Bacterial Growth and Moist Places: The Underlying Science

Home Maintenance in Pakuranga

Your home is likely to have multiple wet spots. It’s almost rare to have none. Obviously, there’s the kitchen and the bathroom for that. But aside from those places, water damage restoration professionals would always advise to have moist places dried out. They have a good reason: damp locations are a hotbed for potentially harmful bacterial growth.

But have you ever wondered why?

Water and Life

Moisture is among the four ideal conditions for bacterial growth. The other three are warm temperatures, oxygen, and environment pH levels. One reason is that bacteria need water to thrive, like everything else in this world. Water serves as a ‘digestive aid’ for bacteria for them to dissolve their food and convert it to energy. It also allows them to absorb the energy from their food into their cells, with water being used for various chemical reactions like passing waste.

A deeper look into this phenomenon goes back to water’s indomitable reputation as a life-giver on Earth. Scientists once proposed the Primordial Soup theory, which suggests that life on the planet began from a primitive ‘petri dish’ of essential nutrients and minerals. Water, of course, is involved: Soviet biologist Alexander Oparin theorised that this petri dish is a pond or ocean.

The nutrients from this body of water managed to mix with chemicals in the atmosphere, forming amino acids. As the building blocks of proteins, amino acids somehow evolved into the Earth’s earliest organisms.

Water seems to play a major role for life on Earth because of a specific biological structure. All living things use a membrane which separates organisms from their environment. To live, organisms must take in nutrients to make energy while keeping toxic substances at bay. Water is perfect for this task since it is liquid at an acceptable temperature. This makes it an efficient method of nourishing the organism via mineral transfer.

The aforementioned reason explains why astronomers hunting for ETs would completely ignore planets if they don’t have a chance of harbouring liquid water. For a planet to have water, however, it must be in its parent star’s habitable zone — the same area wherein Earth is placed in the solar system. It is where the temperature is not too hot or too cold.

Now, how does this talk of ETs connect with bacterial growth in your home? Simple: water breeds life, even unwanted ones. Make it a point of keeping any forms of it out, including moisture, to ward off unwanted, potentially harmful microbial house guests.