Common building materials are capable of sustaining mold growth, When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive and produce tiny spores to reproduce. Mold growth in an indoor environment is typically related to water or moisture indoors. 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.
Mold growth may also be caused by incomplete drying of flooring materials such as concrete. flooding, leaky roofs, building maintenance problems, malfunction home appliances, or indoor plumbing problems can lead to mold growth inside. 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.
Mildew spores need three things to grow into mold:
- Nutrients: Food sources for molds in buildings indoor environment include cellulose-based materials, such as wood, cardboard, plywood, carpet, underlay and the paper facing on both sides of drywall, and all other kinds of organic matter, such as soap, fabrics, and dust containing skin cells.
- Moisture: Moisture is required to begin the decaying process caused by the mold. the moisture may be from leaking roof, or a leak in plumbing pipes behind the walls. People residing in a house also contribute moisture through normal breathing and perspiration. Moving air may prevent mold from growing since it has the same effect as lowering humidity. Molds grow best in warm temperatures
- Time: Mould growth begins between 24 hours and 10 days from the provision of the growing conditions. There is no known way to date mold. If there are mold problems in a house only during certain times of the year, then it is probably either too air-tight, or too humid. Mold problems occur in airtight(no air flow) homes more frequently in the warmer months (when humidity reaches high levels inside the house, and moisture is trapped), and occur in the colder months (when warm air escapes from the living area into unconditioned space, and condenses).
Places that are often or always damp can be hard to maintain completely free of mold. If there’s some mold in the shower or elsewhere in the bathroom that seems to reappear, increasing ventilation (running a fan or opening a window) and cleaning more frequently will usually prevent mold from recurring, or at least keep the mold to a minimum, Do not paint or caulk moldy surfaces. Clean up the mold and dry the surfaces before painting. Paint applied over moldy surfaces is likely to peel.
Careful detailed visual inspection and recognition of mouldy odors should be used to find problems needing correction. Efforts should focus on areas where there are signs of liquid moisture or water vapor (humidity) or where moisture problems are suspected. The investigation goals should be to locate indoor mold growth to determine how to correct the moisture problem and remove contamination safely and effectively.
Significant mold and extreme cases of mold growth may require professional mold remediation to remove the affected building materials and eradicate the source of excess moisture clean the mold to safe levels. The goal of remediation is to remove or clean contaminated materials in a way that prevents the emission of fungi and dust contaminated with fungi from leaving the area.
- Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
- 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 business, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
- Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
- 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 dehumidifiers; 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.
- There has been sufficient evidence that damp indoor environments are correlated with upper respiratory tract symptoms such as; coughing, and wheezing in people with asthma.
- Other secondary effects such as corrosion and structural deterioration can be potentially more significant than the initial water damage mold itself.