Mold (or mould) is a term used to refer to fungi. It is a living organism and grows in dark areas and digests what it grows on. You may have noticed mold on your food or on a moist surface. Some molds can cause disease and others play an important role in biodegradation. There are even some molds that are key to the production of various foods, beverages, antibiotics and enzymes.
But what exactly causes mold to form in the first place? There are several things that can cause mold to form. The strange thing is that they are related in a lot of ways, but also very different. There is, however, one thing that causes mold to grow. It’s the surrounding conditions.
Mold growth requires moisture. Without it, mold can’t grow. The most common sources of moisture could be condensation, air humidifiers, washing, or cooking. Moisture could be a result of a plumbing leak. Moisture doesn’t have to exist in large amounts, but it must be present. Poor ventilation in places like a bathroom, or kitchen can contribute to higher humidity levels and leads to condensation, which allows mold to grow.
Darkness and Temperature
Have you ever wondered why basements smell “musty”? It’s because mold grows so well in basements. Mold doesn’t grow in ultraviolet light which means it can’t grow if the sun is present. The same goes for cupboards, behind paneling and under carpets. The biggest mold hiding places are the locations that light isn’t present for long periods of time. Temperature is another ingredients that must be just right for mold to grow. Have you ever wondered why you don’t see mold in the wintertime or in places that are typically cold? Freezing temperatures are mold deterrents which is why you typically notice mold in the summertime.
Food and Oxygen
Mold is a living organism so it requires food to grow. Mold likes to eat things like wood, cotton, and drywall. These food groups are commonly found in a house which explains why mold can grow so quick and easily in our homes. Mold also needs oxygen to grow. If oxygen isn’t present, mold can’t grow. Just as we can’t survive without oxygen, either can mold. We’re both living organisms.
Mold doesn’t grow in minutes; it usually takes time to form. That’s why it’s important to clean up water spills right away. Mold usually takes between 24 hours and 48 hours to be present, but that’s only if the conditions are just right for it to grow. If certain ingredients are missing, it may take longer for mold to grow.
The best way to prevent mold is to continually make sure your home is free of moisture. Ultimately that’s the most important thing that’s needed for it to grow. The other things are required, but without moisture it’s not going to happen. If you’re careful with water; have a sump pump in your basement, keep an eye on water lines, and have venting in bathrooms without windows, you’ll have a better chance of preventing mold from forming. It’s a good idea to check your house regularly for these things because mold can cause illnesses and damage to your home in a short amount of time.
If we discover mold and/or mildew contamination, our professional ethics and certifications require us to report the contamination to the home owner and the insurance company to protect the occupants and our employees from any unsafe or unnecessary exposure to contaminants. We will present remediation options which give cost effective methods to deal with the mold and/or mildew.