Mold is a fungus (plural fungi) like mushrooms and toadstools. It is present in most places outdoors and indoors. It grows wherever it gets organic material and enough water to reproduce. In the indoor environment, mold is often found in areas where water has damaged building materials and furniture from flooding or plumbing leaks. It is commonly isolated from dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, wood, ceiling tiles, fabric, and upholstery. Mold can also grow on moist, dirty surfaces such as concrete, fiberglass insulation, and ceramic tiles. It has been found growing in wet insulation several months after a flood. Mold grows on the surfaces of organic materials in branching threads resembling cobwebs.
In nature, mold is very important as it helps in breaking organic matter down hence recycling nutrients.
Differences between Mold and Mildew
There is no difference between mold and mildew. The dictionary of fungi defines mold and mildew as follows:
1. a plant disease in which the pathogen is seen as a growth on the surface of the host
2. The staining, and frequently the breaking up of cloth and fibres, paint, etc., by fungi and bacteria
3. a fungus causing 1 or 2 above
1. a microfungus having a well-marked mycelium or spore mass, especially, an economically important saprobe
Mold Growth In Buildings
Mold is a common problem in buildings and it can affect human health and also damage or destroy building materials. It is present in outdoor air at some level throughout the year. It enters your home as spores through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth. It may begin growing indoors when the spores land on surfaces that are wet. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions. Mold growth in buildings may require a sophisticated removal process from professional mold removal companies.
Mold As A Health Hazard
Health effects from exposure to mold can vary greatly depending on the person and the amount and type of mold present. Regardless of the type, it should be treated as potentially a health hazard and should be removed from homes and workplaces. It can be an irritant, a nuisance and potentially a health risk to some people. It can cause allergic reactions, trigger asthma attacks, or cause other health problems in susceptible individuals.