Molds are organisms that may be found indoors and outdoors. They are part of the natural
environment and play an important role in the environment by breaking down and digesting organic
material, such as dead leaves. Also called fungi or mildew, molds are neither plants nor animals; they are
part of the kingdom Fungi.
Molds can multiply by producing microscopic spores, similar to the seeds produced by plants. Many spores
are so small they easily float through the air and can be carried for great distances by even the gentlest
breezes. The number of mold spores suspended in indoor and outdoor air fluctuates from season to season, day to day, and even hour to hour.
Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
(Answer from www.epa.gov/mold/moldbasics.html)
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. If you detect a moldy or musty odor, it could be an indication that mold is growing in the building and it should be investigated.
Places to investigate for mold include areas with high humidity and in wet or damp spots in a building. Mold can grow on virtually any organic material as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that grow on wood, paper, carpet, food, and insulation.
In some cases, indoor mold growth may not be obvious. Mold does not need light to grow: it can grow in dark areas and on hidden surfaces, such as the backside of drywall, wallpaper, and paneling; the top side of ceiling tiles; and the underside of carpets and pads. Possible locations of hidden mold also include damp areas behind walls and in crawlspaces, inside pipe chases and utility tunnels (areas in walls where water and other pipes are run), on acoustic liners in ventilation ducts, and on roof materials above ceiling tiles.
Areas that are always or often damp, such as bathrooms, laundry/utility rooms, and basements, are common locations for mold growth in homes. Regularly check areas that have been or are likely to get wet.
**** Leave it to the professionals! ****
Investigating hidden mold can be difficult! Sapper 6 has professional staff with experience investigating water- and mold-damaged buildings. Investigating hidden mold requires caution since disturbing moldy areas may spread mold throughout the building.
Mold can be deceiving. You may think nothing of the dirty spot that is just stubborn and hard to clean. It might actually be MOLD! Here are a few pictures of mold we have found growing in homes around the area.
Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing.
Mold spores are microscopic and are naturally present in both indoor and outdoor air. Molds reproduce by means of spores. Some molds have spores that are easily disturbed and waft into the air and settle repeatedly with each disturbance. Other molds have sticky spores that will cling to surfaces and are dislodged by brushing against them or by other direct contact. Spores may remain able to grow for years after they are produced. In addition, whether or not the spores are alive, the allergens in and on them may remain allergenic for years. Proper mold mitigation will remove mold and the risks associated with mold.
Sapper 6 professionals can test the mold levels in your home and then offer you solutions to alleviate the levels that can ultimately harm your health. We don't just show you the levels, we fix them by installing state of the art solutions so you and your family will be safe and healthy in your own home.
See our Mold Testing page for more information regarding testing your home.
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