What is mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that grows on plants and fibers and is most often associated with damp, musty locations such as bathrooms, basements and attics. Mold travels through the air as tiny spores which like to make their home in wet areas, where they will breed. It is also a good indication of a moisture problem, which should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Mold and mold spores are in the environment year-round, indoors and out. Although more prevalent in warm, humid climates, molds exist throughout the globe. Typically “fresh” air contains more mold spores than pollen grains.

Mold spores are the reproductive part of mold or fungus that causes allergic reactions. Molds feed off decomposing plant and animal matter and grow by producing filament-like clusters. Mold and fungi reproduce by giving off huge numbers of mold spores into the air, similar to plants releasing pollen. When airborne mold spores settle on organic matter, new mold clusters are grown. When mold spores are inhaled, they may trigger an allergic reaction.

Black mold or toxic mold contamination has been in the news for several years. Black mold is extremely toxic and can be deadly, especially to children with mold allergies. Toxic mold has become almost epidemic in southern U.S. homes and businesses where foam board was used as wall insulation with no air space to let walls breathe. Wallboard, sheetrock or cellulose insulation can act as wicks for any floodwater or unrepaired water leaks. After black mold begins in homes or buildings, mold spores are continuously released by the mold clusters. Microscopic mold spores quickly become airborne and travel throughout the air conditioning and heating systems. A mold infested structure creates a lethal environment for anyone predisposed to allergies… 

Mold and mildew growth is obvious when it grows in bathrooms along tile grout in shower stalls. However, mold also can grow in: 

  • Closets and storerooms.
  • Foam pillows.
  • Refrigerator door gaskets.
  • Self-defrosting refrigerator water pans.
  • Refrigerator cooling coils.
  • Under-sink cabinets.
  • Room air conditioner units.
  • Washing machines.
  • Dryer vents.
  • Garbage cans.
  • Basements.
  • Carpets. Sheetrock and wallboard.
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