Mold on the walls: the consequences

There are different types of humidity , each of which generates the formation of mold on the walls in a different way; for this reason it is necessary to identify the type and consequently the most appropriate remedies so that the intervention can have a positive outcome.

There are three types of known humidity: rising damp , infiltrating humidity and condensing humidity .

Rising humidity
Rising humidity exploits the porous nature of common building materials to rise from the ground, transporting the salts and depositing them on the walls of the house. The causes of this phenomenon are to be found in the construction methods of the building which is often left in direct contact with the ground, without the laying of an adequate waterproofing layer in the attic against the ground.

There are, then, cases of unventilated houses on the ground floor or located in basements without ditches.

Rising humidity manifests itself through the formation of mold on the plaster and its detachment, threatening the stability of the building and generating health problems and economic damage due to heat dispersion.

Moisture from infiltration
The infiltration humidity can be of different types and, although it can be caused by the presence of water in the ground in contact with the external walls, it is good to be careful not to confuse it with rising damp .

As already mentioned, one of the causes concerns the direct contact of the basement floors, not adequately waterproofed, with soil containing water; there are, then, other triggering factors, such as the exposure to rain of the buildings on the ground floor or any breakages or leaks of hydraulic pipes that negatively affect the walls due to the resulting humidity phenomena. In summary, the triggering factor is due to the penetration of water into the walls or floor .


Even in the case of infiltrating humidity, it will be possible to notice the onset of dark spots on the walls of the basement floors, with consequent formation of mold and evident damage to the walls, or lifting, oxidation and opaque areas on the flooring..

Moisture from condensation
L ‘ moisture from condensation derived from the condensation of water vapor due to either poor thermal insulation -o in the presence of thermal bridges and occurs in a seasonal manner, affecting above-ground walls and rooms in the winter months, in particular high or low corners and floors; while in the summer months it is possible to identify the effects of the phenomenon in the floors of the ground-based rooms without thermal insulation.

Mold on the walls: the consequences
The consequences due to the formation of mold in the home and its proliferation are many and more or less serious.

The presence of this phenomenon can degenerate into a deterioration of the finishes of the building, affecting plasters, furnishings and everything that is present inside the confined spaces, or seriously threaten the health of the tenants with the appearance of irritation to the eyes and to the skin, allergic diseases of the respiratory tract with consequent symptoms of asthma and chronic bronchitis, or worsening of the state of health of people already suffering from certain specific diseases. Of course, the presence of mold in the house affects the value of the house.

It is therefore important to recognize that mold is toxic and to act effectively to stem its formation or intervene to eliminate the manifestations in progress.

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Humidity in the house

Starting from this definition, we begin to talk about molds , describing them as an agglomeration of mycelia whose appearance and color vary in relation to the type of spores involved and the environmental conditions in which this proliferation takes place.

The formation of mold is due to the migration of tiny spores produced by fungi which, carried by the air mainly in summer and autumn, settle on the surfaces of rooms that are “hospitable” for them, characterized by excess humidity and poor ventilation .

It is in these conditions that the spores, after having established themselves, germinate and begin the multiplication process, initially showing a series of dark dots which subsequently degenerate into dark and spongy spots, called mycelia.

Although habit leads us to associate the formation of mold on the walls of the house, it is important to know that these microorganisms are able to adapt to any type of surface that has the right conditions, such as clothing, books, sofas, etc.

It is therefore good to try to stem the phenomenon of humidity , or eliminate it if it is manifest, in order to prevent it from spreading uncontrollably, aggravating the conditions of environmental comfort and therefore health for the tenants.

Another important consideration concerns the ability of molds to settle in depth, seriously compromising the quality and durability of objects, but above all of buildings.

Mold in the house: the causes
There are several causes to which the formation of mold on the walls can be attributed , such as poor ventilation, excessive humidity, insufficient thermal insulation, lack of exposure to sunlight and inadequate maintenance; of primary importance is the role played by humidity , without which mold in the house could not settle and exist.

For this reason , molds tend to appear on the walls during the winter months , when humidity reaches high percentages due to the marked difference in temperature between inside and outside; this difference generates condensation points causing the formation of water droplets on the walls.

The presence of thermal bridges , that is “discontinuity of thermal insulation that can occur in correspondence with the grafts of structural elements (floors and vertical walls or vertical walls between them),” as reported by the Legislative Decree 192 of 2005 relating to the containment of energy consumption in buildings.

It is therefore necessary to resolve the dispersions in these critical points in order to achieve greater energy savings, translated into lower heating and cooling costs, and savings on maintenance costs due to an increase in the duration of the structure and its elements exempt from the degradation caused by humidity.

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