What Conditions are Best for Mold Growth in Burlington, NJ? Ideal Moisture, Humidity Levels & More
There are conditions needed for mold to grow. These include mold spores, a source of food like wood or drywall, a dark environment, warmth, oxygen and moisture from water leaks or humidity and time. Mold typically only needs 24-48 hours to grow if conditions are ideal. The key cause for mold to grow is moisture because it’s always in homes.
Humidity Level for Mold Growth
Mold feeds on humidity. Your home can experience mold growth if the weather has been humid for a few days. Mold can start to develop on walls, benches and other surfaces from wet air if it has rained for several days. Mold growth can be more problematic for homes near large bodies of water, by the coast or where humidity is normal. Moisture that evaporates into the air inside your home can raise the humidity level. Improper ventilation will make it hard for humidity to leave your home. HVAC systems can also cause problems with humidity levels when it artificially cools or heats the air. Humidifiers can cause problems too. Some molds only need humidity levels above 55% to start growing. If you do use a humidifier in your home, keep the humidity under 55% to prevent potential problems with mold.
What Causes Mold to Grow?
Leaky pipes. Leaks from water can cause mold to grow. If leaks are hidden behind walls, the problem can be worse. When the mold is finally discovered, it may have been growing for a long time and be at dangerously high levels.
Leaky roof. Just like leaky pipes, a leaky roof can go unnoticed for a long time. You will probably discover the problem after you’ve discovered mold growing in your attic. Check the attic on a regular basis to look for signs of water damage and possible mold growth.
Condensation. Surfaces that are cold can easily create condensation in the home. These surfaces include metal pipes, walls, and cold concrete floors, even if there’s carpet on them.
Poor ventilation. Again, homes that are poorly ventilated or have areas of stagnant moist air create conditions for mold growth. Steam and evaporating water in these areas creates humidity and must be circulated outside, otherwise the moisture levels will be unbalanced. Another issue with poor ventilation is that it takes longer for wet surfaces to dry out. It goes without saying then that rooms like the bathroom and the kitchen need to have proper ventilation due to the levels of steam.
Wet clothes. Moisture in wet clothing can cause mold to form on them and surfaces. Damp clothes that are left in a pile for a day or two can develop mold. It’s better to dry clothes in a dryer that is vented to the outside rather than hanging them to dry indoors. This will prevent extra moisture in your home. If you must hang dry, then make sure the room is well ventilated.
Flooding. Homes affected by flooding are prone to mold growth. Flooding causes homes to stay wet for long periods of time creating a larger risk of mold growth. Flood water also increases the risk of dangerous toxic molds.