity and the excess water condenses.
Condensation can occur in a house when the interior temperature and humidity are high while exterior conditions are cold. The reverse is also true; condensation can occur when the exterior temperature and humidity are high, while the interior conditions are cold. This is often seen when the air conditioning unit is too large for the area it is cooling. Dehumidification stops when cooling stops, but ventilation continues. Humidity from the ventilated air builds up indoors and creates problems. This can be identified by cool, wet, or damp air.
Windows are an easy give away as they show signs of condensation on the sill. If not insulated well, this can also be true of walls and ceilings.
It is important to update insulation and consider installing newer insulated windows if you are dealing with excess moisture. At the minimum, remember to wipe down wet surfaces.
Rule of thumb: it takes under 24 hrs for mold spores to germinate from unaddressed water. A little leak from a small pipe can cause a huge problem if not discovered quickly.
- Pipe breaks leading to water damage
- Roof leaks commonly found around chimneys and skylights
- Clogged or missing gutters leading to flooded basements
If you have excess water in your basement, crawlspace, attic or house it will cause mold spores to germinate and mold will grow. Mold found in any space can have a huge impact on your indoor air quality. Mycotoxins are microscopic in nature and can easily make their way through walls, negatively impacting your health.
It is important to:
- Remove leaves from your gutters
- Evaluate the drainage around your house
- Inspect foundation for cracks
- Inspect roof for leaks
It’s important for a home to have proper air circulation. Older homes generally have an easier time breathing because they were built without vapor barriers. Newer homes however, breath through a planned ventilation system that cleans and circulates air.
In any non-conditioned space it is important to have cross ventilation. If there is mold in your attic or crawlspace not caused by a leak, then it is likely caused by a lack of ventilation.
Ventilation helps regulate temperature. It is important to find a similar temperature between the attic/crawlspace temperature and that of the outdoors. When there are large temperature differences then condensation will build up on surfaces.
Ventilation is also very important in the kitchen and bathroom. Boiling water and showering are the most common ways moisture is released into the air. If there are not proper exhaust vents running, moisture will lead to mold growth.
Detecting mold shouldn’t be complicated. Trust your instinct.
The best way to detect mold is through a visual assessment. Look for visible mold, signs of water damage, stains in the drywall, and cracks under windowsills.
If you can smell damp or musty odors you can guarantee that it’s caused by microbial volatile organic compounds. MVOCs are substances produced by molds that break down and eat the surface where they grow.
The capacity of smell varies with each person. Many people cannot smell mold, even when high levels show up and air tests preformed. If you are smelling a musty odor it is highly probable that mold is growing somewhere in the area and moisture issues need to be addressed. If you suspect mold, consider having a mold test preformed.
Detecting mold can become more complicated when identifying its impact on your health. It is easy for a person to ignore headaches, the occasional nose bleed, or seasonal allergies, but what if they’re actually increased or caused by mold.
You can also detect mold through mold symptoms you might be experiencing.
Mold toxicity can cause a myriad of symptoms: chronic inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, leaky gut, chronic pain, and immune suppression.
Some of the most alarming symptoms of mold toxicity are related to the effects on the central nervous system and the brain.
Brain fog, inability to concentrate, depression, difficulty sleeping, irritability, anxiety, and loss of executive function are all symptoms of mold toxicity. Mycotoxins (chemicals released by molds) can cause cellular mutations and inhibit protein and DNA synthesis.
If you’re experiencing chronic fatigue, brain fog, or reoccurring sinus infections, it’s likely you have been exposed to mycotoxins. Studies have shown that a significant number of dementia cases are actually caused by chronic mold exposure.
Dealing with Mold
If you’re dealing with mold in your home, consider hiring our service to preform a mold test.
Using our probiotics eliminates mold and promotes a balanced environment that prevents future growth.
We employ billions of nature’s healthy bacteria to eliminate harmful bacteria, mold mycotoxins, and other pathogens that pose a risk to your health.
Our proprietary, plant-based, full-spectrum probiotic is unrivaled in its ability to eradicate mold and re-establish a lush home biome.