What Does Mold Need to Grow? 6 Things You Need to Prepare For
There is a myriad of health problems associated with mold growth in your home. Additionally, this growth may impact the structural integrity of your home and can be expensive to completely remove. Taking steps to prevent mold from growing in the first place is the best way to protect you, your family, and your home from this potentially-dangerous substance. So, what does mold need to grow?
We put together a list of six things mold needs to grow. Keeping these things from happening in your home will allow you to live in a healthier, mold-free environment. Keep reading to find out more!
What Does Mold Need to Grow?
Without the following six things, mold is unable to grow. When reading this information, carefully consider the environment in your home and whether or not it’s ideal for mold growth.
We’ve also included steps you can take at each point to fix these problems so that mold can’t grow in your home.
Mold is a living thing, which means it needs moisture to survive. In most cases, this is the biggest factor in determining whether or not mold grows in a home since many of the other items on this list are unavoidable.
In a home, moisture can come from a number of sources. Getting to the root of the problem is vital to solving it. For example, if you have a leaking pipe under your home, you need to have that fixed or the moisture is going to continue happening even if you replace the wet walls. If your home has been struck by a flood, one of the first things you need to do is get it dry before mold starts to grow.
Something small you can do to avoid a buildup of moisture in your home is to squeegee and towel dry your sinks and shower after using them. This is one of the simplest steps you can take to prevent mold growth in your home.
Another thing mold needs to grow is oxygen. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can really do to prevent your home from having oxygen in it. What you need to recognize, however, is that oxygen can fit through even the tiniest of spaces.You want to ensure your home is completely sealed from the outside. This means having high-quality insulation that keeps all air from getting into your walls where mold can grow unseen.
Without a food source, mold can’t grow. Mold can feed on a number of things, including meat and vegetables, drywall, material and wood. There are a couple of things you can do to avoid feeding the mold in your home.
First of all, maintaining a clean home free of food waste will prevent mold from growing on your kitchen counter, under your couch and in your refrigerator. Limit eating to only areas of the home with hard flooring and clean them daily. Another way to prevent mold from growing is to use mold-resistant paint, especially in moist areas where it’s more likely to grow. These paints are specially-formulated to not absorb moisture so mold can’t grow there.
Ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun kills most mold and spores, which is why you don’t see it growing outside in the open. That also means when you’re looking for mold, you’ll need to check dark nooks and crannies where it might be hiding.
This is something else that you can’t prevent unless you install UV bulbs in every part of your home to completely light it up all the time. But that would be expensive and impossible to maintain. Instead, use this as a warning to pay special attention to areas that are dark in your home. Those are the ones that need to be kept dry and free from mold food sources more than areas that get natural sunlight.
The last thing mold needs for an ideal environment is warmth. This just means temperatures above freezing, which is why you may see mold in your refrigerator but won’t see it in your freezer unless it’s not working.
Mold grows fastest in temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Since your home should always be above 60 degrees, it means that mold can grow inside year-round. We don’t recommend shutting off your furnace to prevent or stop mold growth since that can lead to some other serious problems, but we do recommend paying attention to those places where mold may grow even in the winter.
You’ll also want to be extra diligent in the summer months. As the temperature gets higher, mold can grow even faster. There are also more mold spores in the summer months because they’re thriving outside.
6. Mold Spores
Something you may not have thought about is the fact that for mold to grow, spores must be present. Mold is similar to a plant in that it sends seeds out into the world to reproduce. The truth is that mold spores are already floating around in the air outside and inside of your home. However, with nowhere ideal to latch onto, they quickly die and won’t grow.
It’s only when they find a place that meets the rest of the criteria on this list that they settle in and start spreading until they become a force to be reckoned with. If you’re worried about mold spores in your home, you may consider installing air purifiers. You can get some that work in small areas, or set up your entire home with a commercial-grade system that will quickly remove any spores that may sneak in.
Learn More About Mold
Now you know the answer to the question “What does mold need to grow?” As you can see, keeping your home dry is the first step to preventing mold growth.
If you want to learn more about mold and how you can keep it from invading your home, be sure to check out our blog. We have numerous posts on mold, including one on the ten types of mold that could be lurking in your home.