Mold and Home Insulation: Everything You Should Know
Insulation is a great way to regulate the temperature in your home, prevent air leaks, and save on your energy bills. However, over time, insulation can become affected with mold. The good news is that this is a common and easily treatable issue. Read on to learn about how mold can affect you, your home, and your insulation.
What Causes Mold
The three basic things mold needs to grow are moisture, food, and, of course, mold spores. Mold is a fungi, which means that it loves to grow in dark, damp places. Mold can grow when there is high humidity, ideally over 50%. It also thrives in warm temperatures and feeds on debris, dust, and cellulose – making some older insulation materials an ideal area for mold to thrive.
Because mold likes to grow in dark places that people don’t usually see, areas in need of insulation are one of the most common places for mold to grow. This can be caused by leaks or cracks that let in moisture and warm air.
Where Mold Can Grow
Mold grows in places it can thrive, meaning areas that are dark, retain moisture, and experience little human interaction. An attic or crawl space is an optimal place for mold growth, especially if you have a leaky roof that lets water and warm air in. If you find that your attic insulation has been exposed to moisture, is discolored, or smells like mildew, it’s time to replace it.
Another common area for mold to grow is in areas with fiberglass insulation, such as exterior walls or basements. These areas can be affected when plumbing issues or flooding occur. The telltale signs of mold in these areas is a strong odor, discolored insulation, and physical symptoms that cause you to feel as though you have a cold.
How Mold Can Affect You
Most people don’t realize the physical symptoms that can occur when mold is present in the home. If you notice that you are coughing, sneezing, or experiencing a constant headache whenever you are in your home, you may be experiencing symptoms of mold exposure. Mold affects air quality, meaning each time you breathe in, mold spores are entering your body and making you feel sick.
Other symptoms can include itchy eyes, throat, or skin and congestion. The sooner you can get anything with mold growth cleaned or removed from your home, the sooner you’ll start feeling better.
Preventing Mold in Your Home
Preventing mold growth is easy. Mold and insulation go hand-in-hand: the most effective way to stop mold from growing is to ensure that the proper insulation is installed. The type of insulation used is important. In order to ensure airtight insulation, you may need to use different types of insulation throughout your home to prevent warm air and moisture from seeping in. If you are experiencing symptoms of mold exposure or have come across visible signs of mold in your home, having it removed and replacing any moldy insulation immediately can stop the spread.
Mold problems are more common than you might think. If you are experiencing symptoms of mold growth in your home, our experts at Installed Services can help. Contact us today to set up a free consultation. We can help you choose the best course of action to stop mold from growing in your home.