Mold: Causes, Prevention and TreatmentsPhoto by Pietro De Grandi on UnsplashThere are many reasons why you may get mold growth in your home. Mold needs darkness, warmth, oxygen, moisture and a food source to begin growing. A food source can be something as simple as drywall, fabric or wood. Most of what mold needs is already in place in your home and it is only an increase in moisture that is needed to set the mold off. High humidity caused by the weather could start mold growing, or if you use a humidifier, keep the level below 55% humidity to reduce the chance of mold starting.Water leaks in your home such as in your pipes or roof can result in mold starting it’s life-cycle in your house. Check for areas in your home that might have high condensation, especially if this runs off onto a carpet or an area covered by wood or fabric as this could be an excellent breeding ground for mold. Damp clothing, damp rooms, flooding and even water accumulating around the foundation of your home could all start mold growing in and around your home.Mold can be kept under control by regular maintenance of water pipes and areas of dampness. Do not leave wet clothing lying around for long and dry up water spills as quickly as possible. Mold only needs around 24 hours of increased moisture to begin growing. If it is possible to reduce condensation and humidity in your home, this is also something to consider. Lower condensation in warmer rooms, lower humidity percentage and dryer air will reduce the risk of mold spores gaining a foothold in your rooms.Treating mold growth in your home differs depending on the material that the mold is growing on. Some surfaces, such as painted walls, can be wiped clean of mold and use a solution such as vinegar, borax or ammonia (check detergent specifications) to clean the surface thoroughly of mold spores. Mold growing on drywall cannot be removed efficiently and this should be cut out and discarded and the drywall replaced. Mold on your ceiling and other surfaces can be wiped off with detergents to remove the spores unless it is a porous material. On porous materials, it is best to remove the item or section of ceiling etc. completely and replace it as you cannot remove mold from porous materials.It is recommended that you bring in a professional when you suspect mold inside your walls and HVAC systems as these will be need to be thoroughly checked and professionally treated. Mold can also be found on the top of ceiling boards, under floors (especially wood flooring), in your air ducts, in insulation, on windows and frames and is often found in basements that are not well aerated and might retain moisture.While it is impossible to eliminate all mold spores from your home, you can reduce the number of mold spores by cleaning and vacuuming your home often, reducing levels of moisture, eliminating leaks, allowing sun and air into your home (UV kills mold) and keeping your home cool where possible. Mold needs a combination of heat, moisture, dark, oxygen and something it can eat to start growing, if you eliminate any of these factors, you can significantly reduce the chance of mold growing in your home.