One of the biggest fears for homeowners is mold and mildew. Unfortunately, these growths can be hard to detect, yet responsible for serious health issues for individuals around your home. Controlling mold and mildew starts with understanding the role moisture plays in their growth and how to prevent as many water sources as possible. With a comprehensive education on the relationship between these elements, you’ll be able to avoid mold and moisture and be prepared to identify if it does grow in your home.
Controlling Mold Starts With Controlling Moisture
As many of us know, moisture has a way of seeping through every part of your home. Roof membranes and wall cladding systems help prevent significant water sources from entering a home, but homeowners must still contend with air-transported water and water vapor. It’s relatively impossible to keep all forms of moisture out of your home, and you probably want some humidity in your house. Yet, there’s a big difference between normal humidity levels and leaks that allow extreme water levels to soak a building’s structure.
Mold loves to hide in areas like your wall cavity where humidity and moisture levels are high. Although moisture in these areas is inevitable, levels that are too high will condense, causing problems that impact everyone inside your home. So yes, controlling mold starts with controlling moisture, but what steps can homeowners take?
Moisture Control Starts at Your Roof
The roof is the main repellant of moisture for your home. When storms hit, the first thing water touches is your roof. A leaky roof gives easy access to various forms of moisture. Worst of all, an attic that’s already relatively high in humidity can create an uncomfortable environment where mold thrives for years. Leaks are also responsible for the following:
- High Utility Bills – Unchecked leaks damage insulation and walls, reducing your home’s ability to keep heat or cool air on the interior.
- Moisture Stains – Moisture sneaks in everywhere, and over time it can seep into other places like your ceilings and walls that leave moisture stains and ruining your home structure.
- Degradation of Your Roofing Systems – Moisture can eventually degrade your entire roofing system, leading to major repairs or replacements. Instead of having a roof that lasts a few decades, your roof might not make it five years.
Rein in Humidity and Condensation Levels
Controlling these levels is step one to preventing mold and mildew growth. Without proper ventilation, your roof is at risk of high humidity and condensation levels. But what’s so bad about a bit of condensation? Think about how your mirror gets foggy when taking a nice warm shower. That fog is condensation or water vapor landing on the cold surface of the mirror. This same phenomenon happens on your roof but on a much larger and more dangerous scale.
Ensure Proper Airflow in Your Home
Many cold surfaces have a layer of cool air around them. This boundary is where condensation forms as temperatures fall below the dew point. By ensuring proper airflow, homeowners can prevent this stagnant air from condensing. Proper roofing ventilation includes attic air intake; as well as, working air exhaust. A roof system’s air intake requires fresh air intake at the eaves, which often is disturbed by air being cut off by insulation “stuffed” in the eaves of the roof. Proper roofing exhaust ventilation often either includes a working attic fan, either at ridge of roof or at gable sides. It is important to understand, most attics fans are not equipped with a humidistat. A humidistat measures humidity during cold months, thermostats do not. Ridge ventilation is often used to exhaust ventilation due to its no maintenance, 365 day 24/7 ability to operate. It is important to have a qualified roofing contractor evaluate these conditions, to ensure proper ventilation.
Reducing humidity won’t kill mold, and a dehumidifier won’t eliminate mold spores or mildew in your bathroom or kitchen. But what it can do is prevent excess moisture from creating an environment conducive to mold growth. Your home’s relative humidity should sit around 45 to 50%. Then, when the summer heat strikes, naturally humid areas can benefit from a dehumidifier — attics or other large spaces where vapor can percolate are prime examples.
If You Suspect Mold Growth, Don’t Hesitate to Get Help
Mold growth should always be addressed. It’s hazardous to your health and is something you want to avoid as much as possible. Fortunately, mold prevention starts with awareness of the signs and things that contribute to its growth in your home. The minute you notice any of these signs, professional help is mandatory. Our local team of experts can help test for mold in your home and safely and properly remove it.
But you don’t have to let mold or mildew grow to unhealthy levels. As discussed, keeping these accumulations to a minimum starts with keeping moisture out as well as possible. With your roof being one of the more critical parts of your home when repelling the outside elements, you want to ensure it’s in pristine condition. A quality roofing installation from a team of contractors like Elegant Exteriors helps homeowners keep moisture out for good. When your roof shows signs of wear and tear, please don’t wait for it to repair itself. Instead, contact our roof leak repair services in NJ to prevent your home from becoming a mold and mildew breeding ground.