3 Things You Might Not Know About Mold
Mold is everywhere and can easily go unnoticed. Mold and mildew are often mysterious and seem to come out of nowhere. Everyone encounters mold at some point in life, so here are a few facts about mold you may not know.
1. Where Mold Prefers to Grow
The easiest way to eliminate mold is to prevent it from growing. Below are some essential facts about where mold comes from and how it develops.
Mold Spores in the Environment
Mold spores are microscopic “seed” particles that cling to most materials and end up almost everywhere. Some call mold a “natural recycler” because it feeds off decaying organic matter. It’s prevalent in places like farmland, nature trails, forests, and parks. However, you don’t have to visit these places to pick up mold spores. These particles are carried by the wind and can travel far, entering your home’s HVAC system’s air filters or air conditioning unit.
Once mold spores find a suitable surface, it doesn’t take much for them to thrive. Mold and mildew are some of the most low-maintenance living organisms. Mold can grow almost anywhere with access to oxygen and just a bit of moisture.
Like all other living things, mold needs a nutrient source to spread and reproduce. Unlike most plant life, it lacks chlorophyll—the plant enzyme that gathers nutrients from the sun and makes plants green. To compensate for this deficit, mold relies on consuming organic matter instead of light. That means mold thrives on any substance or porous surface it can break down, like cardboard, paper, wood, and food. It even grows on live Christmas trees in the right environment.
2. The Health Impacts of Mold
Many people don’t consider mold a serious problem, and in some cases, they’re right. Mold can even be helpful under certain circumstances, and it’s integral to several food items and certain medicines like Penicillin. However, mold can also cause new or worsening health issues–it all depends on the type of mold you’re dealing with.
Different Types of Mold
There are thousands of species of mold, ranging from beneficial to (in extreme cases) deadly. In addition, some mold spores are harder to get rid of than others. So how do you know if mold is harmful or good?
Beneficial strains of mold include Penicillium P. roqueforti, P. glaucum, P. chrysogenum, and P. Candidum, along with certain strains of Aspergillus.
Penicillium is the origin of Penicillin, the most commonly prescribed medicine to treat patients with bacterial infections. Certain varieties of cheese involve Penicillium P. Roquefort, P. Glaucum, or P. Candidum. If you already knew that mold is part of the cheese-making process, you may be a Bleu cheese lover. Bleu cheese is known for its odd color and intense flavor, caused by the active mold colony used to culture it.
Other parts of the food industry use different strains of the Aspergillus mold species, specifically in fermentation. Aspergillus is part of making soy sauce, sake, vinegar, some alcohol varieties, and miso. A strain of Aspergillus Oryzae has even successfully decreased the negative effects of tumors in intestinal cancer cells.
You may have noticed that beneficial molds above most often occur in controlled environments. Any kind of mold you find growing in a residential setting will, at best, have no effect–and at worst, they may contribute to or worsen health problems.There are three main types of mold that you may find growingin your home. These are allergenic, pathogenic, and toxigenic. A few different species fall into these categories, but you don’t need to identify the species yourself. When you call in mold remediation experts to deal with your mold problem, they’ll be able to provide more guidance.
- Allergenic molds can cause worsening health issues, typically of the respiratory system, in people with allergies and asthma. This can occur in two ways: an allergic reaction or more severe sinus and other allergy-related symptoms.
- Pathogenic molds won’t affect most people. Still, they can be dangerous for people who have pre-existing immune deficiencies.
- Toxigenic molds are harmful to everyone. They are dangerous when exposure occurs and can cause new or worsening health issues. The most common type of toxic mold is black mold. It can lead to coughing, scaly skin, nasal problems, itchy eyes, nose, and throat – and can cause serious respiratory issues in immunocompromised individuals.
3. How to Get Rid of Mold
It’s not enough to clean away surface mold. If you’ve got an infestation, you must kill mold completely to prevent it from returning, and bleach will only make the problem worse. Mold loves porous surfaces and can grow almost anywhere..
Since mold infestations are so tough to eliminate, it’s vital to get the job done correctly. Contact with mold can cause new or worsening health issues, so it’s best to leave the mold remediation process to the professionals.
The team at AdvantaClean has years of professional experience and all the tools needed to help remediate your mold issues. We also provide water damage restoration, fire and natural disaster cleanup, and more. We’re available any time day or night for emergencies because disaster waits for no one. Call AdvantaClean right away for help.