Molds are a form of fungus. There are many different molds and they can be found both indoors and outdoors. Molds spread through the production of spores, which are present in all indoor environments and cannot be removed from them – spores are capable of surviving in harsh conditions that otherwise prevent the normal mold growth. Molds grow best in moist, warm and humid environments – easily created in the home during the winter. When mold spores land on a damp spot they can begin to grow, digesting the material they are growing on as they do so. Molds are capable of growing on a variety of different surfaces, including fabric, paper and wood.
What is Mold?
The CDC and EPA recommend that any mold growth should be dealt with promptly. Both organizations state that controlling moisture is most crucial to preventing mold from growing indoors. Acting quickly in the event of a leak or spillage is important, and drying areas within 48 hours of exposure to excess moisture should ensure that mold will not grow.
Look out for signs of moisture in your home. Increasing ventilation by opening windows or using an extractor fan reduces the level of moisture in the air. Humidity can also be reduced in specific rooms by avoiding moisture-producing activities in them, such as drying clothes or using kerosene heaters. Also keep an eye on porous materials like fabric or wood. In many cases, it may be best to get rid of items such as these that have been affected for a long period.
If you are worried by any potential exposure to mold or you believe that you are having associated health problems, it is recommended that you contact a health service provider and a qualified mold specialist for further evaluation and testing.