Common Questions About Household Mold
When your home is hosting unwanted guests — mold– you need facts.
Is it Plant or Animal?
Neither– mold is one type of fungus — different from plants, animals, and bacteria. The microscopic spores and hair-like bodies of individual mold colonies are decomposers of dead organic material such as leaves, wood, and plants. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air.
What does Mold Need to Live?
Three main ingredients that mold spores need to grow and thrive:
- Moisture: Mold spores need moist or damp areas to grow and reproduce. Watch for both: leaky pipes or windows plus excess moisture in the bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. It is not only surface water but also humidity in the air that encourages mold.
- Food: Mold spores need food like cotton, leather, wood, and paper products. While mold cannot get nutrients from an inorganic material such as concrete, plastic, glass, and metal, it can grow on the organic dirt/dust layer present on these surfaces.
- Optimum Temperatures: Mold spores thrive in temperatures 32 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures from about 70 – 90 degrees are the most conducive for mold growth. Actually, mold doesn’t die when temperatures drop below 32 degrees, it lays dormant until temperatures rise.
What Disrupts the Life Cycle?
The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can be prevented by controlling indoor moisture. If you clean up the mold but don’t eliminate the water source, the mold problem will come back. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60% ) by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside. Use air conditioners and dehumidifiers to increase ventilation. Use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
Open windows and doors when the weather permits. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting. Above all, repair any plumbing leaks immediately.
Is it Dangerous?
The answer is “it depends.” Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Mold can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of individuals whether or not they are allergic to mold. Molds can produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins that can cause illness when they are inhaled, absorbed through the skin or ingested.
What is Mold Remediation?
The term “mold remediation” means removing any traces of mold in order to prevent human exposure and damage to both building materials and furniture. It is necessary to clean up mold contamination, not just kill the visible mold. Experienced health and safety professionals like Clean Masters can properly handle environmentally contaminated materials.
Is Sampling Necessary?
If visible mold growth is present, sampling is not always necessary. Surface sampling may be useful to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. Sampling for mold should be conducted by professionals who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and interpreting results.
Who Knows More About MY Mold Problem?
In reality, the only thing you want to know about mold is “Who will help me get rid of mine?” With more than 20 years experience drying residential homes, schools, commercial buildings and hospitals, Clean Masters will evaluate and eradicate your mold infestation. For any mold damage help in Charleston, Summerville, Harleyville, Reevesville, Ridgeville, or Saint George, contact Clean Masters at (843) 972-3555 or at their website. Clean Masters has sophisticated equipment that is used to locate and track moisture that may be difficult to locate. By combining this equipment with our expertly trained technicians, Clean Masters has developed a detailed and comprehensive process that successfully eliminates all
moisture from a structure and its contents.