Mold is everywhere. It is in the air we breathe, though in such small doses it is harmless. Mold becomes a large problem as it lands on something and begins to grow in the environments it likes. But what are its preferred environments? What exactly is mold and what causes it? Where can mold grow and what can you do to avoid it?
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungi, which helps aid with decomposition and the breaking down of nutrients. In nature, it is a largely beneficial fungi, but indoors, it can cause serious health issues or even death.
There are over a thousand species of mold, though every single one of them is a menace inside the household. They all require moisture for growth. As mold grows, they grow in clusters of spots that range from black to brown. Other colors include purple, pink, or orange. While some molds are beneficial in food or pharmaceutical production, mold inside the house can cause health issues.
What Can Cause Mold?
Nothing actually causes mold, considering it is a life form and it floats through the air as microscopic organisms. It is a natural part of the air we breathe; however, what causes the process of rot with mold is through the environment itself. Various species of mold like to grow in the same type of environment: damp, moist, and dark. They like to brood in the dark with moisture to keep them company. Temperature is not a large factor in the location of mold growth, since mold can grow in places such as the old cheese left in the refrigerator or the beach towel left outside in the sun.
Where Can Mold Grow?
Since different kinds of mold like to grow in similar places that are at least damp and left alone, anywhere that fits those criteria is a candidate for mold growth. In your home or building, while mold can grow anywhere, specific locations are anywhere involving plumbing or the common passage of water. This can include the kitchen, bathroom, or washrooms. In the kitchen, the sink, dish washer, and refrigerator are common areas for mold, since mold loves condensation. In the bathroom, mold loves to grow on the shower curtains, as well as near the toilet or sink. In washrooms, mold usually grows near the washer, or on any wet clothes that have been ignored for at least a day or two. Mold can also be found on the walls, in the floor, or on the ceiling after water leaks or flooding.
What to Do to Avoid Mold Growth?
Since mold can grow anywhere, the most general recommendation is to regularly clean your home or structure. In the kitchen, be sure to regularly clean your refrigerator and its contents. Keep all food fresh and throw out after three to four days. In the bathroom, regularly clean around the sink, toilet, and shower curtains. After a flood, be sure to clean the affected areas. If mold still grows, call a professional to have it professionally removed.
The moment you smell a moldy odor, do not hesitate. Immediately inspect your house for signs of mold. Signs of mold include dark spots that are close together. If mold is left to grow, you may start to notice respiratory and other health issues as you breathe the mold into your system due to its spores. Daily household mold is dangerous on its own, but if you have black mold, immediately call a professional to avoid future health issues or even death.