Here in southwestern Pennsylvania, we tend to let our guard down on mold because the temperatures have dropped. Nonetheless, while mold thrives in warm, humid environments, the key factor to mold growth is moisture.
Moisture can be caused by plumbing leaks, leaking/dripping roofs, high condensation, or what every house built here in the 50's has — exterior closets with no insulation. Your closet is built with plaster or drywall, and if your closet is next to an exterior wall, most likely there is no insulation.
What do these spaces all have in common?
- Food (drywall or plaster)
- Darkness (death stare from dad if you left the light on)
- Moisture (usually from exterior condensation, leaky roof/gutter)
- Lack of Air Movement (solid door & area with no air movement)
- Condensation (warmer interior air meeting cold damp exterior air)
- Lack of Insulation (cost saving measure 50's).
Some precautions to take to stop moisture from increasing :
- Check for any potential plumbing behind or above the closet area.
- Check for any missing shingles, or valleys that are loose/have popped up from the shingles.. Double check any clogged, loose or missing gutters/downspouts.
- Inspect what is underneath your closets. Make sure there's some sort of insulation keeping the cold/moisture from seeping in.
- Lastly, inspect for insulation in the exterior wall by removing the baseboard; knock a 2" hole in the drywall/plaster, and stick your finger inside the wall cavity to see if there's insulation.
If the job appears too much to take on yourself, cordially call your nearest restoration professional for an inspection. They should be able to help you save dad's winter coat, mom's duck shoes, or little Joey's Air Jordan's from further damage.
Remember, you don't have to be wet, when you're inside. Keep moisture at bay, everyday!