In my last discussion I focused attention on basements and crawlspaces where there may not be liquid water but where the relative humidity frequently reaches above 70%. As we discussed it all comes down to temperature. The humid outside air in summer is cooled to the prevailing temperature of around 60 F in a basement, automatically increasing the relative humidity. If the relative humidity outside is 50%, it may increase to 70-80% in a cool basement or crawlspace. That puts the air in the range of the dry-tolerant molds. Basements and crawlspaces are susceptible to mold activity simply because they are, well, basements and crawlspaces. [Read more…]
In my last blog I described the three elements that mold, like the rest of us, need to grow. The elements are reasonable temperature, food and water. In most cases temperature is a given and food is available. So the limiting factor is often moisture.
Mold does not need liquid moisture. Liquid moisture is essentially 100% relative humidity, like when water condenses on your air conditioning coil because it has reached the dew point. But some molds will grow fine at about 70% moisture activity, which is well short of liquid water. This is why we often focus our attention on spaces where there may not be liquid water but where the relative humidity reaches above 70%. The two most famous spaces are basements and crawlspaces. [Read more…]
Checking for mold in your house is part of smart household maintenance. Mold grows in damp, dark areas and can cause serious damage to your house and health if it grows undetected. Knowing how to check for mold in your house is an important part of saving money, health problems and your home’s structure. [Read more…]
Folks often ask me what mold needs to grow indoors. The answer is pretty simple because it involves only three things. Just like most creatures, mold needs food, moisture and suitable temperatures. Inside a home or office, the moderate temperatures are usually a given, so we are down to two. The three main food groups that mold seems to enjoy are carpet, drywall and fiberglass insulation. This is not a complete list, since mold will colonize on a lot of other materials, such as vinyl, wood, paint and leather. The three main food groups are so common, however, that they account for the vast majority of mold problems. [Read more…]