When people hear the word “mold” they tend to run for the hills. We know that having mold in our home is bad, but do we know everything we need to know about mold? We thought we’d give you a brief rundown on the basics.
What is mold?
Mold, one type of fungus, is different from plants, animals and bacteria. Molds are decomposers of dead organic material such as leaves, wood and plants. The spores and hair-like bodies of individual mold colonies are too small for us to see without a microscope. When a lot of mold is growing on a surface, it often appears black or green. If mold is growing behind vinyl wallpaper, colorful pink or purple splotches may appear. Mold growing on fabric is called mildew.
What does mold need to grow?
Mold needs water to grow; without water mold cannot grow. Mold also needs food, oxygen, and a temperature between 40 and 100 degrees. Molds prefer damp or water material. Some molds can get moisture from the air when the air is very damp, that is when the relative humidity is above 80%. The high humidity makes surfaces damp enough for mold to grow.
Mold makes spores that are like very small seeds. Spores can survive conditions that are too sunny, hot, cold, dry or wet for mold to grow. When spores are released, they can be carried by air or water to new locations. Some spores are so small they are more affected by air currents than by gravity. When spores land on a damp surface that has food and oxygen available, and if the temperature suits them, they will start to grow. It is important to realize that mold spores are present everywhere, in outside air as well as indoor air – unless very special precautions are taken to remove or kill them.
How can I prevent mold from growing in my home?
It’s simple – keep your home dry! If mold does not have moisture it cannot grow! Check out how AmeriClean deals with water damage restoration.
How do I keep my house dry?
First, prevent excessive moisture levels in the air by using exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens. Make sure the air from your clothes dryer exhausts from the house. Second, look for areas of dampness or wet spots. Roofs, windows, basement walls and plumbing pipes sometime leak. If a leak happens, dry the area immediately. Mold spores begin to grow 24-48 hours after a water leave. Dry the house quickly and mold will not be a problem.
First and foremost do not panic – mold is everywhere. The best thing to do when you come across mold and aren’t sure what to do is call the professionals. AmeriClean’s mold remediation crews use the latest mold remediation technologies and work with the leading environmental hygienists in Northwest Indiana to develop a custom remediation plan that best suits each circumstance.