Moisture is a critical element required for mold growth, and eliminating it is the most effective method for mold prevention.
Mold needs 4 things to grow and thrive and if we can eliminate just ONE of the four, mold will not be able to do grow.
The four things that mold needs to grow are:
- Food – Everything in your basement is a food source for mold (dirt, wood, carpet, paint, boxes, floor joists, insulation, etc.). There is no way to take the food source away
- The proper temperature – Mold can start to grow at temperatures as low as 39 degrees There is no way to take the proper temperature away
- Oxygen – Mold takes the same oxygen levels as we do. There is no way for us to take the oxygen out of the air
- Humidity – Mold needs approximately 50% + humidity levels to be able to thrive and grow
Of the 4 critical elements of mold growth, humidity is the ONLY one that we can control. If we can reduce the humidity levels to less than 50%, then mold cannot thrive and grow, even if the other three elements stay intact.
- Air rises from the basement to the upstairs, and then the lower level air is replaced by outside air.
- 40%–60% of the air you breathe upstairs comes from your basement. This was tested by performing radon checks.
- Checking radon level upstairs will indicate how much of your upstairs air comes from the lower levels.
- EPA rates Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) as one of the top 5 environmental risks for public health.
- Levels of air pollution inside the home can be 2–5 times higher than that outside of the home.
- EPA list 14 different pollutants as sources of Indoor Air Pollution, with mold and dust mites being the two most common, both requiring moisture to survive.
Asthma and Allergies
- 23 million Americans have asthma, which is affected by IAP. The number of asthma patients has increased by 65% in the past decade (The American Lung Association)
- 35 million Americans have allergie
- 75% of people live with someone who has allergies, asthma, emphysema or some other respiratory problem (EPA)90% of people who have an allergy based sensitivity react to dust mites and mold.
- Both require moisture to survive. Allergens attack the immune system. This can cause allergy problems for those with an overly sensitive immune system.
- Children inhale 50% more air per pound than adults (American Lung Association)
As a result of high humidity levels in the home, mold plays a significant role in increased asthma and allergy symptoms, as well as other respiratory problems. High humidity causes:
- Wood rot
- Damage to floor tile, carpet, drywall, paneling and insulation
- Damage to personal items in basement such as antiques, photos, book, audios, videos, etc.
- Homes with humidity problems can be difficult or nearly impossible to sell