Avoid Mold, Rot & Dust Mites with Moisture Control
There’s much more to moisture control than keeping a dry space. Moisture control also helps avoid other issues like mold, rot, and dust mites. These nuisances rely on moisture to survive, so if you have moisture issues it’s likely that you’ll have these other unwanted problems. If you lower your humidity levels to less than 60%, it will no longer be a desirable environment for these pests to thrive.
By sealing out humidity from outside air and installing a dehumidifier, you can protect yourself from mold and dust mite problems. Contact us today to schedule your free inspection! We serve throughout central Missouri and Eastern Kansas, including Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia, Moberly, and Springfield.
Common Humidity Problems
Mold spores are present nearly everywhere, growing when they meet sufficient temperature, moisture, and organic material to grow. 50% of homes have at least one resident with allergies, with the American Lung Association showing that 88 million Americans suffering from some sort of respiratory distress. 90% of people with allergies show sensitivity to mold spores.
Dust mites are microscopic arachnids that live in your home, most often in carpeting, sofas, pillows, and other cushioned furniture. Dust mites create allergenic fecal material, which they release into the air as much as 20 times a day. Dust mites live in humid areas, absorbing moisture directly from the air.
Black Mold is a highly toxic mold that is rare but dangerous when it grows in the home. Black mold spores host a fungus that produces carcinogenic mycotoxins that are linked to ailments such as liver cancer, lung cancer, chronic liver damage, acute or chronic nervous system damage, endocrine problems, and others.
Mold & Rot can begin to form in damp wood in as little as 24-48 hours. If allowed to damage wood unchecked, rot, mold, and dry rot can lead to many thousands of dollars worth of damage to a home. In the case of dry rot, a 75% loss of toughness can be caused by a 1% weight loss. Rot and mold in wood should be addressed as soon as possible.
Mold and dust mites can wreak havoc on both your health and your home like no other. In just a few years, they can significantly damage your home and personal property, while allergens from mold spores and dust mite waste damage your health. We offer free mold & dust mite control inspections in throughout Missouri.
At Foundation Recovery Systems, we offer a variety of solutions for moisture control to help get rid of not only the moisture but also any mold or dust mites. A combination of our vapor barriers and dehumidifiers will do the trick to give you a clean, dry space!
We offer free moisture control inspections to homeowners in our Missouri and Eastern Kansas service area. Give us a call today to get yours scheduled!
Mold & Dust Mite Health Facts
- Dust Mites & Mold Eat Organic Materials: That means any organic material at all. Dust, fabric, fiberglass resins and dyes, drywall, wallpaper, glue, paint, wood, or anything else is enough to keep it growing. As for dust mites, 1,000 of these critters can live in a single gram of dust, each one creating 20 waste pellets per day.
- Mold Can Live in The Cold: Ever see mold in a refrigerator? Research shows that as long as the temperature is above 40 °F (4 °C), mold can grow and spread.
- Mold & Dust Mites Grow Fast: Mold can begin to grow in a home in as little as 24-48 hours, with a billion mold spores growing on a single foot of drywall. A single female dust mite can lay upwards of 250 eggs in its three-month lifespan.
- Mold Leads to Insurance Woes: Due to tens of thousands of mold-related lawsuits being filed, most general liability and property insurance companies now exclude mold insurance from their policies.
- Mold Destroys Your Home: Professional Builder Magazine warns that mold will dramatically lower the value of your home. A home worth $250,000 can easily have $100,000 in mold problems. Mold can even lead to structural damage to your home!
- Mold Spores Can Damage Your Health: Mold spore exposure can occur through inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact. Mold and dust mite waste are connected to allergies, asthma, and other breathing issues. Even dead mold spores can be damaging to your health.
- Dust Mite Waste Is Highly Allergenic: 90% of patients show dermal reactivity to dust mite waste and 10% of the general population is also sensitive. Dust mite waste makes up 80-90% of the allergic component of house dust, containing 15 potent allergens that sensitize and trigger allergic reactions. In fact, American Family Physician states that controlling dust mites is the most important thing you can do in your house to make your asthma and allergies better.
