What Makes Mold Grow?
Mold only needs a few things to grow and can become a very big problem:
- A food Source (Nutrients)
- Optimal place to grow (Mold can grow on almost anything!)
- Moisture – of any kind
Mold Testing, Why?
- You notice a mold or musty smell, mold is visual, or someone is showing negative health symptoms that could be related to mold exposure
- You have had a bathroom leak, burst pipe, roof leak or your home was flooded and experienced water damage
- To help identify exactly the species of mold in your home
- To pin point where mold is growing – the likely or unlikely places
- To test indoor air quality by measuring the amount of spores in the air
- To test if previous mold problems have been fully remediated
Many common building materials, such as wood and drywall provide the ideal ‘food’ that can support mold growth! Even the smallest of dust particles that have settled on these materials or furniture can be a an excellent food source for molds. They can grow almost anywhere there is enough moisture or high humidity.
The EPA states from there website the following:
10 Things You Should Know About Mold
- Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma and other respiratory complaints.
- 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 decrease mold growth by: (to 30-60%)
- 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.
Ways to reduce indoor humidity?
- Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
- Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
- Increasing ventilation
- Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
Air Quality Testing – Why is it important? Air sampling tests the concentration of mold spores in your home’s air. Samples are taken from the air and are then examined under a microscope by a qualified lab to analyze the results for accuracy. Air tests can tell you if you have a mold problem even if you cannot see or find any evidence that it exists.