Condensation may offer the perfect conditions for mold to grow.
So, at what relative humidity does mold grow? Mold will grow if the relative humidity is over 50 percent. For houses where mold is a serious concern, it is recommended to keep the indoor humidity level not more than 50%.
You can accomplish this with the use of an air conditioner or dehumidifier.
Mold generally grows well within the same range of temperature that makes you feel comfortable, around 60-80 degrees.
When moist and warm air comes into contact with cool surfaces, this can form condensation because the cooler air cannot hold a high amount of moisture.
Since it is almost not possible to control mold just with temperature alone, it is critical to monitor humidity.
What is Mold?
Mold is a kind of fungus that is known to cause damage both to belongings and human health. Mold needs primary things to thrive and grow: moisture, mold food, mold spores, and the right temperature.
Mold spores can be found everywhere, both in the outdoor and indoor environment, and mold also eats just about any type of substance, which means it is not really practical to get rid of mold food or spores.
This means that in order to control mold better and more effectively, you need to control and monitor temperature, and specific humidity.
Asthma, allergies, as well as other respiratory disorders, can also turn worse when a person gets a mold exposure indoors.
There are people who are also allergic to mold, yet mold can still irritate the skin, lungs, and eyes, whether there are allergies or not. Medical researchers are continuously looking at all the potential effects of mold on human health.
Mold can be damaging to furnishings and other items around the house and can hide under carpets and inside walls.
Attic mold is a very common issue that can be the result of insufficient ventilation, present or past roof leaks, or improper installation of bathroom fans or dryer vents.
It is also very common to have dampness in basements and controlling humidity in the basement is important to prevent mold in this particular part of your home.
What is Humidity?
The very first step to preventing mold around your house is to know how to measure humidity. Humidity refers to the water vapor amount in the air.
Relative humidity refers to the moisture ratio in the air to maximum moisture amount the air can hold, and this can vary depending on the temperature of the air.
When the temperature increases, the air can also hold a higher amount of moisture.
How is Humidity Measured?
A hygrometer is a device used for measuring humidity.
There are different hygrometers available in the market, ranging from simple instruments that can measure humidity and temperature to the multi-function weather stations including outdoor and indoor humidity and temperature monitoring together with other useful features.
If you are worried about mold, weather stations, and digital hygrometers are specifically helpful tools as these offer the current reading of temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, as well as a current humidity reading on the scale of 1 to 100 percent relative humidity.
They can also keep a record of low and high humidity and temperature readings to help you know if you are keeping the ideal environmental conditions throughout the day or night to control mold growth.
Common Causes of Mold Growth
Water is the one-word simple answer. The truth is that there five factors required to support the growth of fungi but water is the number one factor that can be controlled with ease indoors.
This is also one factor that all mold species need.
The rest of the factors include nutrients or food source, pH as mold needs a slightly acidic environment, light, and temperature.
Water can be due to excessive humidity as well.
Every home has spaces or areas with poor ventilation like cabinets, bathrooms, attic, and basement.
The use of a dehumidifier is among the most common methods to try and get rid of humidity although this is not the sole solution.
Some moisture sources that can lead to the growth of mold are broken pipes or leaks, or water-saturated floor which didn’t dry quickly because of the area’s poor ventilation.
These conditions, if not fixed right away, create the ideal environment for mold growth.
Never, ever ignore the early telltale signs of mold around your home.
If there is a mold smell in your house or there are wet building materials wet for over 72 hours, it is wise to address the problem with no time wasted.
Bacteria and Mold are Microorganisms
Mold is classified together with mushrooms and yeasts.
Bacteria are unicellular, or organisms with a single cell structure. On the other hand, the mold is multicellular. But, bacteria and mold share one thing in common, and that is they thrive and grow in humid environments.
While mold is beneficial when used in laboratory settings, similar to viruses and bacteria, mold can be considered as a serious threat to human health.
Mold spores have the ability to perform asexual reproduction through meiosis or mitosis. Meiosis and mitosis are two kinds of cell division that cause mold growth and reproduction.
Fungi are saprophytic and heterotrophic since they don’t have the ability to produce their own food and they need to rely on external food sources with high cellulose.
During the process of reproduction, cells known as mold spores get scattered or distributed in the environment.
These mold spores are very tiny that they cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Their presence is often left unnoticed which is why you cannot avoid getting exposed to them during the early phase of their existence.
The moment spores enter the environment, these can end up anywhere and everywhere around your home.
Stop Mold Reproduction and Growth
The use of a quality dehumidifier is a very effective means to maintain an acceptable range of relative humidity levels.
Many indoor environments have 40 to 50 percent relative humidity once the temperature is around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
To stop mold reproduction and growth, you need to do a bit of detective work and address the source of moisture intrusion.