What Is Mold? Where Is Mold?

Where can I find mold?

Molds thrive in warm and humid conditions, but you can find them year-round in virtually every type of environment, both indoors and outdoors. You'll find them outdoors in shady, damp areas and places where leaves or other vegetation are decomposing. Indoors you will find them in basements, showers and in other areas where humidity levels are high. It's worth noting that you can use the terms "mold" and "mildew" interchangeably, although mildew is often applied to growth of fungi on fabrics, window sills or bathroom tiles.

How Do Molds Grow In My Home?

Once mold spores settle in your home, they need moisture to begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on. There are molds that can grow on wood, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, paints, carpet, sheet rock and insulation. When excess moisture or water builds up in your home from, say, a leaky roof, high humidity or flooding, conditions are often ideal for molds. Longstanding moisture or high humidity conditions and mold growth go together. Realistically, there is no way to rid your home of all mold and mold spores; the way to control mold growth is to control moisture.

How Do I Know If I Have A Mold Problem?

You may have seen white thread-like growths or clusters of small black specks along your damp bathroom or basement walls. Or you may have smelled a "musty" odor. Seeing and smelling mold is a good indication that you have a mold problem. However, you cannot always rely upon your senses to locate molds. Hidden mold can be growing behind wall coverings or ceiling tiles.

Common places to find mold are in areas where water has damaged building materials and furnishings, perhaps from flooding or plumbing leaks. Mold can also be found growing along walls where warm moist air condenses on cooler wall surfaces, such as inside cold exterior walls, behind dressers, headboards, and in closets where articles are stored against walls. Rooms with both high water usage and humidity - such as kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements - are often havens for mold. If you notice mold, or know of water-damaged areas in your home, it is time to take action to control its growth.

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