Introduction to Molds
Molds produce tiny spores
to reproduce. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually.
When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and
digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. There are molds
that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods. When excessive moisture
or water accumulates indoors, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the
moisture problem remains undiscovered or un-addressed. There is no practical
way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the
indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control
Basic Mold Cleanup
The key to mold control is
moisture control. It is important to dry water damaged areas and items within
24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. If mold is a problem in your home, clean up
the mold and get rid of the excess water or moisture. Fix leaky plumbing or
other sources of water. Wash mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water,
and dry completely. Absorbent materials (such as ceiling tiles & carpet)
that become moldy may have to be replaced.
Ten Things You Should Know About Mold
- Potential health effects and symptoms associated with
mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory
- There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way
to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
- If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must
clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent
- Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60% ) to decrease mold
growth by: venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating
sources to the outside; using air conditioners and de-humidifiers;
increasing ventilation; and using exhaust fans whenever cooking,
dishwashing, and cleaning.
- Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and
furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
- Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent,
and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are
moldy, may need to be replaced.
- Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for
condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls,
roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
- In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem,
do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks,
or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
- Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on
virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds
that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.