Mold Removal and Mitigation; Mold Facts part 1

I want to attempt to “mitigate” a rumor we hear again and again regarding mold.  Many homeowners try and figure out when mold got into their home and began to grow.  Truth is, the molds are always in your home and it’s surrounding environment.  The molds are always present as they are always present in nature, all around us at all times whether active, dormant or floating through the air as spores.  Mold is everywhere…even on you!  lol…

What actually changes to accommodate mold growth is when some occurrence, or occurrences, come together to create an environment conducive to mold propagation.  In a home or business, that almost always means the introduction of moisture, whether as standing water, condensed moisture or high humidity within a relatively enclosed environment such as a basement, attic and even within walls or ceilings.

It’s not uncommon when we initially investigate a mold removal/mitigation situation, the property owner is trying to figure out when the mold got in.  They understand that moisture has something to do with it but they don’t always understand that the molds have always been there.  Whenever we have Indoor Air Quality (IAQ’s) testing performed, they always perform a control test placed outside the home to see what molds are naturally present in the environment.  We expect to find them inside the home as well, at reduced concentrations. (We do not use this method of testing for attic spaces as the air in the attic is almost identical to the air outside when properly ventilated).

Molds are all around you, all the time, and they only need the proper environment to set up shop and begin to reproduce.  So what is necessary for mold to go from dormant to active?

Food source – mold feeds on all sorts of cellulose materials such as wood, fabrics, wall paper, and other materials commonly found in the home.

Temperature – mold thrives in temperatures between 40 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Oxygen – Although mold needs air, it grows best in areas of poor ventilation.

Water – mold needs water, moisture or high humidity in order to grow.

When you look at the environmental needs for most molds to grow you notice the first three are common for most homes and buildings.  Building materials to act as food, a temperature range that would incorporate most environments that humans find comfortable, Oxygen…. it needs air although stagnant is best; and as humans, our houses need air!…  :) The molds are always present at some concentration so the real wild card becomes MOISTURE!  As soon as you introduce moisture to an environment, you have now met all the needs for mold to settle down and start to grow.  Even a small amount of water damage can lead to major mold problems if proper water remediation is not done.

Like any other life form, mold eats and excretes.  One of these excretions is called Mycotoxins.  It is currently unknown exactly why molds produce Mycotoxins, as they aid in neither growth nor the further development of the mold.  Yet they have a toxic and/or debilitating effect on a receiving “host” leading most to believe they are part of a strategy used by fungi, to weaken a potential host and creating a better environment for further fungal growth.

It is these Mycotoxins that determine how dangerous a mold colony is to people.  The bigger the colony, the stronger the colony, the more toxins it releases into the environment.  That’s why it’s so important to contact Phoenix Restoration & Environmental Services at the first sight, or smell, of mold.  How quickly we can remove the mold then identify and fix the catalyst for the mold growth, directly determines the impact to your health and your family’s health!

Phoenix is proud to service the Pocono and Slate Belt region; from Mt. Pocono and Stroudsburg through Wind Gap, Bangor and Bath… If you have a mold problem at your home or office, please contact us immediately at 570-236-8694.

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