All About Mold
Mold is a type of fungi, and it can be found everywhere! It is in the air and on most surfaces, and generally doesn't cause more than mild allergy symptoms. However, it becomes a problem inside a home or business when there is excessive moisture or humidity. It finds these wet surfaces and begins to grow. Mold can release toxic gasses and may cause allergies, asthma, and other health issues.
The moisture problem can originate from sudden water releases, like a burst pipe or large spill that goes untreated, or from a chronic condition, such as a leaking roof or plumbing. Even high humidity or warm, moist air condensing on cool surfaces can trigger mold problems. If you can see mold on the outside of a surface, you should be concerned about what is growing on the other side. It's always best to have the mold evaluated and removed by a certified and licensed professional.
Molds release microscopic spores to reproduce, just as some plants produce seeds. These mold spores can be found in both indoor and outdoor air, and settled on indoor and outdoor surfaces. When mold spores land on a damp spot, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Since molds gradually destroy the things they grow on, you can prevent damage to building materials and furnishings and save money by eliminating mold growth.
Moisture control is the key to mold control. Molds need both food and water to survive, and since molds can digest most things, water is the factor that limits mold growth. Molds will often grow in damp or wet areas indoors. Common sites for indoor mold growth include showers, basement walls, areas around windows where moisture condenses, and near leaky pipes.
Common sources or causes of water or moisture problems include roof leaks, deferred maintenance, condensation associated with high humidity or cold spots in the building, localized flooding due to plumbing failures or heavy rains, and slow leaks in plumbing fixtures. Uncontrolled humidity can also be a source of moisture leading to mold growth, particularly in hot, humid climates.
The level of mold contamination found in a structure can be grouped into three categories:
Condition 1: Normal Fungal Ecology. An indoor environment that may have settled spores, fungal fragments, or traces of actual growth whose identity, location, and quantity is reflective of a normal fungal evology similar indoor environment. The goal of mold remediation is to return a structure to Condition 1.
Condition 2: Settled Spores. An indoor environment which is primarily contaminated with settled spores that were dispersed directly or indirectly from a Condition 3 area and which may have traces of actual growth.
Condition 3: Actual Growth. An indoor environment contaminated with the presence of actual mold growth and associated spores. Actual growth includes growth that is active or dormant, visible or hidden.