Mold is more than just an ugly, smelly inconvenience — it can actually pose serious health problems while also indicating the presence of unwanted water infiltrating your home. Depending on where that water is coming from, you may need to make alterations to your foundation, gutters, plumbing system or roof. Let’s take a closer look at this unwelcome fungus and what it might indicate about the state of your home.
What Is Mold, and Why Is It a Problem?
Mold is a naturally occurring fungus that tends to grow in damp areas. It reproduces by releasing tiny spores into the air, meaning that a patch of mold in one part of your home can spread itself to other parts through the ventilation system. Shower curtains are common “nurseries” for mold, where it appears as dark-colored patches, but it can also grow on any exposed surface where sufficient moisture is present, from furniture to walls. It also has a distinctive musty odor that calls attention to itself, but you can have a mold problem without your nose detecting a thing.
“Problem” is certainly the right word to describe mold. Many people suffer allergic reactions to it, with symptoms that include a runny nose, irritated eyes and skin, and sneezing. (You can experience some of these symptoms even if you aren’t technically allergic to mold.) Mold exposure has more serious effects on individuals with asthma or other respiratory diseases, and certain varieties are downright hazardous to human health. But the presence of mold also points to another problem — that of water in the home. Where water appears, damage to wood, drywall, and other materials is bound to follow. Damp structural beams can fall prey to termites and other pests, necessitating some very expensive renovations.
Finding and Fixing the Problem
Water leaks in your home may occur at just about any vulnerable point. If the shingles and chimney flashing on your roof have worn out, for example, water can penetrate the roof and invade your attic. Clogged roof gutters may be causing water to pool around the foundation, putting pressure on the concrete until it cracks. The water then enters your foundation and/or basement through the cracks. The frames of windows and skylights can also leak, letting water in and causing mold to grow on the casements and possibly throughout the walls. A plumbing leak anywhere in the home can permit water to pool (and mold to grow) unobserved.
Your best bet in fighting household mold is to have your home inspected top to bottom by qualified professionals. Your plumber can tell you if leaky pipes need fixing, for instance. Have your roof inspected for any signs of damage or wear that might be allowing water into your attic, especially if the roof is getting on in years. The specialists at Moonworks can diagnose the cause of moisture infiltration and can recommend any necessary roof repairs.
If your foundation has suffered water damage, don’t just patch it up — check your gutters for clogs that contribute to pooling. You may need better gutters, or you may need a better gutter cover solution such as the Gutter Helmet, which actively diverts leaves and other organic matter away from the gutters.
Take action against water in your home, and you’ll be taking action against that other uninvited guest, mold. Call 1-800-975-6666 to schedule a a roof inspection or roof repairs from Moonworks today!