- Mold & Dust Mites Are Sneaky: Mold can grow in fiberglass insulation, behind drywall panels, and behind wallpaper. Dust mites can live in furniture, cloth, and pillows. Just because you don’t see a problem does not mean that one does not exist.
It can be a pain to try and deal with unwanted moisture in your home. Not only does that moisture make your home less comfortable to live in, but it can put the structural integrity of your home’s essential supports at risk.
The moisture that makes its way into your home is more than just a temporary inconvenience. As mentioned, uncontrolled levels of moisture in your basement, crawl space, or around your foundation can rapidly destabilize the supports you need to keep your home upright. There’s more to the issue than that, however. The longer you let unprecedented levels of moisture into your home, the more likely it is that both your home’s value and your family’s health will suffer.
Water Damage and Your Home’s Market Value
Moisture does not play nice with your home’s structural supports. As water, be it in liquid or gaseous form, makes its way into your home, it is readily absorbed by wooden and metal structures used to hold up your floors and walls. Over time, that moisture can facilitate not only the growth of mold in those supports but the general weakening of both your walls and floors. In turn, the hydrostatic pressure that said moisture generates can cause cracks and leaks to appear throughout your home, generally making conditions therein worse.
This kind of damage isn’t just inconvenient at the moment. If you want to put your home on the market at some point in the near future, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve done as much as you can to keep that unwanted moisture out of your crawl space, basement, or foundation. If you don’t, and you choose not to treat the damage therein, you can lose up to 30 percent of your home’s market value.
Water Damage and Your Family’s Health
There’s more to the problem of moisture, however, than just the value of your home. Moisture can rapidly compromise your family’s health. Any residents with allergies or respiratory issues can see their conditions rapidly worsen, as high levels of humidity can make it more difficult for these parties to breathe. Even family members without these conditions can see them develop over time, especially if you don’t make a point to attend to the damage that you’re facing.
Note that high levels of humidity make it all the easier for mold to take root in your home. Mold comes in many forms, some benign and some toxic. More often than not, the mold that prefers to take root in the dark and untreated parts of your home is going to pose an immediate threat to your and your family’s health. Before long, you may find yourself contending with a persistent cough or other similar respiratory problems. Parties who live in mold-infested homes for an extended period of time can even find themselves contending with long-term lung damage later in life.
If you spot mold in your home, then you have an immediate problem on your hands. Mold loves to grow in places that are dark and damp. Not only does it serve as an indicator of damage throughout your home, but it also puts your family’s health at risk.
Mold and Your Health
Molds of all types tend to exacerbate any health conditions that you might already be contending with. That said, you’ll first start to notice problems with your respiratory system if a toxic mold has taken root in your home. Some of the most common early signs that you’ll want to look out for include:
- Sore throat
- Skin irritation
If you go to a doctor and still can’t understand why you might be experiencing the aforementioned symptoms on a more regular basis than normal, be sure to reach out to the professional contractors in your area for a home inspection. If you allow mold growth to settle in your home for too long, you may rapidly find yourself facing long-term health conditions, including severe respiratory problems and chronic illness.
Common Types of Mold to Find in Your Home
The molds that can appear in your home come in many forms. More often than not, you’ll find yourself contending with:
- Allergenic molds. As the name suggests, allergenic molds exacerbate your allergies. They can also cause previously unaffected parties to develop allergies after long-term exposure.
- Pathogenic molds. Pathogenic molds make existing health conditions that you or any family members suffer from, such as allergies or immune-deficiency disorders.
- Toxigenic molds. Black mold is considered a toxigenic mold and is among the most dangerous types of molds to find in your home. If a professional tells you that you’re contending with a toxigenic mold, you need to evacuate your home as soon as possible. The longer you stay in that space, the more likely it is that you or any other residents may have to deal with long-term health complications.
Several types of molds can appear in your home at the same time if you have a variety of humidity-based problems on your hands. You’re most likely to find yourself contending with the following:
Higher humidity levels throughout your home are more than just uncomfortable to contend with. That humidity can put the overall structural integrity of your space at risk.
