What is Mold
Mold is a fungus that thrives on moisture and poor ventilation. Mold spores are in the air naturally and attach to any place that is damp where they can begin growing immediately. They are present everywhere – indoors and outdoors. They serve an important role by helping to break down organic matter, but mold present on , or inside homes and dwellings present a serious health hazard . There are more than 100,000 species of mold. Molds grow tiny seeds called “spores” that will float in the air like dust. Spores can not be seen, but they can be breathed in. Mold is most likely to grow where there is water or dampness, such as in bathrooms and basements
Mold releases microscopic fungal spores that, if inhaled, can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms in some people, or cause coughing and sniffling, and other cold-like symptoms.There’s no real standard that has been set that states what level mold is ‘safe’ or can affect health. Every individual is different but feel if you can see or smell mold you should get rid of it.
Mold is alive it will grow and reproduce if it has what it needs: moisture, warmth and food. What it lives on is organic matter, so anything that comes from an organic source can feed mold: dust, dirt, paper, food, furniture, fabrics, carpets, drywall, and wood. If you keep your home dry, mold doesn’t grow. If you keep your house cold, or can somehow starve the mold, it won’t grow but that won’t kill the mold you already have. Mold spores will remain dormant, and when the conditions are right again, they’ll start to grow.
Mold can be difficult to identify. Mold comes in many colors, and thousands of types; it can black, white, red, orange, yellow, blue or violet. It can be fuzzy or have no texture. Sometimes it looks like dirt or a stain. And different kinds of molds grow on different materials: some need a lot of moisture, some are happy with trace amounts that are found within materials like wood.
Controlling the moisture and keeping the home dry is important in controlling mold growth High moisture levels in your home can either come in from the outside–such as through a foundation crack, flood or roof leak, or from inside–from the people living in the home. I’d say that’s the most likely source–through showering, washing clothes or cooking.
If you see condensation consistently on your windows, it is a sign of too much humidity in the home (between 30 and 50 per cent is ideal). You can measure how much moisture is in the air. Buy a hygrometer at a hardware store or electronics store–they cost between $10 to $60. Relative humidity in the home should be under 45 per cent in the winter (or lower to avoid condensation on windows). Then, if necessary, use a dehumidifier to lower the relative humidity. If you do have a water leak from inside or outside, don’t put off the repairs. A roof leak or foundation crack won’t get any better the longer you wait, and the more moisture that gets into you home, the worse the problem will get. Moisture can become a real problem in your home when there is not enough ventilation to expel that moisture
For more information about different types of mold and their impact on human health, visit our page discussing various mold species in detail