What is Mold?

Bottle brush (horsetail fern) spores, magnifie...

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Mold releases microscopic spores impossible to see with the naked eye. These airborne spores can trigger many physical reactions depending on the type of spore and quantity inhaled. Even a relatively small amount of mold spores could adversely affect infants, children, immune-compromised patients, pregnant women, individuals with existing respiratory conditions and the elderly. Of these thousands of existing molds, some are known as allergens while others produce harmful mycotoxins which could cause serious ailments.

There are many reasons. The first is the fact that the construction industry has changed dramatically in the past 40 years. Architects and builders are more focused on conserving energy and are constructing homes to be airtight. As a result, proper ventilation of these homes is almost non-existent.

Before air conditioning came about, we ventilated our homes through open windows. Today, a majority of homes rely on air conditioning systems to do that same job. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.
Most residential air conditioning systems are able to remove moisture but do not bring in any outside air. These systems circulate and cool the same indoor air over and over again resulting in improper ventilation for most homes.

Mold grows almost anywhere there is water or elevated moisture. In the right conditions, it can start growing within 24 to 48 hours and is often difficult to notice. Mold can grow behind walls and ceilings, leaky appliances, in attics, and even in your a/c system. People believe that if it can’t be seen, it is not there, however most of the time this is untrue. If you see any mold growth in your home, there is likely to be more that is hidden.

In summary, all molds, in the right conditions and in abundance, are a threat. Inhalation of large quantities of airborne mold spores can cause many health problems.

The purpose of a mold inspection is to determine the presence of mold spores, identify the kind of mold, determine the amount of spores found are normal or elevated for that environment, and to find the source that caused this mold growth.

TIPS:

Mold can be sneaky, growing just out of sight and causing a slew of allergy symptoms. Kill it and help keep it from coming back with these steps:

  • Fix leaky faucets and pipes
  • Make sure all rooms are properly ventilated
  • Use a vented exhaust fan to remove excess moisture
  • Keep the humidity in your house below 50% with air conditioners and dehumidifiers
  • Install extra dehumidifiers in places where mold collects
  • Use cleaning solutions designed to kill mold and mildew
  • Don’t over-water indoor plants – wet soil encourages mold
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