Things You Need to Know

Mold 101

Mold spores may be found lying dormant everywhere. Unless large numbers of spores become airborne, there is usually little problem. However, when mold spores are on a surface with an appropriate moisture content, nutrients, and temperature, the spores will germinate and grow.

Mold should not grow indoors unless there are moisture problems in the building or home. Obvious cases where moisture is a problem such as floods, roof leaks, problems with the drainage or plumbing should be properly dried to avoid mold growth. A less obvious source of moisture is the effect of temperature gradients in locations where relatively warm and moist air comes into contact with cool surfaces. Keeping the relative humidity in your home or business less than 55% will help prevent spontaneous mold growth.

Summer's air conditioning units may harbor mold spores that can cause illness. In winter, mold can grow where exterior windows and walls are not insulated against the interior walls, creating a feeding ground for mold.

Most molds get their food from the environment, living and feeding on dead organic matter. Many building components and contents contain materials that are excellent food sources for mold, such as wallpaper glue, some paints, greases, paper, textiles, and wood products. Indoor dust may contain fibers, dead skin cells, and other organic matter than can serve as a food source for mold when moisture is available.

While mold is safe for most people in normal amounts, it must be understood that when mold is disturbed the airborne amount of mold spores and fragments can increase a million fold, creating a hazardous condition. Only professionals with proper training and equipment should remove large amounts of moldy material in a home or business. The EPA has some great information here regarding mold removal.

Mold is everywhere and safe in small doses for most people; however it can be hazardous when allowed to grow over time. If you think you have a mold problem, call Sentry Construction Company to investigate.