Mold growth is an ongoing problem for many homeowners. You might notice visible spores in your shower, near your windows, or on walls or ceilings. However, it can also be more subtle—growing invisibly inside your insulation. The guide below explains how it forms and what you can do about it.
Why Mold Grows
Mold colonies form where there is water. A relative humidity of 60 percent or a damp surface can be the ideal environment for spores’ germination and growth. Besides high moisture levels, they also need food. Organic matter like wood and cellulose-based materials serve as their nutrition. Given comfortable temperatures of 40 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, they are likely to thrive and spread.
Mold Health Problems
Mold is toxic, especially for those allergic to it. A common adverse reaction to mold exposure is a respiratory illness. Pay attention to possible toxicity symptoms, including irritated or watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and dry skin. Those with asthma or a mold allergy may experience wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Sometimes, the fungus can also cause headaches, vertigo, fatigue, weakness, and general discomfort.
How Insulation Staves Off Mold Growth
A well-insulated home can usually reduce the risk of mold growth by helping maintain indoor temperatures. Preventing cool outdoor air from meeting warm, moist indoor air lowers the risk of condensation forming. However, for insulation to be effective, it must be of the right material and properly installed.
Your contractor should use a nonbiodegradable material like fiberglass for areas where moisture may be present. On the other hand, cellulose-based insulation can work in dry spaces. Moreover, they should choose a nonporous backing material that prevents water vapor from passing through the insulation.
What to Do to Prevent Moldy Insulation
Beyond hiring a reputable professional for insulation installation, be on the lookout for signs of a hidden plumbing leak. These may include higher than average water bills with no discernable cause, spongy drywall, or water spots.
Once the leak is identified, examine the nearby insulation and get any wet materials replaced before mold can form and spread to other areas of the home. You should also look at your insulation if your heating or cooling bills go up since higher HVAC usage might mean that this material has worn thin. This makes it less effective and more susceptible to mold growth.
If you feel any of the above symptoms, opt for mold abatement. Then, arrange for insulation removal and replacement from Priority 1 Construction Service in Cincinnati, OH. Proudly serving communities across the Tri-State area, this company provides an extensive range of home insulation products to keep your household comfortable. Call (513) 922-0203 for a free estimate on mold-resistant insulation. Visit the website to learn more about their offerings.