How can we stop mold from growing?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ July 15, 2013 ~ No Comments

My daughter's house is made of concrete block, even the inside walls are solid block. Her roof is almost a flat roof, no attic or crawl space. She is having a big problem with mold growing inside her kitchen cabinets and closets. We know that the house has no proper insulation or no insulation at all. What can she do to prevent this from happening? Please help. Thanks!

- Gladys

Jeffrey Anderson

Gladys, you don't mention where your daughter's home is located, but from her house's architectural style I'm guessing Florida or one of the other humid Southeastern states. A primary component that mold needs to flourish is moisture. With the humidity in that part of the country, the fungus can be a major problem.

Of course, mold growth isn't limited to the Southeast as any kind of plumbing leak or water intrusion from the exterior can create an environment that allows the fungus to thrive. However, if the mold in your daughter's home is limited to the kitchen cabinets and closets, I'm guessing that the culprit is improper airflow. That in turn is causing a high humidity level in the house.

My recommendation would be to have a local heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor take a look at the house to ensure the ductwork is sized properly, vents and returns are open and functioning, and that the equipment is working correctly. If the house doesn't have air-conditioning, adding it could cure the problem. The HVAC contractor may also suggest adding a dehumidifier to the system if the humidity level in the area is always high.

In the meantime, leaving the cabinet and closet doors open slightly may improve the airflow in those areas, which should reduce the moisture levels. If mold doesn't have moisture, it doesn't last long. Your daughter might also want to take a look to make sure there aren't any leaks anywhere that could be contributing to the problem.

Also, if the mold growth is extensive, she may want to call in a remediation contractor. If it's bad enough, the fungus could pose a health hazard -- especially to children and the elderly. If she needs help finding a reputable contractor in her area, she can fill out and submit the form on this website. ReliableRemodeler works with a network of pre-screened and certified professionals who are licensed, bonded, and insured.*

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