When a Leak Occurs, Waiting Isn’t an Option:
Preventing and Addressing Mold When the Situation Is NOT in Your Hands
Mold is ubiquitous and can grow wherever it can find food —the dust on a lampshade, the adhesive on the back of wallpaper, the drywall that makes up your walls, the manufactured wood (plywood, particle board, etc.) that most furniture is built from these days. Just about anything organic can become sustenance for mold. Then, with the right food and temperature, moisture, and just a little oxygen, mold can flourish and thrive. Thus, mold spores indoors are, unfortunately, inevitable. That is why preventive measures, like keeping dust levels lows, finding and repairing leaks, stopping moisture intrusion, and controlling indoor humidity must be ongoing actions to keep those spores from taking hold and threatening the health of our living spaces. Because of this, I like to think of my indoor environment as an ever-evolving ecosystem. It is alive, constantly changing and in flux. I consider it my job to do what I can to maintain a healthy microorganism balance by controlling what kinds of other “critters” can enter, survive, and thrive, so that my family and I can also live there and be well.
Of all of the things that mold needs to grow indoors, moisture is the main one that needs to be monitored and controlled for optimal prevention. Leaks, hidden or otherwise, can be a problematic introduction of water into a home’s building materials, walls, ceiling cavities, flooring, and below-grade spaces. If not dealt with and dried out immediately, even a very small leak can lead to a massive and expensive mold problem. The scary part is that leaks can happen quickly and many times occur without our knowledge until a water stain, musty smell, or mysterious sickness occurs to alert us to mold’s uninvited presence. The truth of the matter is that every home will deal with a leak or water intrusion at some point. It is inevitable and should be expected.
But, what if you don’t own your home and are dependent on someone else to fix the problem quickly to prevent mold growth? When your home’s maintenance isn’t in your hands, how to you stay safe from mold?