If you’re living in New England you know that this summer has been rainy, hot and humid. Although you’re probably not looking forward to enduring a winter like last year’s, you might be excited to start seeing cooler temperatures as September approaches. Before temperatures start to fall, make sure the summer humidity hasn’t left you with an unwelcome house guest – mold.
Your basement is a breeding ground for mold. One of the main reasons is because basements are always damp. Poorly ventilated areas lock in humidity which creates moisture. Moisture in the air dampens surfaces making it difficult for materials such as wood and drywall to dry completely. Basements in New England homes can be more susceptible to mold because its coastal climate is extremely humid.
Mold needs 6 things in order to grow and spread:
Mold spores are smaller than pollen grains which allow them to get through normal filtering functions by the nose.
Food (drywall, wood, cotton)
Our basements often have exposed wooden beams in the ceilings or wall framing; and drywall is often used to close off rooms in basements.
Dark (Mold doesn’t grow in UV light)
Basements everywhere in New England can be especially dark because summers are short and not always sunny.
Many New England residents keep their washer and dryer in the basement. Dryers expel the heat mold needs to grow. During the winter you might keep a wood stove burning to heat your home, which creates an additional incubation system for mold to thrive.
Mold needs oxygen to survive. Unless you are living in an air tight bubble there is no escaping this one.
Moisture (water, humidity)
Weather isn’t the only summer culprit inviting mold into your home. Summertime means beaches, hiking and hanging out outdoors. When you get home you’re often too tired to do laundry right away so you throw your wet bathing suits, towels and sweat soaked clothing into a pile to be washed later. It should be no surprise that your pile of wet clothes could be creating a mold problem, especially if you’re letting them sit on a wooden surface.
Looking forward to crisp fall air and cooler temperatures?
Cooler fall temperatures can provide a break in humidity which means mold is less likely to grow right? That’s actually not true. Although mold cannot grow in freezing temperatures, colder weather creates cold surfaces in basements such as pipes, windows and metal surfaces. Cold surfaces often create condensation which evaporates into the air and gets locked in, much like humidity does during the summer months.
Basements are often neglected and as a result mold problems get out of hand. Don’t be that home owner who wished they had checked for mold before it became a problem. Have your house inspected and fall into cooler temperatures stress free.