Mold needs the following conditions before it can grow in your home:

  1. Mold spores
  2. A food source
  3. Darkness
  4. Warmth
  5. Oxygen
  6. Moisture
    Time (24 -48 hours)
    Moisture is really the cause of a mold problem because all the other conditions always exist within every structure. Moisture is the only condition that can be controlled.

Moisture intrusion can occur from a variety of sources and can have many causes. Common moisture problems include:

  • Leaking roofs
  • Leaking or condensing water pipes, especially pipes inside wall cavities or pipe chases
  • Leaking fire-protection sprinkler systems
  • Landscaping
  • Gutters and down spouts that direct water into or under a building
  • High humidity – over 60% relative humidiy
  • Combustion appliances such as gas clothes dryers vented into a garage or an attic, etc.
  • Backing up of sewers and drains
  • Flooding
  • Humidifiers
  • Mud or ice dams
  • Damp basement or crawl spaces
  • Constant plumbing leaks or broken pipes
  • Houseplants
  • Steam from cooking
  • Shower/bath or indoor drying lines
  • Appliances vented indoors
  • Combustion appliances

A mold inspector is certified and trained to identify the source of the water intrusion in order to propose solutions. While the inspector may not always identify the exact location of the intrusion, the goal of the inspection is to determin ethe cause. For example, this may involve determining that water is leaking in through a cold joint in the basement foudnation wall. Recognizing that water inentering through the cold joint rather than a leaking pipe is critical information for the client.

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