What Causes Mold Growth?
In nature, mold serves as an integral part of the circle of life. Mold both thrives and feeds on decomposing organic material to provide new growth in the natural environment. Rotting trees, animal carcasses, and dead plants all serve as the foundation from which mold grows and spreads. This can make mold growth on concrete slabs seem trivial. However, concrete does occasionally provide enough organic substances for mold to gather and spread to other areas of homes, offices, and recreational areas in Virginia.
What Does Mold Need in Order to Spread?
It may come as a surprise, but mold requires many of the same things that humans do to thrive. Like any living organism, mold requires oxygen to survive and multiply. That is why mold never appears underwater or in airtight containers. Mold also relies on temperatures that are favorable to humans. Temperature is a key factor as it pertains to the growth and spread of mold. Temperatures must range between 40℉ and 120℉ for mold to reproduce. Any temperature changes that go below or above this threshold will result in mold’s dormancy. Humidity is also another key factor. For mold to survive, moisture must be present in the air at levels at or above 50% humidity. Mold also requires a stable food source, which is why it is often found near soil where materials can gather and decompose.
Therefore, it is common for mold to accumulate at the foundation of structures where humidity levels are high, there is low airflow, and there is enough decomposing material to feed off.
How Can Mold Grow on Concrete?
Concrete will not supply enough sustenance for mold to thrive and spread. However, many substances and particles can stand on concrete that allows mold to feed and accumulate. Mold can feed on the dirt, dust, pollen, allergens, moisture, and bacteria that rest on concrete–just as these substances do on any other surface. Mold is known to produce an acid that can deteriorate concrete and make it more absorbent and porous.
The deterioration of concrete from the acid that mold produces usually creates a sponge effect. As it weakens, concrete will amass even more moisture, bacteria, and other substances. This will allow mold to grow larger and spread to other areas of the structure. When mold growth begins to form on concrete, it starts a never-ending cycle that can only get worse. That is why it is so important to take proactive measures that will prevent the growth of mold in the first place.
Preventing Mold Growth Before It Starts
Avoiding the effects of mold growth before they happen all begins with the proper preventive measures. The best way to prevent mold growth from happening is in the beginning steps of construction for any premises. It is imperative to implement natural ventilation that will allow wet construction materials to dry properly. In addition, using protective barriers and water-resistant materials will help prevent mold growth from happening as well.
It should also be known that one must be mindful of the order in which different materials and elements are installed within a building or home. A prime example of this would be to avoid placing drywall next to wet concrete. This will create a hotspot for mold growth. Measures should also be taken during the end of the construction process, including the use of desiccant dehumidifiers and temperature controls to ensure proper indoor temperature and maintain adequate humidity levels indoors. If you’d like to hear more about preventive measures and services, contact your local technician today!
Do You Require Assistance?
Sometimes, mold has spread too far to consider being preventive anymore. It may also be too advanced for DIY mold removal. A large accumulation of mold that is widespread in any premises is best handled by certified professionals.
JES Foundation Repair has been helping homeowners and businesses in the Virginia area for over 27 years. There is no mold problem we can’t resolve through our expert removal processes. We also offer many preventive measures to ensure that mold can never grow in the first place. Whatever the case, if you have a mold problem, contact us today for your free inspection! One of our specialists would be happy to assist you!