Molds are fungal microbes that feed on decaying organic matter. There are more than 100,000 different kinds of mold throughout the world with new species being discovered regularly. Some varieties of mold are harmless and some are even helpful such as penicillium chrysogenum which was accidentally discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928; mass-produced penicillin was used as a life-saving antibiotic by WWII, saving countless combatants from deadly infections. Unfortunately not every kind of mold is safe however.
Where Does Mold Thrive?
There are two main factors that influence mold growth: moisture and temperature. Most molds thrive at normal indoor temperatures ranging from 40 to 100 degrees, although some species may be exceptions. The damp conditions that encourage the growth of mold is found in nearly half of all structures in the United States by some estimates. Bathrooms, garages, basements, and even carpeting are all potential breeding sites for mold.
The Danger Posed By Mold
There are over 200 toxic substances produced by common molds; these mycotoxins, as they are called, contributes to decreasing indoor air quality standards. The National Resources Defense Council estimates that there are roughly 131 million Americans who regularly breath low-quality air due to pollutants caused from mold and other sources. The Environmental Protection Agency recently ranked indoor air pollution as one of the top five environmental dangers to one’s health. If left unchecked, mycotoxins can cause serious respiratory concerns over time, especially for those who suffer from asthma who are especially sensitive to airborne particulates.
Home Mold Inspection
Many Americans carry the misconception that if they can’t see mold, their home is free from mold. Mold can potentially grow in every nook and cranny of a structure, requiring the expertise of a home mold inspection professional to help determine whether or not there is a mold problem. If there is mold, professionals can help advise homeowners on the various mold remediation options available to them. Depending on the severity of the growth, mold remediation could take a few hours to upwards of five days to remove. Schedule a home mold inspection to ensure that the air in your home is healthy and free of mycotoxins.