Mold can be a common household problem caused by “stagnant moisture,” according to Tom Eppers, co-owner, Dowe & Wagner, a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning company serving residential and commercial customers in Illinois and Wisconsin.
“Moisture can get trapped in your air ducts, spread, and cause health problems. The best ways to prevent mold are proper humidity levels and airflow throughout the house, especially for areas that can become damp, such as bathrooms and basements,” Eppers explains.
What is mold? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says, “Molds are part of the natural environment, and can be found everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Mold is not usually a problem, unless it begins growing indoors. Water can enter your home by leaking or seeping through basement floors. Showers or even cooking can add moisture to the air.”
Black, spotty areas on your walls or ceiling may indicate mold, which is a fungus. Less toxic mildew can be gray or white. Both may produce that telltale musty, rotting smell. To remove extensive mold, Eppers recommends hiring a mold remediation company to clean and disinfect the affected area.
Mold growing on your home’s air vents may indicate moisture or mold trapped inside the ductwork, which could be circulating throughout the house. Respiratory health problems, including allergies and asthma, have been linked to household mold problems.
Eppers states that the solution is to pinpoint the mold source, remove it, and prevent it from recurring through proper airflow. He adds, “Some homes are so tightly sealed that airflow is restricted. We can test a home’s air exchanges with an infiltrometer, and make recommendations if more fresh air intakes are needed, or if some vents may need to be sealed.”