The first thing to understand about mold is that
there is a little mold
everywhere - indoors and outdoors. It's in the air and can be found
plants, foods, dry leaves, and other organic materials.
It's very common to find molds in homes and
buildings. After all, molds
grow naturally indoors. And mold spores enter the home through
windows, and heating and air conditioning systems. Spores also enter
home on animals, clothing, shoes, bags and people.
When mold spores drop where there is excessive
moisture in your home, they
will grow. Common problem sites include humidifiers, leaky roofs and
overflowing sinks, bath tubs and plant pots, steam from cooking, wet
drying indoors, dryers exhausting indoors, or where there has been
Many of the building materials
for homes provide suitable nutrients for mold, helping it to grow.
materials include paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling
wood, and wood products, dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation
drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
Everyone is exposed to some amount of mold on a
daily basis, most without
any apparent reaction. Generally mold spores can cause problems when
are present in large numbers and a person inhales large quantities
them. This occurs primarily when there is active mold growth.
For some people, a small
exposure to mold spores can trigger an asthma attack or lead to
health problems. For others, symptoms may only occur when exposure
are much higher.
Yes. If indoor mold is extensive, those in your
home can be exposed to very
high and persistent airborne mold spores. It is possible to become
sensitized to these mold spores and develop allergies or other
concerns, even if one is not normally sensitive to mold.
Left unchecked, mold growth can cause structural
damage to your home as well
as permanent damage to furnishings and carpet.
According to the Centers for
Disease Control*, "It is not necessary, however, to determine what
mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with
potential health risks and removal."
Yes. An indoor air sample can be taken as well
as an outdoor sample to
determine whether the number of spores inside your home is
higher. If the indoor level is higher, it could mean that mold is
inside your home. Reliable air sampling can be expensive, time
and requires special equipment and a qualified technician.
If you can see or smell mold,
then you should take steps to clean-up the mold. Mold growth is
continue unless the source of moisture is removed and the