What Is Mold / About Mold
MOLDS ARE MICROSCOPIC ORGANISMS FOUND VIRTUALLY EVERYWHERE,
INDOORS AND OUTDOORS.
Mold is alive, but it is neither a plant nor an animal. Mold
is a type of fungus. It is part of a group of living organisms
that are very common and serve an important role in the
environment. Penicillin, an antibiotic that has saved many
lives, is a type of mold, as is yeast.
Mold is formed by microscopic creatures belonging to the Fungi
Kingdom. When tiny airborne spores of mold burst, and then
land on a favorable surface, they proliferate into visible
colonies, and find new favorable surfaces on which to further
FUNGAL GROWTH REQUIRES OXYGEN, ADEQUATE TEMPERATURE, NUTRIENTS
Thermophiles – 35ºC + human pathogens such as Aspergillus
Mesophiles – 18ºC to 35ºC
Psychrophiles – some fungi grow at 4ºC or below.
Paper, wallpaper, wallboard, sugars (fruits, vegetables),
fabrics, wood, dust, etc
HOW DOES MOLD GROW?
Mold seeks MOISTURE, WARMTH, and FOOD, and all three
conditions are necessary for it to grow. Mold is most
likely to find a place to grow in a bathroom, basement
or kitchen, but it can grow in other rooms if conditions
are favorable. The climate where you live and the living
habits in your household can affect the ability of mold
Mold spores can thrive and reproduce in wet or damp
parts of your home: areas that have had flooding or
where leakage has occurred in roofs, pipes, or walls, or
areas around house plants, especially ones that
sometimes are over-watered. In just 48 hours, a moist
environment combined with room-temperature conditions
and an organic food source can lead to mold growth.
SOME PLACES WHERE MOLD CAN GROW IN YOUR HOME ARE:
HOW DOES MOLD ENTER A HOME?
Mold spreads by creating reproductive cells called spores and sending them
into the environment. Mold spores are too small to detect with the naked eye.
They are everywhere around us and you cannot avoid being exposed to them.
Mold spores travel in the air and attach to people’s skin, clothing, shoes,
shopping bags and belongings. Other ways spores can enter your home invisibly
through open doors and windows
through your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system
on the fur of a pet
Once spores enter, they can settle onto carpeting or other surfaces inside
your home. You cannot keep spores out of your home, but regular home cleaning
and maintenance often can prevent mold problems before they arise.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY ENVIRONMENT HAS MOLD PROBLEMS?
High risk buildings:
1. Near forests, due to high concentration of mold colonies
2. Nearby the sea or a river as the high humidity level raises the development
of new colonies.
3. Buildings with poor sun exposure, as the sun is a natural germicide and
helps prevent humidity
If you see whitish, greenish, bluish, or even dark spots on the walls or
ceiling the place may have mold problems. Eliminate Botrytis Blight Gray Mold
Rooms that accumulate humidity such as bathrooms, kitchens or air conditioning
systems usually have problems with mold because fungi develop in high humidity
Rooms with water leakage or infiltrations may have mold infection.
If the mold infection is in closets, check for leakages from water pipes
CAN MOLD MAKE ME SICK?
High risk buildings:
Yes, Mold can make you sick. In addition to its being an unpleasant odor and
sight, mold can cause harmful effects to human health that might turn to
allergic infections and toxic reactions.
THE MOST COMMON MOLD ALLERGIC EFFECTS ARE:
Immune suppressed patients are more likely to develop mold
infections.Included in such groups we can highlight the danger to patients
Mold toxins studies suggest that toxins may be the cause of:
Nasal congestions and irritation
Mucous membrane irritation
Allergic reactions – Rhinitis and Asthma
Sneezing and coughing
Throat and eye irritation
Itching and skin stains
Under chemotherapy or radiotherapy;
Other immune-suppressed patients
Reactions in the immunological system (reducing the ability of the
organism to react to diseases);
Neurotoxin effects such as fatigue, headaches, memory loss, depression,
erratic moods, convulsions and shaking;
Potential cancer trigger.
HOW TO CONTROL MOLD?
It is impossible to completely eliminate airborne mold. Specialists warn
that living in environments entirely safe from mold spores, bacteria or
viruses would not be healthy since our immunological system needs to be
active. It is recommended that steps be taken to reduce airborne
microorganisms, not complete extermination.
Reduce humidity in your home by opening windows for approximately 30
Prevent leaks due to rain; and when unavoidable, dry and treat water
damage within 24 to 48 hours.
Regularly clean places that accumulate humidity such as showers, faucets
and pipes and the floor areas around such fixtures.
Limit carpets and plants in your home
Use air purifier to drastically reduce high contamination levels.
Whenever possible, leave objects exposed to sunlight after cleaning. It is
very important that objects are dried after cleaning otherwise they will
be subject to new mold contamination.
Porous materials such as wood, fabric, cushions, and mattresses retain
water and are likely to be contaminated, making it difficult to clean
them. In the event that these objects are contaminated, it is advised to