What is Mold?
Mold is a part of the environment and can be found almost anywhere that moisture and oxygen are. Mold needs water to grow. Anytime you have excessive moisture in your home, you run the risk of mold growth happening. Especially if the moisture is from an undetected or unnoticed source.
Mold grows on organic material such as Wood, Paper, Carpet, Insulation and Food. Mold spores can grow within 24-48 hours, so make sure you take control of the excess moisture right away. You want to try and keep your humidity level between 30-50% in your home, but definitely less than 60%.
Mold can cause health issues, particularly harmful to children and the elderly.
Mold spreads by producing tiny microscopic spores that are transported through the air by wind movement. Just walking by can create enough of a breeze to move the spores.
According to the EPA, here are the Top Ten Things you should know about Mold:
- Potential health effects.
- There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
- If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
- Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60% ) to decrease mold growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers; increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
- Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
- Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
- In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
- Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods