Understanding Mold: The Basics

This article is the first in a 4-part series on mold and mold removal in the home. In this introduction, we will teach you the basics about mold, so you will understand the problem, and teach you the keys to removing it from your home.

There are 3 things to keep in mind when dealing with mold:

  1. Mold comes when there is unattended moisture in your home.
  2. The key to controlling mold is moisture control.
  3. Damp/wet surfaces need to be dried within 24 hours to prevent mold from forming.

People often wonder why mold is growing in their home. The answer is simple – because there are mold spores finding moisture somewhere that it shouldn’t be.

Mold is an important part of nature and helps break down organic matter, like leaves and debris from dying trees. Without mold, all the leaves that fall every autumn would keep building up, and the face of Earth would be buried in leaves. Indoors, however, mold needs to be avoided, because it will have the same effect on your walls and structure of you house – breaking it down, weakening it and eventually rotting it away.

It’s important to understand how mold actually grows if you intend to properly prevent it or remove it. The first lesson is that molds reproduce via spores that are invisible to the naked eye, and they are constantly floating the the air, both inside and out. Theses spores require water to actually grow – if mold spores land on a dry surface, there is nothing to feed them and they perish… it’s only when surfaces become wet that mold thrives and begins to grow.

Why Is Mold Dangerous?

Mold is dangerous, because of the fact that it can go undetected and begin causing health problems to the people who live in the house. Molds produce allergens, irritants, and even toxic substances known as mycotoxins. What is worse, you don’t even have to come into contact with the mold on your skin, you can become susceptible to it simply by inhalation. Common reactions to mold include hay fever, sneezing, itching and skin rashes. It can also irritate your eyes, throat and lungs.

How Do You Get Rid of Mold?

We’ll get more into this in our second part of this series – but the big lesson we wanted to get across here is that you must take care of any moisture problems if you are going to prevent mold from growing in your home. If you just clean up the mold, and the moisture problem persists, the same spores will continue to land and grow mold inside your home. Effectively cleaning up the mold that you do have is very important.