Information About Mold
Facts about mold are numerous, and these fungi number in the hundreds of thousands. Mold is present everywhere, inside and outside of your home. Mold is a type of fungus, similar to mushrooms, yeast, and other types of fungi. Mold grows outdoors on soil, plants both alive and decaying, and on other dead and decaying materials outside. Mold, also commonly called mildew, thrives in conditions that are warm, moist, and dark, but it can live in conditions that are not optimal. These include areas in your kitchen and bathroom where it is not dark but it is humid and moist. Mold can be found in almost every color under the sun, from white to black and other colors in between.
Mold may cause an odor when present, which smells musty, earthy, or stale. Molds reproduce by drying out and releasing spores into the air, which are carried until the right circumstances are found that allow the mold to colonize and grow. This cycle is repeated over and over again, as mold spores are present in every home and area in the United States, and around the world. Every day almost everyone breaths in a small amount of mold spores, and these usually cause no problems as they are eliminated from our bodies. For people who are sensitive to molds, or if molds which produce mycotoxins are present, excreting these toxins, health problems can result in anyone who is exposed to certain mold.
Mold can get into your home, and other buildings, by finding moisture and water in the home and then growing. When your home has high humidity levels in the air, water problems and damage, or moisture that is not ventilated, mold can grow and cause problems. Mold may cause health problems, depending on the mold that is present. It can also cause problems with the structure and integrity of your home as well. When mold colonizes and grows, it needs food to do so and continue the process. This food is supplied by the affected building materials, including wallpaper, floorboards, drywall, gypsum board, fiber and particleboard, carpet, ceiling panels, and building lumber along with a host of other materials. The mold breaks down and weakens these materials, causing them to loose effectiveness. If mold contamination is left unchecked, you may end up doing expensive repairs to the structure of your home, as well as paying high costs for professional mold remediation. Common causes of mold contamination can include roof and plumbing leaks, flooding problems, moisture condensation on cold surfaces, and damp crawl spaces and basements that are not sealed and waterproofed. Mold also commonly grows in the bathroom and kitchen, because steam from cooking and hot water from showering and bathing adds humidity to the air.
Preventing mold growth is not complicated or difficult. Stopping the mold growth is a simple solution; repair the problem causing moisture and water. Even without moisture and damp areas, mold may be present, but will not usually cause any health problems. Control humidity levels in your home by using air conditioners and dehumidifiers. Make sure there are ventilation fans installed in your kitchen and bathrooms, as well as the laundry areas in your home. Proper ventilation allows excess moisture to escape to the outside instead of staying trapped in your home where it can contribute to mold growth. Make sure to regularly inspect for any leaks or water problems and damage, and repair these problems immediately. Any items and materials that have been damaged by water should be either thoroughly dried out and cleaned or thrown away and replaced. Make sure your dryer hose is vented to the outside, and is firmly attached. This will prevent moisture from damp clothes in the dryer from escaping into your home. Make sure that the outside insulation of your home is done right, because this will keep any condensation from affecting the interior walls of your home, and keep any moisture out of the wall spaces where it can grow hidden and undetected.
Mold testing and mold inspections can play an important role in detecting and identifying any mold contamination in your home. Olympian offers mold and certified mold inspections in the New Jersey and New York areas, that can allow you to determine if you have a mold problem, which mold types are causing the problem, and how extensive the mold contamination is. Protecting yourself and the ones you love from mold contamination can be serious, especially if anyone who lives in or visits your home is very young, very old, or has a lowered immune system because of a medical condition or treatment.