What is Mold?
Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. Mold has a job, it’s job is to breakdown dead organic matter and send it back to mother nature, No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to approximately three hundred thousand and about 1000 of those species grow in Canada.
Most molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, they spread by reproducing microscopic mold spores which are easily carried away on the wind. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions that do not support normal mold growth. Mold spores (microbes) need very little to survive and thrive: air moisture (liquid water isn’t necessary, most species grow with only 40% to 60% humidity), and food.
Once the mold spores become airborne they not only pollute your indoor air they spread inside wall cavities, behind wall cabinets, wallpaper, on carpets and through ventilation systems. When moisture and temperature conditions are favorable, widespread contamination can occur in 24 to 48 hours, a surprisingly short time.
Mold spores can be inhaled, absorbed through the skin or ingested on our food. Some people are more susceptible than others; one person may become debilitated by exposure to mold in the building while another sharing the same environment may not be immediately affected. Infants, the elderly and anyone with immune system deficiencies are particularly susceptible to illness following exposure to microbial contamination.
Microscopic view of a mold called Stachybotrys aka Toxic Black Mold
Not all Stachybotrys produce poisonous mycotoxins, it depends on the growing environment. Many species of mold and mildew or the mycotoxins they produce can cause or aggravate a number of ailments. Common effects from molds such as Stachybotrys, Cladosporium or Aspergillus are asthma, pneumonitis, respiratory problems, sinusitis, dry cough, skin rashes, headaches and nose bleeds. Severe exposure can lead to internal bleeding, kidney and liver failure and pulmonary emphysema and memory loss.
Therefore, we must recommend that great care be exercised in mold removal. A certified mold remediator removes mold through strict procedures that limit mold spore movement and prevents cross contamination in other areas of the building.
- Keep the humidity level in the house between 40% and 60%.
- Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
- Be sure the home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
- Clean bathrooms with mold killing products.
- Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.
- Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.