What is Mold?
Homes have a new enemy: mold and termites. Mold is a type of fungus present in bacteria, plants and animals that decomposes dead organic material such as wood, leaves and plants. Clusters of mold generally appear in colors ranging from black, green or blue but it can be nearly impossible to spot mold colonies with the naked eye.
How Does Mold Grow?
Mold is mostly present in moist areas as they need water and oxygen to grow. Mold thrives in temperatures between 40 degrees and 100 degrees F. Mold tends to grow on paper and wood products and can digest some synthetic materials like pastes and paints. As molds absorbs moisture from damp air (relative humidity above 60%), it usually select damp or wet materials and areas to latch onto.
Mold Prevention and Control
Begin by reducing moisture levels in the air by using an exhaust fan in rooms like the bathroom and kitchen. When using a humidifier, start with a hygrometer to measure the room’s relative humidity, which should be below 60%. A humidifier RH is usually above 25-30% and should never exceed more than 35%.
Next, identify all wet and damp areas such as bathroom ceilings and walls, beneath sinks windows, basement walls, kitchen windows and plumbing pipes that have a tendency to leak. Regularly check on these areas and immediately dry and fix any leaks. This will control mold growth which can begin growing only 24-48 hours after a water leak. Be sure to dry all wet areas completely within this time period.
If mold persists, consider calling a professional mold removal company such as Air Treatment System to have your heating and cooling system checked. Another great way to remove mold and termites is by making use of your very own fireplace.
When purchasing firewood there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Locally cut firewood is ideal as imported firewood may have contracted species such as Emerald Ash Bore.
- Purchase hardwoods such as oak, ash, maple, beech and elm instead of softwoods like spruce and pine. Reputable dealers will always sell the former types of hardwoods.
- Ensure that the wood has been seasoned as unseasoned firewood burns much faster and is a waste of energy. While hardwoods are seasoned in about a year, softwoods require half the time period.
How to Stack Logs
- Split firewood dries faster than logs. Split your logs into 6 inch wedges before you stack them. Proper stacking will control mold and termites.
- If you’re burning your firewood outdoors, find a sunny spot to do so. Consider building a stack on a metal rack to keep the firewood off the ground. Burning firewood on wooden rails is an invitation for ground termites.
- Stack the split pieces of firewood facing downwards. Place the bottom layer parallel to one another with the ends facing outward. Alternate every layer in the opposite direction of the previous layer below.
- Protect the top rows from snow and rain by covering it with a tarp. This will prevent mold growth and let air circulate freely.
Author Bio: Andy Bell is an everyday learner and editor at Air Treatment System, a mold removal company. He is passionate about using new techniques for home improvement and home inspection. He hopes his ideas help others gain insights into the home industry and enjoys writing and sharing tips.