Molds are microscopic organisms (fungi) that will grow with sufficient moisture from high levels of humidity, damp areas, leaks or drainage problems.
How Mold forms: In order to reproduce, molds produce spores which are spread through air or water. These airborne spores act like seeds and attach themselves to a surface. They will begin to multiply with the right conditions. Stale air and high moisture levels aid in this process. Mold can also form in cold temperatures, such as a refrigerator, but the ideal temperature for growth is between 40 to 100 degrees.
Mold Types: In addition to the many areas that mold can grow, there are also many types of mold categories or groups. Often times, testing is required to determine the type of mold. Do not assume that all “black mold” is harmful. Much of the visible mold can often be corrected by proper cleaning and removing the moisture source. Other types of mold may pose a greater risk. Mold from undetected leaks, for example, can be potentially harmful and cause structural damage to buildings. The good news is most molds can be eliminated with the proper diagnosis and removal technique.
Common areas of where mold can grow in the house:
Bathrooms, basements, carpet padding, in the attic and under sinks from leaks. Mold will also grow on wood, drywall and areas out of view.
Bathroom Mold: Most molds found on tile, grout and caulk are members of the Cladosporium sp. Group. Most often, this type of mold can be easily corrected by the homeowner. Clean the areas with a solution of hydrogen peroxide & water. Remember, mold cannot grow in the absence of moisture. Therefore, to prevent future growth of mold, identify and correct the source of moisture. Provide adequate air circulation and squeegee the shower walls. This will help to reduce moisture in the room.
Wood and building materials: Some black mold in buildings is harmless both to humans and to the building structure. If a condition supports indoor mold growth on wood surfaces, an expert diagnostic inspection of mold spore counts may be the only way to determine if you have a problem. Porous materials with extensive mold growth should be discarded.
Hidden Mold: A greater risk to any home or building is the unseen damage of hidden mold. If left untreated, other mold spores may form and contribute to structural damage of the building. Some of the areas hidden mold can grow are:
- Back side of vinyl wallpaper
- Behind floor trim & wall cavities
- Around bathroom light fixtures & vanity cabinets
- Below floor tiles in the kitchen and baths
Preventing Mold: The key to reducing mold spores from forming colonies is to control the amount of moisture and increase air circulation in the room. If you smell mold or mildew, investigate and try to locate the source. Some mold sources will be difficult to find. Look for leaking water under sinks, along basement walls, and in attics. Dry out water-damaged areas as soon as discovered and keep humidity levels between 30 and 50 degrees.
Contact D&W Pest Solutions for clarification and identification if you suspect you have a mold problem. Our certified mold inspectors can determine if the amount of mold is hazardous to your health or building structure and provide mold remediation.