Tips for Detecting and Preventing Mold Growth in Your Insulation

Home improvement - handyman cut wood with jigsawMold can be found pretty much anywhere in the home—including wood, paper, carpet, foods and insulation.  As long as moisture and oxygen are present, mold growth is possible.

Detecting mold in your home is different for every household.  Some people have a higher tolerance for mold and don’t have any kind of allergic reactions, while others can have life-threatening allergic reactions to mold.  Sign #1 that you have a mold problem can be simply from feeling better when you’re not inside the house.  Another sign is if you smell a distinct musty odor in the house, there’s a good chance that there’s mold growing somewhere.  If you cannot fold mold growing in obvious places, like the shower, sinks or any other area of the home where there may appear to be water damage, then you might need to check if there may be mold growing in the insulation of your home.

To detect mold growth in the insulation of your home, you will need to dig a bit deeper.  You can purchase at-home test kits that can help detect the presence of mold in your home.  These test kits typically involve testing the air for the presence of mold; however, these tests will not be able to determine the source of the mold.  If you use the at-home test and you confirm there’s a presence of mold in your home, then your next step is to hire a professional mold inspector who can help you determine the source of the mold.  Once the source has been discovered, then you can take the necessary steps to rectify the situation.

Mold growth can occur in the insulation of your home, which makes it much harder to detect.  However, there are ways to prevent mold development in the insulation of your home.  Here are some steps for helping prevent mold development in the insulation of your home.

The first step to mold preventing is moisture control.  Mold is caused by the presence of too much moisture or water.  Controlling the moisture in or around insulation will prevent the growth of mold.  You can do this by trying to keep humidity levels inside the home below 40 percent.  At this level, mold growth is slowed down and can be prevented.

The second step is to understand the most common sources of moisture or water in the home and then knowing how these sources may impact the insulation of your home.  The sources for the moisture include ground water (such as rain or melting snow), humidity from outside entering the home or condensing on a cooler surface and interior moisture (most commonly from the bathroom and kitchen).  Making sure that your roof is properly maintained to drive water into gutters and off the house, your gutters are properly maintained to drive ground water away from the home, your home is properly insulated from the outside with your windows and siding, plus making sure that the exterior of your home is properly designed and built to also keep water away from the home and avoid pooling into the foundation of the home are great ways to prevent moisture from building in and around the house.  Also, making sure that your kitchen and bathrooms have the proper ventilation that they need to drive any moisture out and to properly dry are equally as important.

The third step to mold prevention is to act fast if there’s any kind of water leak in the home.  Mold growth is most common when people don’t quickly or properly respond to any kind of water leak or water damage to the house.  When you properly clean up water damage, part of the process is determining whether or not enough damage was caused to grow mold.  Usually, following water leaks, it is best to replace insulation and other damaged areas of the home to ensure the safety of you and your family from potential mold growth and the deterioration of building materials.

The fourth and final step to mold prevention in the insulation of your home is to upgrade to materials that are non-corrosive to nature, such as fiber glass insulation.  Fiber glass insulation will not settle or lose its energy-saving abilities over time and does not require the addition of fire retardant chemicals.  The best advantage to fiber glass insulation is that it will not rot and it does not support the growth of fungi or mold.

Mold doesn’t have to be a problem for you or your household.  If you think that you might have mold in your home, particularly in the insulation of your house, contact Grennan Construction today for a free consultation.  Grennan Construction are the leaders in insulation installation in Oakland County, Michigan area and use PINK FIBERGLAS® Loosefill Insulation which help prevent mold growth.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Grennan Construction, a family owned and operated company since 1998.  We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, insulation, gutters and chimney repairs. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Grennan Construction