Understanding Mold Under the right conditions (moisture, a food source, and time) mold will grow, multiply and produce spores. Mold grows throughout nature as well as the built environment. Mold reproduces by microscopic cells called “spores” that can be spread easily through the air. Mold spores are always present in the indoor and outdoor air. There are mold that can grow on any organic substrate including wood, paper, carpet, food, ceiling tiles, dried fish, carpet, or any surface where dust has accumulated. When excessive moisture or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold spores in the indoor environment. The way to control indoor mold growth is to control the amount of moisture available to the mold. Mold growth can become a problem in your home or office where there is sufficient moisture and the right foodstuff is available. The key to preventing mold growth is to prevent all moisture problems. Of course, hidden mold can grow when there is water available behind walls, sinks, floors, etc. Indications of hidden moisture problems are discoloration of ceiling or walls, warped floors or condensation on the windows or walls.
Health Related Risks:
Based on the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, dampness and mold in homes is associated with increases in several adverse health effects including cough, upper respiratory symptoms, wheeze, and exacerbation of asthma. Mold and fungi contain many known allergens and toxins that can adversely affect your health. Scientific evidence suggests that the disease of asthma may be more prevalent in damp affected buildings. Dampness and mold in homes, office buildings and schools represent a public health problem. The Institute of Medicine concluded, “When microbial contamination is found, it should be eliminated by means that not only limit the possibility of recurrence but also limit exposure of occupants and persons conducting the remediation”