Mold spores are both indoors and outdoors but they cannot be seen with the naked eye. Usually, areas with high humidity, such as parts of ceilings or walls that leak water (such as leaks in pipes or windows) are good places for mold to grow, or where it is frequently exposed to moisture and humidity. Mold also grows on cardboard, wood, plaster, carpets, and colored surfaces. Especially the dust and cellulose in your carpet can be the main food source for mold.
Other causes of mold include flooding, leaky roofs, building maintenance, and indoor plumbing.
How fast can mold grow:
It usually takes 24 to 48 hours for the mold to grow. But the time it takes for mold to become visible in different spaces is different, for example:
- For hidden surfaces, it takes 24 hours for mold to be visible
- For hard surfaces, it takes 14 to 21 days
- In the attic, 24 hours is needed
- In Wet and warm areas, 24 hours is needed
- For Open areas, it takes 30 days or more
How to prevent mold growth:
It is impossible to get rid of mold in the house, but because the fungus does not grow without moisture, reducing the humidity in the house is the best way to prevent or eliminate the growth of mold. If mold is growing in your home right now, it is very important to clean the mold and fix the problem that is causing the moisture. Here are some suggestions on how to reduce humidity for areas that are more exposed to moisture:
Around the house:
Use an air conditioner, especially in wet and hot weather. If possible, keep the indoor humidity below 60%. You can measure relative humidity with a hygrometer, which is an affordable tool. Keep the air conditioning blades clean. Make sure the drain lines are free of obstructions and dirt. Keep the air in the house moderate. As the temperature drops, the air is less able to retain moisture, which can stop mold growth. Insulate cold surfaces such as exterior walls, floors, and windows to reduce the moisture accumulation. Wet dry areas toprevent mold growth within 24 to 48 hours. Repair leaks.
The ground should slope away from your house. If water enters the house from outside, solve this problem immediately. Have a heating and cooling system contractor assess the heating and cooling system and make sure the size and amount of airflow are adequate and work well to remove moisture.
In the kitchen:
Use dehumidifiers whenever you are cooking, washing dishes, or cleaning. Look for leaks around the kitchen sinks, refrigerators, and other water sources. Repair the appliances if necessary. Clean empty pots and pans if necessary. Use a rug that can be washed regularly. Take out the trash every day. If you see mold on the surfaces, use a sponge soaked in dishwashing liquid or soap to clean it.
In the bedroom:
Use a dehumidifier to keep the humidity level low in your room. Dry any accumulation of water due to condensate vapours. Get a mold-resistant mattress or at least a waterproof mattress protector.
Around the windows:
Windows that collect water due to moisture or rainfall can be a good place for mold to grow if moisture enters. Therefore, it is better to dry them regularly.
In the basement and small areas:
Place a plastic cover on the soil in small spaces to prevent moisture from entering the ground. If the water is stagnant or the soil is wet, dry it before covering the floor.
Use floor and cement painting instead of using a pictorial carpet. If you want to install carpet on a concrete floor, it may be necessary to use a vapour barrier (plastic sheet) on the concrete and cover it with wood flooring to prevent the problem of moisture. Examine your basement floor for leaks and repair it if necessary. Water can seep into your home by dripping or penetrating through the floor or walls. Make sure water does not leak from the yard to the basement. Do not cover basement walls with insulation and wallboards, unless your basement is very dry.
In the laundry room:
Make sure that the ventilation does not have obstacles such as adhesive tape on it and does not have holes that leak air. Do not put wet clothes in the basket or the dryer. Wash and dry them immediately.
In the bathroom:
Use fans to remove moisture. Watch out for leaks in the bathtub and tube and repair them if needed. Be sure to open a window or turn on the ventilation system when showering. Avoid putting wet towels on the floor or laundry. Try not to use any carpets in the bathroom.
Dry the surface of the sink and cupboards in the bathroom. Toothpaste and baby toothbrushes, the toilet bowl, the back of the toilet, the sink under which the detergent is usually stored, and all pipes should be checked for mold. Keep floors and walls clean and dry. Eliminate water leakage sources. You may need a plumber to eliminate water leaks.
In the attic space:
Repair roof leaks as soon as possible. Use the right type of insulation. Take extra items out of your attic. Keep the air vents clean so that the air flows well. Gutters should be kept clean, especially during the rainy months.
In the commercial spaces:
Mold can have serious consequences for the commercial space due to the health problems it can cause to the business’s employees and its production line. Although, health problems are more common in people who are sensitive to mold, ordinary people can also get it. You may experience fatigue, headaches, Shortness of breath and...!
One of the negative effects that mold can have on your business is a decline in product quality and consequently the loss of the customer. Even your business may shutdown. For this reason, the process of eliminating mold must be taken seriously.
HVAC system in commercial spaces is one of the most important areas to check for the presence of mold. If mold grows in these systems and inside their ducts, they can spread throughout the inside space and cause many problems. It is a good idea to check the powerhouse and cooling systems and filters so that they can be free of mold or replaced if necessary. It is better not to remove mold on your own and contact a professional. This can save you and your employees health in the long run.
To prevent mold growth in commercial buildings, do the strategies below:
1. Make sure that the floors and walls are dry and free of moisture.
2. Check for leaks in areas that are most exposed to moisture and repair them if necessary.
3. Watch out for plumbing leaks which can lead to moisture and mold.
4. HVAC ducts should be inspected and cleaned regularly. Wet and dirty filters allow mold and mildew to grow in your interior space, so a clean filter is essential.
5. Use a dehumidifier and keep the humidity below 60%.