Water in your home can come from many sources. Water can enter your home by leaking or by seeping through basement floors, from groundwater in the exterior, a sump pump malfunction, or even water pooling against the foundation due to a gutter/drain spout failure. In addition, interior plumbing can leak, or the humidity from showers or even cooking can add moisture to the air in your home.
Basements and crawl spaces of homes have particular problems with relative humidity, as they are surrounded on five (5) surfaces by the ground. The contact with the ground keeps this area cool and moist. If areas like a basement or crawl space are not conditioned and controlled, high relative humidity conditions can prevail and affect your structureís building components like joists, floor sheathing, walls and flooring.
Attics are also area where mold can grow, primarily due to lack of ventilation within the attic area. Most people realize the importance of insulating an attic, but few realize that the ventilation of the attic is as important. If the attic has in-adequate ventilation, the warm air of the home will rise into the attic and be unable to exit this area. The amount of moisture that the air in your home can hold depends on the temperature of the air. As the temperature goes down, the air is able to hold less moisture. This is why, in cold weather, moisture condenses on cold surfaces (like attic roof sheathing/decking). This moisture provides a perfect situation where mold pollutants to grow.
Moisture problems in commercial buildings can be caused by a variety of conditions, including roof and plumbing leaks, condensation, improper ventilation, flooding, closed area conditions, and excess humidity. Some moisture problems in commercial buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the past twenty to thirty years. These changes have resulted in more tightly sealed buildings that may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems are also associated with delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance, due to budget and other constraints. Temporary structures such as trailers and portable classrooms, have frequently been associated with moisture and mold problems.