Monday, November 8th, 2010 by Samantha Gray
Mold and dry rot aren't the household guests you want sticking around. In fact, you don't exactly want them to come over in the first place. But, one thing leads to another and they're more persuasive than you'd expect. Then they deplete your homes value, condition and potentially lessen your home's life span.
Where Does Mold Grow?
Mold can grow just about anywhere that moisture can be found. However, in order for mold to stick around it needs more than just moisture, but it needs food. Mold loves organic materials such as carpet, wood, cardboard, and paper. Unfortunately, mold also destroys whatever comes between it and its meal.
Whether your air conditioning unit is leaking, water is leaking inside and onto your windowsill or your carpet never fully dried from the last flood in your basement-- mold will survive and stick around as long as the environment permits.
In addition, mold can significantly decrease your home's indoor air quality-- a worsening concern to many highly recognized organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency. Mold can increase household allergy symptoms and produce an irritating smell most homeowners refer to as "must." In some instances, mold can even be toxic-- as is the case with black mold.
If you wipe it away you've only temporarily gotten rid of the mold and you haven't touched the problem. The problem is the moisture.
What is Dry Rot?
Dry rot doesn't grow on a surface as mold does, but it's actually considered to be a condition. This fungus spreads throughout the wood at a torrential rate, rotting the wood from the inside out thus replacing the wood's strength with severe frailty. This makes it one of the most feared wood decomposing conditions around the world.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, its been approximated that each year 20 billion feet of timber is destroyed by brown rot, dry rot's alias. This becomes even more remarkable when compared to fire damage. There's more wood destroyed by dry rot than there is wood damaged by fire each year!
Dry rot is a serious force that many homeowners may have been fortunate not to encounter, but needs to be prevented.
Mold and Dry Rot
Although dry rot is seemingly far more destructive than the effects of mold, both are destructive and require moisture. However, against popular belief, neither mold nor dry rot will form in excessively wet environments. They won't grow in flooded basements because they don't grow in water but thrive in moist environments. Thus, a humid room or "muggy" space becomes most ideal.
Many homeowners find mold in two areas of the home: the bathroom and the basement. Similarly, the most common place to find dry rot is the bathroom. These two rooms are known for their moisture and even the unexpected leaky pipes or water "issues."
The bathroom can easily develop a water problem when the faucet or shower begins to leak, the toilet overflows with water, the shower water is too hot and the room maintains this muggy temperature.
The basement is commonly humid because of the increase in relative humidity caused by the entrance of humid outdoor air into the cooler basement air. This transfer can increase the basement's relative humidity by 2.2 percent per every one degree. And, of course, the basement can also experience the effects of a heavy rain storm or broken pipe or hot water heater.
So, what can be done to prevent or eliminate mold and/or dry rot?
Prevention & Repairs
Moisture control, moisture control and more moisture control.
Remember when we learned that wiping mold from a surface doesn't actually remove the problem? Well, that's because the moisture levels haven't been lessened. They may not have even been considered.
The best way to prevent mold growth or dry rot infiltration is by waterproofing your basement and fixing leaks and making other repairs very quickly.
In addition, dry rot can also result from a failing foundation because the wood comes in contact with the soil. This then provides just enough moisture for dry rot to take over.
For help evaluating your home's mold or dry rot condition contact the mold, basement, foundation, and crawl space repair experts at Quality 1st Basement Systems. For mold removal in New York and New York basement waterproofing contact them today!