Molds are the most common form of fungi on Earth, growing both indoors and outdoors. Most kinds are helpful and important for breaking down material in nature and turning them into compost for new growth. Problems develop when it starts to grow on materials inside buildings and starts to damage or destroy them, or when it causes allergies or health issues to residents or tenants.
Although mold and mildew are often used as interchangeable terms, scientifically, mildew refers to the type of fungus that grows on plants (such as powdery mildew on roses). Although people often call the fungi that grow in their bathroom or on their clothes "mildew" technically it is mold. No matter which you call it, if you need information about how to deal with it — whether indoors, outdoors, in your vehicle or on various materials, we can help.
How Mold Grows
Mold grows in damp, moist and warm conditions and spreads by spores, which are tiny seed-like organisms that float through the air and grow wherever they land if conditions are right. These fungi grow fast and spread quickly, so you want to find a way to get rid of them the minute you suspect any growth or smell the musty odor that indicates their presence.
Mold can appear in nearly every color of the rainbow, the most familiar types being white, green, red, black or brown. Visual indicators such as color are not always reliable indicators of the exact variety or potential risks. Distinguishing between different types of mold is difficult without laboratory sampling. Testing is the best way to accurately determine the species, and help you determine the right course of action.
Varieties of Mold
Different types have different shapes, colors and textures. It can be slimy, cottony, or powdery in texture and grow in a variety of patterns. Some are more dangerous or more toxic than others.
In regard to health risks, molds can be divided into three types:
Allergenic: this type may cause allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.
Pathogenic: this type may cause infections in people with compromised immune systems.
Toxigenic: can be toxic to everyone.
The most common types of mold that create problems for health and property include:
Stachybotrys - Black Mold
It's important to act quickly to get rid of mold because:
It spreads quickly. A small spot can take over a whole area, wall, ceiling or room in no time. It begins to reproduce in as little as 48 hours.
Mold can damage and destroy possessions and property, including the hidden structure that is holding up the building itself.
It can be a health risk — from minor allergies to serious respiratory conditions.
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