Poor ventilation and humidity
Humidity is one of the causes of mold growth. It appears due to condensation. The most humid rooms in a home are the kitchen and the bathroom. When we take a shower, for example, the hot water fills the room with vapor causing condensation. Drying clothes indoors also causes humidity, but drying them in the dryer is sometimes not better either. The drier needs to be vented outside to be effective in preventing moisture and humidity. This means that proper ventilation is a must, especially in the bathroom and kitchen.
Mold takes approximately one or two days of moisture to start growing. This means that walls, wooden surfaces or clothes should be able to dry within that timeframe (24h-48h). If you leave, for example, washed clothes on a pile for 24 hours or more, you can count on mold to appear. The same goes for unwashed, but wet clothes in the laundry basket.
Damp basements can also cause mold. They are darker, not well ventilated, and homeowners often fail to check the basement regularly, which leaves mold enough time to spread. What helps to keep the basement mold-free is a solid insulation, proper ventilation, and regular checks. Remove cardboard boxes from the basement as they absorb moisture.
Water leakage is one of the most common problems that cause mold growth. While it’s easy to detect pipe leaks under the kitchen sink or in the bathroom, it get's tricky when a hidden pipe behind the wall leaks. If you notice a wet patch on your wall, it might be the first sign of mold growth. You’ll have to determine the cause to prevent further damage.
A leaking roof can also cause mold growth. A stain or spot on the ceiling below the attic usually indicates that you have a leaking roof.
How it affects health
A small quantity of mold is harmless, but if not stopped on time, it can grow into a serious health problem. The vulnerable groups usually include people prone to allergies, people with asthma, children and the elderly. It may irritate the nose, the eyes, airways, causes heavy breathing, coughing, a rash, etc.
Prevent mold growth
We can prevent mold only by controlling humidity in our home, especially in rooms were condensation is high. Bathrooms and kitchens (sometimes even basements) should be equipped with fans, and every time you cook or shower, let it run for 20-30 minutes to get rid of the moist air. Make sure your appliances and devices vent outside, like the stove in the kitchen or the clothes dryer. Air conditioners or dehumidifiers are also excellent for controlling humidity in your home.