What are Molds?
Molds belong to the typical filamentous fungi family that produces spores or can be called spore-forming fungi. We can find molds in our environment like water, food, and in the walls of our homes. Molds on the wall can cause damage if left untreated for long.
How does mold grow?
Molds are filamentous fungi that generally grow in damp and dark environments. Usually, they reproduce by releasing tiny spores into the air that settle on the surfaces and begin to grow.
What are the appropriate conditions for their growth?
The appropriate conditions include
- Food sources like cellulose or other organic material
- Warm temperatures for growth.
Molds found inside our home include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys chartarum (black mold).
Mold growth is also increased by high humidity levels that are caused by poor ventilation or water leakage issues. To prevent such molds from growing inside your home it is necessary to keep indoor humidity levels in check. If any plumbing issues exist, it should be fixed instantly.
Causes of molds on wall- Molds are caused due to numerous factors that include:
1. Excessive moisture
High levels of humidity indoors can be an alarming cause of the formation of molds. Molds generally thrive in moist conditions specifically with a temperature of around 15-20 degrees Celsius (1).
2. Poor ventilation
Improper ventilation and poor circulation of air are the other causes of the growth of molds. If the room does not have adequate airflow, then moisture may build up, leading to excessive mold growth.
Condensation is simply defined as when warm water vapor, converts into liquid after it comes in contact with a colder surface. It results in the formation of frost on a surface. According to a recent study, Korean apartments suffered excessive mold growth during the summer and winter seasons (2).
4. Water damage
Exposure to water leakage and roof leaks are the great causes of the growth of molds. Damp conditions indoors are the big cause of the formation of mold spores (3).
5. Environmental factors
High humidity levels outdoors and natural factors like rainwater leakage can result in the damping of walls. This damping results in the thriving of mold spores (4).
6. No light or little light
The development of molds on the walls generally occurs in dark and damp places only. Molds usually occur in no-light conditions only (5).
Prevention of molds
1. By controlling the humidity
Molds generally require moisture to grow. Controlling the humidity level reduces the risk of mold infestations. Humidity control thus reduces dampness indoors and helps in mold formation (6).
2. Improving light condition
Molds tend to grow in low light and dark environmental conditions. Thus, improving light quality in our homes will reduce mold infestations (7).
3. Improving the ventilation
Adequate ventilation reduces moisture levels in the air and as a result, reduces mold infestation. It also helps in reducing condensation in the room. Proper circulation of air ensures better quality airflow and reduces humidity levels. (8).
4. Regular maintenance
Regular checks should be ensured to keep an eye on the moisture content, ventilation, and dampness. If problems persist, they need to be treated immediately.
5. Seal and insulate
Proper insulation and sealing is extremely necessary to avoid condensation on the walls. Sealing of gaps around windows, doors, and vents reduces humidity levels that fix mold growth. Fiberglass insulation is recommended to stop the mold infestation.
6. Reduce clutter
Reducing clutter is an effective way to prevent mold. Clutter provides a breeding ground for mold spores and blocks air circulation. Reduction of clutter reduces dust accumulation, which in turn, reduces food sources for molds and prevents them from spreading quickly through the environment.
Isolation of the area
Isolation is necessary to prevent the growth of molds.
Possible ventilation and adequate airflow indoors will reduce the humidity levels. Nowadays dehumidifiers are available in the markets to reduce the moisture content indoors.
Regular cleaning of the surfaces with detergents and bleaching agents will help to eliminate mold-causing spores. It will stop the proliferation of spores. Leakages of any type should be repaired immediately as they can cause mold growth.
Dried areas reduce the intensity of moisture and help in the control of molds. Humidity levels encourage the growth of colonies of molds.
Unwanted accumulation of materials can lead to mold infestations. Hence, they need to be removed periodically. Discarding reduces the risk of cross-contamination, which stops further spread of molds.
Preventive measures need to be taken to eliminate mold spore formation. Maintaining proper temperature, and fixing leakage taps and roofs to prevent water damage is necessary to fix mold infestation.
Is mold in walls harmful?
Yes, molds on the walls are extremely harmful. They can cause respiratory issues like asthma, allergies, and other issues. It causes rotting and hence damages the buildings and ceilings causing decay.
What causes mold on walls?
Mold is a type of fungi that grows due to high humidity levels, dampness, leakages in ceilings. They are also caused by environmental factors such as hot and humid weather conditions, rainwaters are the main reasons.
- Molds belong to the typical filamentous fungi family that produces spores or can be called spore-forming fungi.
- We can find molds in our environment like water, food, and in the walls of our homes.
- They are filamentous fungi that generally grow in damp and dark environments.
- Mold growth is also increased by high humidity levels that are caused by poor ventilation or water leakage issues.
- Controlling the humidity level reduces the risk of mold infestations. Humidity control thus reduces dampness indoors and helps in mold formation.
- Regular cleaning of the surfaces, regular checks, possible ventilation and adequate airflow indoors will reduce the humidity levels. Nowadays dehumidifiers are available in the markets to reduce the moisture content indoors.
- Discarding unwanted materials, and reducing clutter is an effective way to prevent molds.
- Maintaining proper temperature, and fixing leakage taps and roofs to prevent water damage is necessary to fix mold infestation.