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Finding mold in your home is never a good sign. As well as looking unsightly, mold can cause health problems if exposed to over long periods. This could include skin irritation, itchy eyes, headaches, wheezing and even serious respiratory problems.
You can sometimes remove mold with nothing more than a dry sponge. However, it will come back unless you address the cause. Mold tends to only grow in warm and damp conditions. Dampness is usually the big culprit and the factor that is easiest to tackle. Here are just a few things that could be causing your home to be the perfect environment for mold growth.
Damp patches on walls or ceilings that are covered in mold are a clear sign of a leak. This could be a rainwater leak or it could be a plumbing leak.
Rainwater leaks are most commonly caused by roofing damage, however, rainwater can also leak in through cracks in window frames and doors. If damp patches get worse after a period of rain, it’s likely that this is the cause.
As for a plumbing leak, this could be caused by a damaged pipe or a damaged appliance/fixture such as a washing machine or toilet. If you suspect this to be the case, your best option is to hire a plumber to seal up this leak. Such a leak could be continuous, causing major water damage, or it could only occur when a certain appliance is used – either way you should get it fixed as soon as possible to prevent future damp and mold growth.
Rising damp occurs when water rises up from the earth and permeates walls. If there are signs of mold and damp on the bottom of ground floor walls or in your basement, rising damp is likely to be to blame.
Rising damp can be prevented by installing a damp proof course around the foundations of your home. This barrier stops your walls from soaking up water from the ground, preventing the damp conditions for mold to occur.
Lack of ventilation
Lack of ventilation is the most common cause of mold. By ventilating your home, you can allow moisture in the air to escape. If it is not allowed to escape it will often collect on walls as condensation, transforming into mold. Ventilation will also allow mold spores to escape, preventing further growth.
Opening windows is one simple way to ventilate your home – however, in the cold of winter, this isn’t always possible. It could be worth looking into heating and air services that allow you to control the temperature while also dehumidifying and purifying the air. Extractor fans could also be useful in the bathroom and kitchen – these rooms often get the most moisture build-up as a result of steam from cooking and showering and an extractor fan can help to pump this steam out of your home.
Hanging wet clothes indoors
Damp laundry can also sometimes lead to mold growth. As it is drying, moisture evaporates into the air and often ends up on walls and the ceiling. Meanwhile, piles of clothes that are left damp for long periods could even start to develop mold growth.
To avoid damp clothing causing mold, always hang your wet laundry outdoors. Alternatively, you could buy yourself a tumble dryer so that you don’t have to hang up clothing at all (useful for a rainy day or if you don’t have any outdoor space).