Understanding Mold

Molds are species of fungus that play a vital role in decomposing organic matter in nature. Molds thrive in low light areas because they don’t require photosynthesis to provide energy. Molds gain energy by decomposing organic matter like fallen trees, dead animals, cellulose and starches. They are particularly fond of decomposing moist wood in a structure.

Molds eject microscopic seeds called spores into the air as their means of reproduction. These mold spores can lay dormant for years, waiting for the right mix of moisture and temperature to grow and spread.

Scientists classify spores as viable or non-viable. Viable meaning spores capable of growth. Non-viable meaning dead and unable to reproduce. All spores emit toxins regardless if they are viable or non-viable. This is why removal of contaminated objects from a home are essential during remediation. Simply spraying chemicals to kill the spores doesn’t eliminate the health risks.

Because mold is so prevalent in our outdoors environment, people often question if molds are really a threat when found inside. Mold becomes inherently dangerous when it is highly concentrated in a building; outside environments can’t reach the harmful concentration levels that are possible indoors.

It’s also vital to understand that 80% of homes that contain dangerous concentrations of mold show no visible sign of mold growth with a cursory inspection. That’s because mold grows in the dark and damp areas of your home – such as a crawlspace, inside walls, underneath carpet or an attic with a leaky roof.

Unless you’re actively searching for it, chances are you won’t find mold in the high traffic areas of your home. However, you will typically smell a mold problem before you see one; that’s because growing mold spores produce an unmistakable musty odor.

A common misconception is that newer homes are immune to mold contamination. A poorly built new home is just as susceptible to mold growth as an older one – much in the same way a brand new vehicle can have defects. We’ve even seen mold growth in home that had only been built six months prior. New home mold growth is typically the result of inadequate foundation work, improper storing of building materials, poor ventilation systems and building design flaws.

Additional Literature
A Comprehensive Guide to MoldFor those who are interested in more information regarding mold contamination and the adverse health effects, please contact us at inspectrite@usa.com or 304-222-7573.