The Art of War… or Mold?

“If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.” Ergo, lets get to know our little buddie, Mold.

According to Michael Pugliese, author of The Homeowners Guide to Mold, there are three main necessities that mold spores need to grow and thrive:

Moisture
Mold spores need moist or damp areas to grow and reproduce. Watch for flooding, leaky pipes or windows, etc.

Also excess moisture in the bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms are prime areas for mold growth.

Food
Mold spores need food  in the literal sense as well as other materials ie cotton, leather, wood, paper products and others. The most dangerous materials mold loves to grow on, are porous materials (beds, couches etc).

Its often impossible to remove mold growth from these items.

Optimum Temperatures
Mold spores thrive in temperatures 32 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures from about 70  90 degrees are the most conducive for mold growth.

Chances of mold growth are heightened greatly between those temperatures.

You may be wondering why mold can grow in your freezer. Mold does not die when temperatures drop below 32 degrees, they lay dormant until temperatures raise, or they are set out to warm up.

Favorable Conditions for Mold

Michael Pugliese, author of the same book previously mentioned, also offers 5 tips describing favorable or unfavorable conditions for mold growth :

A relative Humidity of roughly 50% or higher
A good preventative measure would be to purchase a hygrometer to measure humidity levels in your home.

Damp or Dusty Conditions
Avoid developing piles of rags, clothing or other mold food sources.

Stagnant air
This explains why overly tight homes designed for energy efficiency can have mold problems.

Unfavorable Conditions for Mold

Ventilation
Good circulation throughout the home is important to eliminate dampness or potential moisture; especially in attics, basements, crawlspaces, laundry rooms.

Dry Air Indoors
Make sure to keep your homes relative humidity down below 50%.

Source: Pugliese, Michael. The Homeowners Guide to Mold. 4-5.

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