MOLD BASICS

What is Mold?

What is Mold?

 

Mold is a fungus, and like all fungi, it thrives in moist places. Mold spreads by emitting spores, microscopic particles that are often as small as a single cell. Spores float around in the air until they land on a surface. Mold spores are everywhere, outside as well as inside your house. It would be practically impossible to remove all mold spores from a house without installing some kind of massive industrial clean room filtration system.

 

Luckily, mold spores are only able to form mold when they land on a moist surface. That means that if you can keep the interior of your home dry, you can avoid having any problems with mold. The best way to prevent mold in your home is to clean up spills, repair leaks in your roof, plumbing or HVAC system and make sure your kitchen and bathroom are properly venting moisture out of the house.

 

Where Can Mold Grow?

 

Mold can grow on just about any surface type you could imagine. From wood to ceiling tiles, wallpaper, insulation, and even sheetrock. As long as moisture is present, mold will continue to grow and, in some cases, it can start to break down and destroy whatever it is growing on in the process as it feeds. Mold is especially fond of areas around your home or business that are higher in humidity, or have a lot of excess moisture lingering around.

 

Types of Mold

 

There are hundreds of thousands of different types of molds that range from helpful to harmful. Harmful molds are classified into three groups:

 

  1. Allergenic; causes allergies and allergic reactions

  2. Pathogenic; causes infections in healthy people

  3. Toxigenic aka "Toxic Mold"; produces toxic substances that can be deadly

 

 One of the most widely recognized molds is actually a medicine: Penicillin. Penicillin is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections such as pneumonia and syphilis. Penicillin is also classified as an Allergenic mold. Some other notable molds that are commonly found in homes are listed below.

 

 

Acremonium-Toxigenic

 

Alternaria-Allergenic

 

Aspergillus-Allergenic

 

Aureobasidium-Allergenic

 

Chaetomium-Pathogenic 

 

Cladosporium-Allergenic

 

Fusarium-Toxigenic

 

Mucor-Allergenic

 

Stachybotrys aka "Black Mold"- Toxigenic

 

 

 

 

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