At Tucci Builders, we specialize in mold detection and remediation and think it is important to educate our family, friends, and customers about mold. Certain species can be hazardous to our homes, but more importantly our health. This is why we would like to provide everyone with some general knowledge on mold (what it is, how it spreads, how to test for it, etc.).
What is Mold?
Mold is an organism, but it is neither plant nor animal. It is part of the fungi kingdom.
Mold can be found everywhere; in the air outdoors as well as indoors. Mold generates seeds called spores into the air in order to reproduce. These spores can remain dormant for as long as 50 years! Under the right conditions, they become active and begin to spread, releasing more spores into the air.
There are many types of mold varying in their degree of toxicity to humans, but there are some types that have been identified as hazardous.
Conditions for Mold Growth
Mold needs moisture and the right temperature. If you have an area in your home that lacks direct sunlight and has been exposed to moisture, you could have mold growth. Water leakage, condensation, and humidity can cause moisture to accumulate. These areas do not have to be damp or wet for long; most molds only need 24 to 48 hours in the right conditions to become active and spread.
In addition to moisture, mold needs the right temperature. Some mold species can grow in low temperatures such as 35 degrees Fahrenheit, but most mold requires warmer temperatures.
So mold needs moisture and the right temperature to grow, but does that mean that if it doesn’t have the right conditions the the problem will disappear? The answer is no. Unfortunately, mold has the ability to lay dormant until it has favorable conditions to grow again. This means that mold must be removed completely once it is found. Simply drying the area or changing the temperature will not solve the mold problem.
Where Can Mold Grow?
Mold can be found growing on surfaces like carpet, wood, or insulation. It can even grow on paper or clothes, but the most common place for mold growth is drywall.
Drywall is highly susceptible to mold growth because of the properties of the materials that is made from. These materials include paper and organic additives and binders which provide food for mold to grow.
It might not always be obvious there is a mold problem; mold often grows behind walls or wallpaper. The space behind walls often contains pockets of humid, moist air. If there is mold growing behind a wall, invasive inspection methods will need to be used or you can speak with a professional about mold testing.
How Do You Know if You Have Mold?
You may be able to see mold on surfaces in your home, but in some instances it might not be apparent that there is a mold problem. If you think you might have mold, but cannot see any on the surface, look for these signs and symptoms.
Visual Signs of Mold:
- Discoloration, peeling or bubbling paint, or bulging walls or ceilings from water intrusion.
- Water intrusion from a roof leak, flooded basement, broken pipe, etc. that was not completely dried out within 24-48 hours
- Musty smell
- Allergy symptoms that lessen when you are not at home such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, or skin rashes
Remember, it might not always be obvious there is a mold problem; mold often grows behind walls or wallpaper. The space behind walls often contains pockets of humid, moist air. If there is mold growing behind a wall, invasive inspection methods will need to be used or you can speak with a professional about mold testing.
What You Should Do if You Have a Mold Problem
You should never attempt to remove any mold without the proper precautions. If proper protective equipment is not used and the area is not properly contained, millions of mold spores could be released into the air and spread to other areas. It is the lengthy process, use of specific equipment, and the possibility of spreading the mold, that many people prefer having a professional handle the mold removal and remediation.
If you think you might have mold, contact us and we can answer any questions you have and schedule a free estimate.