Hot, Normal, and Cold Markets
April 5, 2017
Mold – Part II
April 5, 2017

Mold – Part I

Most of us have a general idea as to the smell of some mold, but often that is where our knowledge ends. So here are a few common questions and answers. But, for more specific information you should contact a pest control company or other professional with knowledge of mold.

What causes mold? In order for mold to grow, there must be nutrients, water, oxygen, and favorable temperatures. The nutrients are found in things like wood, paper, fabrics, and even some paint and adhesive. The moisture can come from moisture in the air when the humidity is above 70 percent. Some molds grow well at normal indoor temperatures – 40? F – 100? F. Outside this range, molds are normally inactive. At some point above 100? F, the mold and the mold spores will actually die, but the exact temperature is not well established.

How does mold affect my health? The primary health problem that is caused by mold is allergies and asthma. People who have an allergy to mold, especially is they also have asthma, can become very ill from exposure to only a small amount of mold. Individuals also seem to be quite different in their response to exposure to the toxic chemicals that some molds release. These differences between individuals contribute to the difficult question of determining what the safe exposure limits actually are for mold.

Although some “experts” claim that some people have brain damage or have died because of exposure to mold and especially mold toxins, whether the cause was actually due to the exposure to the mold does not appear to have been determined. So, just in case, it is best to minimize your exposure to really moldy environments. ?Really moldy” can be described as areas where you can see large areas of mold (more than a few square feet) or the “musty” odor that we all recognize can be a sign of hidden mold growth. Studies have shown that people who live in houses that are extremely damp have many more health problems, especially respiratory, than do people who live in dry houses. This does not necessarily “prove” that the mold is responsible for the increase in illness, but, it certainly indicates that it is not wise to live in damp, moldy buildings.

Are there tests that will tell me if mold is present? Most of us actually have two of the most effective mold detectors: our eyes and our noses. If you notice the presence of something that has black or green discoloration and is in a location that is damp (or has been damp), it is almost certainly mold. If the area smells musty, there probably is mold somewhere; the mold may be on boxes stored in a basement or in walls or in the crawl space. If you want to find mold, look for the presence of water or a location where water was likely to have been. If you still question whether the black or green, fuzzy stuff is mold, call a reliable professional to make the final determination.