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Concrete Slab Foundations and Mold Growth

Mold can grow anywhere under the right circumstances. Luckily, there are a few ways to combat the spread of mold and prevent it from forming in the first place

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A moldy concrete corner

The Facts About Mold Growth 

Believe it or not, mold is an essential part of the natural environment. Mold breaks down organic materials to make room for new growth. In our ecosystem, mold often accumulates on dead trees, decomposing plants, animal carcasses, and more. This accumulation deteriorates non-essential matter, thus making room for new life. However, although helpful mold is found in nature, it can be destructive to your home. 

What Does Mold Need to Grow?

There are a variety of factors that contribute to the natural growth of mold. Primarily, mold needs oxygen to grow. Therefore, mold will not grow underwater or in sealed containers. Temperature also plays a key role in the development of mold. Temperatures that are favorable for humans are also favorable to mold. For mold to spread and reproduce, temperatures must range between 40℉ and 120℉. When temperatures fluctuate above or below this range, mold becomes dormant. Not only does mold need oxygen and adequate temperatures to survive, but it also needs a food source just like we do. While mold only feeds on organic materials, it can grow on any surface, especially concrete. While concrete may not supply an abundance of organic material, it provides just enough mold to spread to other areas of a building.  

How Exactly Does Mold Grow on Concrete? 

It’s true that mold may not find enough nourishment on concrete alone. However, it can feed on the pollen, moisture, algae, bacteria, dirt, and other particles that commonly gather on concrete. Mold produces an acid that can deteriorate concrete. This acid causes the concrete material to become more porous and absorbent, which allows for further accumulation of moisture and other particles. The presence of mold on concrete creates an endless cycle that is perfect for both the growth and spread of mold.  

Preventing Mold Growth 

To avoid the effects that mold growth can have on the structural integrity of a building–or the implications it can have on your health– it is wise to take the proper steps to prevent mold growth in the first place. The best way to prevent mold growth is in the beginning stages of construction. Implement natural ventilation to allow wet construction materials to dry. You can also use protective barriers and water-resistant materials that will help prevent mold growth. 

It is also imperative to be mindful of the order in which different elements are installed in a building. For instance, drywall should never be installed near wet concrete. This is an open invitation for mold growth. It is also important to understand that, when construction ends, desiccant dehumidifiers and temperature controls are used to ensure proper temperature and maintain adequate humidity levels. Finding a technician near you will also prove to be helpful in preventing mold growth on concrete slabs.  

Removing Mold Growth 

Removing mold growth from concrete is a relatively straightforward process. Unlike sheetrock, you don’t need to concern yourself with damaging any underlying material. If the area in which mold has formed is relatively large, it is best to rely on a professional technician to remove the abundance of mold. 

Do You Need Assistance From a Professional? 

Ohio Basement Authority has been helping homeowners with mold removal and preventive services for over a decade. Our experts are professionals who take immense pride in lending a helping hand to our local community members. If you have a mold problem, or would like to be proactive in preventing the accumulation of mold in or around your home, Contact us today for your free inspection! 

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