Introduction to Molds

Introduction to Molds

Molds produce tiny spores which are necessary for reproduction. Mold spores move through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When they land on a damp area, they can begin growing if a food source exists. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur within 24-48 hours, particularly if the moisture problem is not addressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold spores in the indoor environment, so controlling moisture is essential.

Things You Should Know About Mold

  • Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints
  • If a mold problem exists, control moisture to prevent the problem from worsening
  • Keep indoor humidity below 60% by venting bathrooms, dryers, and kitchens, using air conditioners and de-humidifiers, and increasing ventilation
  • Clean and dry any wet building materials and furnishings within 48 hours
  • Reduce the potential for condensation by adding insulation (i.e. bathroom ceilings)
  • Areas with chronic moisture issues should not be carpeted
  • Mold can grow on virtually any substance if moisture and a food source are present.  Inorganic substances can grow mold when covered with dust, debris, etc.

Can Mold Cause Health Problems?

Yes.  Molds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances. Symptoms may include sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and/or skin rash. Some people may have more severe reactions such as fever and shortness of breath. Consultation with a doctor is suggested for those experiencing these symptoms or worse.

How Do I Get Rid Of Mold?

It is impossible to get rid of all mold spores indoors, therefore “mold free” homes do not exist.  Mold cannot grow if sufficient moisture is not present, so controlling moisture is the key to stopping mold. All moisture related issues must be fixed prior to starting mold remediation.