November 201 I
Facts about Mold
Molds are microscopic organisms that live on plant
or animal matter.They aid in the breakdown of
organic material and recycle nutrients back into the
environment. Mold can be found in the air and on
many surfaces, both indoors and outdoors. Mold can
enter your home through open doorways, windows,
vents and heating and air conditioning systems.
Molds reproduce by producing spores, which spread
through air, water, or by insects.These spores act
like seeds and can form new mold growth if the
conditions are right. Mold will grow in places with
a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs,
windows, pipes or where there has been flooding.
Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling
tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust,
paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric and
Your Home and Mold
Mold spores are wafted through the indoor and
outdoor air continually.When mold spores land on
a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and
digesting whatever they are growing on in order
to survive.When excessive moisture accumulates
indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if
the moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-
addressed. It is important to dry water damaged areas
and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
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.
How do I know if I have a mold problem?
A mold problem can usually be seen or smelled. Mold
growth may often appear as slightly furry, discolored,
or slimy patches that increase in size as they grow.
Molds produce a musty odor that may be the first
indication of a problem.The best way to find mold
is to examine areas for visible signs of mold growth,
water staining, or follow your nose to the source of
the odor. Other clues include excess moisture and
water damage. It may be necessary to look behind
and underneath surfaces, such as carpets, wallpaper,
cabinets, and walls.
Can mold make my family sick?
Exposure to mold can cause health effects in some
people.The most common effects are allergic
responses from breathing mold spores.These allergic
responses include hay fever or asthma and irritation
of the eyes, nose, throat or lungs. It is difficult to
say how much mold is too much as our reactions
to allergens can vary greatly depending on individual