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When the word “mold” is used, it never seems to be in a favorable way, does it? And yet, mold is around us everywhere.
For the most part, outdoors, it serves a useful purpose in breaking down organic matter such as downed trees, fallen leaves and dead animals. We wouldn’t have some foods and medicines without it.
Indoors, mold growth needs to be avoided. Problems may arise when mold starts eating away at materials, affecting the look, smell, and possibly, with respect to wood-framed buildings, the structural integrity of the building itself.
As long as the three food sources are there for mold: Moisture, Oxygen and an Organic Source, it will continue to grow. All molds need dark too, which explains why we so often find it in crawl spaces and basements. If you add sunlight and air circulation, these areas dry out, making them less hospitable for mold.
Since mold requires water to grow, it’s important to prevent excessive moisture in buildings. Some moisture problems have been linked to changes in construction practices since the 70s, which resulted in buildings being so tightly sealed that the diminished ventilation contributed to moisture vapor buildup. Other moisture problems may result from roof leaks, landscaping or guttering that inadvertently direct water toward the building, or unvented combustion appliances. Improper design and maintenance of an HVAC system, such as insufficient cooling capacity, can result in elevated humidity levels in buildings.
What are some tips to prevent mold?