Signs of Increasing Humidity in Your Home
If you don’t have a hygrometer on hand in your home, and you haven’t noticed the air feeling cooler than usual, then you may not always notice when the humidity in your space starts to rise. Luckily, there are signs throughout your home that you can keep an eye out for that may indicate this type of change. These signs can include:
- Damp walls
- Sagging floors
- Bowing walls
- Rusting floor and rim joists
- Unusual amounts of standing water
- Warping door and window frames
- Fogging windows
- Unpleasant smells
If the humidity in your home is on the rise, you’re likely contending with some manner of structural defect in your crawl space, basement, or foundation. Even with all the aforementioned signs or some combination thereof present, you may not be able to tell right away what kind of problem it is you’re facing. With that in mind, be sure to reach out to the professionals in your area if you start to notice any of the aforementioned conditions within your home. Together, you can walk through your space and determine what it is that has put your home’s humidity levels—and structural integrity—into jeopardy.
Common Problems to See in a High-Humidity Home
Symptoms of water damage aside, a home that has to contend with high levels of humidity on a regular basis is likely to see a significant amount of structural damage over the years, especially if the homeowner in question doesn’t attend to the problem of that humidity’s buildup. Homes with higher degrees of humidity are more likely to suffer from:
- Foundation cracks and leaks
- Wall cracks and leaks in the basement or crawl space
- Pipe leaks
- Foundation sinkage or settling
All the above conditions pose a serious threat to the overall stability of your home. Not only that, but they can decrease the overall value of your home if they’re not treated within a reasonable amount of time. If you try to sell a home suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions in addition to untreated and unusually high levels of humidity, then you risk losing up to 30 percent of your home’s value in its resale.
When it comes to controlling the amount of moisture you have in your home, you have more than a few options available to you. Some of the most common include:
- Sump pumps. Sump pumps help you keep unwanted moisture out of concentrated spots in your home by using an electrical charge to pump said flooding from your space. Unfortunately, if the power goes out during a storm, you’ll have a more difficult time preventing that unwanted water from slipping inside. However, you can easily fit a sump pump with a battery backup so as to continue pumping water from your home.
- Interior drains. Interior drains are made up of a series of pipes that run around the basement or crawl space interior. Once in place, these pipes can physically drain unwanted water into the sump pump system so it can be removed from your home.
- Dehumidifiers. Dehumidifiers pull unwanted moisture out of your air. That water will transform from a gas into a liquid and be stored in a jug that you can remove from your home as you please courtesy of a system of pipes and coolant. Or you can invest in a self-draining unit that automatically drains into your interior drainage or sump pump systems, so there are no buckets or reservoirs to have to worry about emptying.
- Piers and underpinning. Piers and underpinning methods most often help a foundation that’s already seen some manner of foundation damage. These methods bring your foundation back into alignment. They can also bring your foundation away from those sources of hydrostatic pressure that may be plaguing it. Note that some underpinning methods allow you to even stabilize the soil around your foundation. In doing so, you can not only limit the flow of water through these areas but also prevent your home from sinking or settling. You can speak with the professional contractors in your area to determine whether or not these protective measures may suit your needs.
Other available waterproofing measures can include but are not limited to full space encapsulation with a vapor barrier and waterproof insulation. When you use these or any of the waterproofing measures noted above to protect your home, you both limit the impact hydrostatic pressure can have on your structural supports and protect those belongings you want to put into storage. You can also lower your electric and water bills on a monthly basis.
Controlling the Flow of Moisture Through Your Home
When it comes to controlling moisture inside of your home, you’re not alone. You can work with the professionals in your area to better understand why it is that your home’s humidity levels have recently skyrocketed. In turn, you can assess the overall structural integrity of your basement, crawl space, or foundation to determine whether or not you may have a leak on your hands. Even if you don’t, you can still opt to work with area professionals to install home waterproofing measures to better lower the amount of humidity or moisture you contend with on a regular basis. Reach out today for a free services quote from the expert team at Foundation Recovery Systems.