Property Management Blog

How does mold grow in the desert?

Steve Schultz - Friday, June 20, 2014
Property Management Blog The following is an article from one of my favorite contractors, Commercial Cleaning and Restoration. They are a carpet cleaning and restoration company here in Tucson, AZ.  You can visit their website at or call them at 520-297-4736. There is a common misconception that because we are in the desert, mold cannot grow in our climate.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  Please continue reading to better understand how mold can grow in the desert... Isn't mold something that our relatives in Seattle deal with? What could Tucson's 12 inches of average annual rainfall possibly do to our homes?

While it seems counter intuitive that mold could be a problem in our dry desert environment, nonetheless it can become a genuine health hazard if your home experiences a recurring leak or a flood. Ironically, desert dwellers tend to be all the more susceptible to mold issues because of the lack of rain. We usually don't check our roofs annually for cracks or failures; it doesn't occur to us to inspect the caulk or weather stripping around our doors and windows; and the added humidity during the monsoon months doesn't spur us to check our AC condensate lines. Tucsonans are, for better or worse, simply unaccustomed to thinking about moisture.

Back to nature
Mold is a natural part of the outdoor environment and is critical to breaking down dead organic matter, such as leaves and fallen trees. But, in our homes, unchecked mold growth can create a host of health issues such as asthma, headaches, and chronic sinus infections, among others. Here are some mold facts to remain aware of:

The combination of moisture and heat is potent. Whether you've experienced a leaking roof from monsoon storm damage, or moisture from one of our winter rains has made itself at home in your attic, warm temperatures trigger the most mold production. In fact, it can take only 24 to 48 hours from the time a leak begins to when mold can grab a foothold.
Here is a quick list of things to check and to repair that will help prevent mold-loving leaks:
·         Cracked, broken, or missing roof shingles.
·         Missing materials that may have been blown off
          the roof.
·         Poor roof seals (especially around skylights).
·         Improperly installed shingles, flashing, or
          any part of the roof.
·         Ponds of water on flat roofs.
·         Holes in the side of the home caused by blowing
          debris or woodpeckers.
·         Clogged air conditioning condensation lines.
·         Hot water heater leaks.
·         Sink leaks (bathroom and kitchen).
·         Shower / bathroom moisture and steam and no
          exhaust fan.
·         Places where water spilled or flooded that didn't
          dry properly
Ask an expert
If you find mold in your home, or if you wish to make certain that you do not have a mold problem, we are here to help. Using thermal imaging, we are able to determine whether any of the following are an issue:
·         Water damage and leaks in roofs and walls.
·         Plumbing leaks, faulty pipes, and clogged drains.
·         Mold, mildew, and fungi growth.

If you experience any water or mold damage this monsoon season, remember that we are a full-service restoration company that's here to help you get your life back in order as quickly as possible!