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Welcome to Mold University, a one stop shop for your top 10 facts about mold.

Have you ever wondered about the production of small, black, fuzzy spots that sometimes appear on your bread or dairy products? You can infer that it is mold, but is it safe to eat, to be around? Is the mold used to grow your cheese the same kind that you find growing under your cabinets in the bathroom? You don’t have to be a mold expert to be aware of the types of molds, the science behind their growth, health risks, or treatment options. With this list of 10 facts about mold, you will have all the basic knowledge you need to know your molds and keep your house spore-free!

Mold 101: How to identify and what to look for.

1# Mold is a type of fungus that grows in a thread-like shape called “hyphae”. It is both airborne and surface-borne- but prefers damp environments such as piles of wet leaves outside, or objects inside that remain damp after a moisture leak.
Mold only takes 48 hours to form! Check the areas near your pipes and other areas that retain moisture within your home.

black mold on the wall. Fungus on the wall after the flooding of the house.
black mold on the wall. Fungus on the wall after the flooding of the house. selective focus

2# The most commonly found mold is called Aspergillus and has over 185 different sub-species. It is usually too small for the eye to see but can be visible as green-hued or black spots with a fuzzy-like appearance. You might also see some forms of white or light-grey colored mold.
According to Oransi, the color of mold is typically based on the source of the mold’s nutrients!

3# Mold is hearty and can survive through various rugged conditions. It can be spread through both indoor and outdoor air, clinging to surfaces both damp and dry. Mold thrives off objects such as cardboard, wood, or organic foods. Mold can survive on non-porous objects and live off the dirt or dust particles until it finds more moisture.

4# You might have a large mold problem if you can actively smell a damp and decaying odor in your environment. Other clues can be the presence of water, water damage not being properly taken care of, and high humidity. If you have a flood or water leak in your home or office, mold can begin to grow at a rapid rate on both hard surfaces like walls and soft surfaces like carpets or curtains. The EPA advises calling a professional mold removal company for damaged areas exceeding 10 square feet in size.

 Your Health and Mold: The good, the bad, and the dangerous,

5# Did you know that certain types of molds are used for food growth? Both cheeses and wines contain “good mold” that assist in its growth and flavor.
The type of mold used to help create some of our favorite delicacies is not considered harmful! Some cheese variations include Brie and Blue Cheeses.

6# Penicillin is created from the mold, penicillium. Yes, you heard that right! Scientists have found out a way to create medicine use of mold by using fermentation tanks and other ingredients. Don’t worry, the penicillin is removed from its mold origin before being used as an antibiotic.

7# Molds vary in the ways they affect people’s health. Smaller and less invasive mold can cause allergy type symptoms with associated sneezing, coughing, red and itchy eyes, and general congestion. Mold toxicity can be difficult to diagnose because of the wide array of symptoms that could fit other diseases.

  • Parsley Health tells us that Mycotoxins in mold can cause serious and alarming symptoms as the spores attack your respiratory and inflammatory systems. Some of these more severe symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, brain fog or memory loss, shortness of breath, and significant fatigue.
    People with autoimmune conditions or respiratory conditions such as asthma and lung disease (COPD) are at a higher risk of complications from the presence of mold.

Is it really everywhere? Prevention and treatments

8# Mold is everywhere in the outdoor environment, exceedingly airborne. As we have covered not all molds are bad for you. However, containing its production inside can be paramount to preventing harmful mold growth. Molds that might not be considered dangerous can become unhealthy if left to replicate and grow.

  • Ensure your home or office has proper airflow and contained humidity levels with routine inspections and maintenance. Specifically, having your air ducts and pipes professionally looked at or cleaned.
  • Properly ventilate your bathroom after showers and wipe down all damp hard surfaces with proper cleaning agents and microfiber towels.

9# The CDC recommends keeping your humidity levels as low as possible, between 30-50%. Southern states with higher humidity levels such as South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida need to be more cautious with this number.

10# Mold can form within as little as 48 hours. If you see mold on a non-porous surface, you can probably clean it yourself. For mold found in fabrics or other carpet like material, calling a cleaning company or mold removal company would be your best bet. At that stage mold could possibly be inside of your walls and further testing would be required.


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