7 Ways You May be Encouraging Mold Growth in Your Home

There are a lot of irritants that can build up in homes. Some of these may just trigger some allergies while others can lead to more serious issues and damage to your home. Mold is one of those irritants that is a warning sign of moisture and water damage in your home and can also lead to health issues if left to grow and spread. Here are a few ways you may be encouraging mold growth in your home:

1. Never Checking Your Roof Ventilation or Attic

Proper roof ventilation is essential for protecting your home. Not only does it protect your roof, but it also reduces condensation and moisture buildup. If your roof has poor ventilation, it traps moisture and can lead to mold growth if the issue is not addressed.

Moisture in the attic is one of the signs you don’t have proper roof ventilation. It can also be a sign of poor or improper insulation in your attic. And, it can lead to mold growth if left unaddressed. Because of this, part of your regular home maintenance should be checking your roof and your attic for condensation, other signs of moisture buildup, and water damage.

Check out this video of the Zephyr Thomas team replacing a roof!

2. Ignoring Condensation on the Windows

There are many causes of window condensation. Some of them are normal while others are an indication that your windows need to be replaced or that they were poorly installed in the first place.

Ignoring condensation on the windows can encourage mold growth in your home if it’s not normal condensation and the issue is never addressed. If you see condensation on your windows, make sure you take a deeper look to determine whether you need to replace your windows.

A lot of condensation on and around basement windows could be a warning sign of an issue with those windows, but not always. This is also one of the signs your basement has excess moisture. If this is the case, the solution might not be new windows and may be fixing something in your basement, siding, foundation, etc. instead.

Take a look at the Zephyr Thomas team replacing some windows for this homeowner!

3. Opting Not to Address Leaks

Water damage to any area of your home indicates there is a leak somewhere. Not only are visible signs of water damage one of the signs you might have mold behind the walls, but it’s also a sure sign something somewhere in your home is wrong.

It may not be a fun activity, but it’s important to find the source and cause of a leak in your home when you see water damage. If left unaddressed, the damage only increases further, becomes more costly to repair, affects the energy efficiency of your home, and also encourages mold growth on top of it.

Instead of not exploring the root cause and addressing the issue, the best bet for your home is to figure out what is causing the leak and then fix it before it causes even more damage. Leaks could be caused by anything from a damaged or outdated roof, damaged or poorly installed siding, or gutters that are no longer directing water away from the home to burst pipes, cracked foundations, and more.

4. Never Monitoring the Humidity Inside Your Home

High humidity means more moisture in the air. If the air inside your home is too humid, it can result in more moisture collecting and building up in areas around your home. Over time, this can encourage mold growth if there are areas that continue to collect moisture and remain damp.

Monitoring the level of humidity indoors can help you keep it at a level that is more comfortable and does not promote the growth of mold. The EPA recommends below 60% and between 30-50% as an ideal range. A humidistat or a dehumidifier that has one built-in can be used to measure this.

5. Ignoring Your Gutters

Your gutters and downspouts are important. When working correctly, they direct water away from your home. Not only does this protect your home’s foundation, but it also helps prevent leaks and water damage.

If you never check your gutters or clean your gutters, they can become clogged, left damaged, etc., and can cause water to pool around your home. Instead of ignoring them or forgetting about them, make sure you clean your gutters out regularly or invest in gutter guards to keep them from getting clogged.

Also, as you maintain your home’s exterior, make sure you’re checking your gutters. They should be securely in place with no damage. If you see cracks, peeling paint, or other signs you need to replace your gutters, then you know your gutters may not be doing their job and it’s time to get new ones.

6. Not Cleaning Out Your Clothes Dryer Vent

Seemingly small oversights can sometimes lead to big issues and could be encouraging mold growth in your home. Unfortunately, clothes dryer vents are sometimes ignored, which can be a mistake.

Not only can lint buildup increase the risk of a fire, but it can also clog your vent, trap moisture, and lead to mold growth that can be hard to detect. Regularly cleaning out your lint trap between dryer cycles and regularly deep cleaning the vent can help prevent these issues while also improving the efficiency of your dryer.

7. Ignoring Your Bathroom Exhaust Fan

If it’s not working correctly, your bathroom exhaust fan could be one of the ways you may be encouraging mold growth in your home. A bathroom exhaust fan is supposed to remove moisture, but it can become clogged if it’s not cleaned, it could be poorly installed, or it could have bad insulation.

All of these scenarios lead to moisture getting trapped or building up in places that have the perfect conditions for mold. If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your bathroom exhaust fan or it looks like it is collecting dust, make sure you clean it for better airflow and moisture removal.

If you see water or mold stains around the fan, poor installation or poor insulation could be the cause. If the fan was installed improperly, it may not vent where it is supposed to, which can lead to mold growth inside the home. If it’s poorly insulated, the same can happen, but better insulation can fix it.

These are just a few ways you may be encouraging mold growth in your home. You may not be able to prevent moisture and mold all the time. But, keeping an eye on things, keeping up with maintenance, and making sure you don’t delay fixing moisture or water leaks and damage is your best bet to keep it from becoming a serious issue for you or your home.

If you notice any issues in your home that need to be fixed or just want to start a remodeling project, contact Zephyr Thomas at 717-399-4708 to start a free quote!