mold spreading in house ceiling

Analyzing How Does Mold Spread in a House

Mold primarily needs three things to survive; moisture, warmth, and food. With these three in place, mold can thrive and continue to spread without check. You may often find yourself wondering how does mold spreads rapidly?

How Does Mold Spread?

Typically, mold spores are concentrated in one area of your home. However, these spores can travel throughout your house because of fans, air ducts, and other disturbances due to the movement of people or pets. The spores that land on spots with ample moisture to support their growth thrive well.

Since mold is a type of fungal growth, it will always be on the lookout for a food source that is cellulose based, like walls, ceilings, carpets, etc. They use spores that can get airborne to spread throughout your home. The only visible aspect of mold growth is the large parts that store the spores, which are constantly released in search of new spots where they can get food, warmth, and moisture.

A home’s basement or crawl space is one of the dampest spots in the entire structure. This is where mold thrives and releases its spores. The spores rise with the warm air in what we, in the business, call ‘the stack effect.’ The rising warm air escapes the home’s upper levels from the attic; this escaping air creates a vacuum of sorts in the lower levels, drawing air upwards from the crawl spaces and the basement. This updraft carries mold spores, dust mites, and unwanted odor to the living spaces of your home. Mold growth is not a trivial matter, as it can effectively colonize an area within a day or two.

Facts About Mold Spreading in a House

  • Mold thrives on organic materials like dust, wood, fabric, wallpaper, etc., as it provides nourishment for the growing mold.
  • Mold grows in every household, despite regular cleaning or season changes.
  • Most allergens from mold spores originate from the basement or crawl spaces of a home.
  • Mold can even digest synthetic materials like adhesives, paints, and pastes.
  • Mold can even grow on inorganic materials like metal or glass by drawing nutrients from the dust present on their surface.
  • Mold can cause significant health issues like flu, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, diarrhea, and severe allergic reactions in some individuals.

Leading Causes of Mold Growth in Modern Households

The growth of mold is inevitable if all three conditions of warmth, moisture, and nutrients are met. Since mold spores are always traveling throughout the house, it is highly likely that any moisture will lead to mold infestation. If your home is infested with mold, hiring mold remediation services becomes an absolute necessity. The most common sources of stray moisture in homes are:

  • Leaking roofs
  • Leaks in the plumbing systems of a home
  • Drainage issues
  • Damp basements and crawl spaces
  • Steam from bathroom or kitchen accumulating moisture
  • Excessive use of humidifiers
  • Wet clothes drying inside a house with improper ventilation
  • Improper ventilation that traps moisture inside the home

Mold can usually be identified by its musty odor. They appear as fuzzy, discolored, slimy patches that are constantly growing. The first red flag indicating mold growth is a musty odor. Some areas of your home are more prone to mold growth than others. These areas are parts of your home that hold a large amount of moisture like:

  1. Bathrooms
  2. Window moldings
  3. Seals on refrigerators
  4. Surfaces around air conditioners
  5. HVAC system and vents

The Consequences of Mold Growth on Your Health

Any form of exposure to mold can cause health issues. Since mold spores are present in the air we breathe, excessive inhalation of spores can cause significant health issues with allergic or respiratory symptoms. While allergy and irritation are the most prominent symptoms of mold exposure, they can also lead to infections and severe illnesses in rare cases. The symptoms of exposure to mold are:

  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Irritation in the eyes, making them red and watery
  • Difficulty in breathing and wheezing
  • Incessant coughing
  • Irritation in the throat
  • Rashes appearing on the skin
  • Unexplained headaches

Final Words

Keeping your home mold-free is not an easy task. There are certain measures you can take to prevent mold growth, like using mold capturing air filters, air disinfectants, mold-resistant paint, etc. Now that you know how mold spreads, you can have all the necessary countermeasures to ensure your family’s health and your house’s safety. However, if your home develops a mold, the best way to ensure the safety of your home is to hire mold removal services.