What Makes Mold Grow?

The Basics of Mold Growth

Mold only needs a few things to grow and multiply within a building:

  • Mold Spores
  • Nutrients (food)
  • A suitable place to grow
  • Moisture

Mold Spores are everywhere.  We live in South West Florida and we love to keep the windows and patio doors open.  We are letting mold spores move freely in our buildings.

Wood Sheathing + Paperbacked Insulation + Paperbacked Drywall + Window Leak = Mold Growth in Second Story Wall Cavity

Nutrients or food are the materials used in our buildings.  Items like wood framing, wood cabinets, wood shelves, wood sheathing, wood floors, drywall, wall paper, paneling all can be sources of food.

Some of the more common places within our buildings mold is found is around Kitchens, Bathrooms, Laundry Rooms, Utility Rooms which include Water Heaters and HVAC Components.

What makes these areas more common for mold that other areas?  

Moisture is the number one factor that we the people have some sort of control on when it comes to mold.  Controlling moisture is the key to stopping indoor mold growth, because all molds require water to grow. Moisture can come from:

  • Flooding from the outside (storm water, overflowing lakes, streams, storm surge, etc.)
  • Flooding from the indoor (overflow from sinks, tubs, toilets, air conditioner drain pans or sewerage systems)
  • Condensation (caused by indoor humidity that is too high or surfaces that are too cold)
  • Water leaks from outside the building (roof, walls, floors)
  • Indoor plumbing leaks or broken water pipes
  • Appliance malfuntion
  • Outdoor sprinkler spray hitting the walls, or indoor fire sprinklers
  • Poor venting of kitchen and bathroom moisture (steam from shower or cooking)
  • Drying wet clothes indoors, or not venting clothes dryers outdoors (including electric dryers)
  • House plants (over watering, etc.)
  • Warm, moist air from outdoors
  • Liquid spills

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