MORE F A Q's
Ten Things You Should Know About Mold
1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
2. 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.
3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
a. venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside;
b. using air conditioners and de-humidifiers;
c. increasing ventilation;
d. and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning
6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
7. 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.
8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
9. 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).
10. 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.
You may suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy, but you cannot see the source, or if you know there has been water damage and residents are reporting health problems. Mold may be hidden in places such as the back side of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the top side of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Other possible locations of hidden mold include areas inside walls around pipes (with leaking or condensing pipes), the surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), inside ductwork, and in roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation).
Investigating hidden mold problems
Investigating hidden mold problems may be difficult and will require caution when the investigation involves disturbing potential sites of mold growth. For example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores if there is mold growing on the underside of the paper. If you believe that you may have a hidden mold problem, consider hiring an experienced professional. Interstate Mold Inspection stands ready to inspect your proerty. Call 360-597-3308.
What are the more common types of mold
Stachybotrys has become what is considered to be black mold however many molds and fungi are brown to black in color. Stachybotrys is ubiquitous in nature. This genus contains about 15 species.
How it is spread: Stachybotrys produces wet slimy spores and is commonly dispersed through water flow, droplets, or insect transport, less commonly through the air.
Where it is found outdoors: Stachybotrys is found in soils, decaying plant debris, decomposing cellulose, leaf litter and seeds. Soil, decaying plant substrates, decomposing cellulose (hay, straw), leaf litter, and seeds. Growth not influenced by soil pH or copper; growth enhanced by manure.
Where it is found indoors: Stachybotrys is common indoors on wet materials containing cellulose such as
Wallboard, jute, wicker, straw baskets, and other paper materials.
Characteristics: Growth/Culture: Grows well on general fungal media. Stachybotrys is slow growing as compared to Penicillium and other common mold genera, and may not compete well in the presence of other fungi. However, when water availability is high for prolonged periods on environmental material, Stachybotrys may gradually become the predominating mold, especially on cellulose containing materials.
Penicillium / Aspergillus:
Distribution: Penicillium / Aspergillus are two separate genera of molds that are so visually similar that they are commonly discussed together as a group. Together, there are approximately 400 different species of Penicillium /Aspergillus.
How it is spread: Penicillium / Aspergillus produce dry spore types that are easily dispersed through the air by wind. These fungi serve as a food source for mites, and therefore can be dispersed by mites and various insects as well.
Where it is found outdoors: Penicillium / Aspergillus are found in soils, decaying plant debris, compost piles, fruit rot and some petroleum-based fuels.
Where it is found indoors: Penicillium / Aspergillus are found throughout the home. They are common in house dust, growing on wallpaper, wallpaper glue, decaying fabrics, wallboard, moist chipboards, and behind paint. They have also been isolated from blue rot in apples, dried foodstuffs, cheeses, fresh herbs, spices, dry cereals, nuts, onions, and oranges.
Cladosporium is an abundant mold worldwide and is normally one of the most abundant spore types present in both indoor or outdoor air samples. This genus contains around 20 - 30 different species.
How it is spread: Cladosporium produces dry spores that are formed in branching chains. Spores are released by twisting of the spore-bearing hyphae as they dry. Thus, the spores are most abundant in dry weather.
Where it is found outdoors: Cladosporium is found in a wide variety of soils, in plant litter, and on old and decaying plants and leaves. Some species are plant pathogens
Where it is found indoors: Cladosporium can be found anywhere indoors, including textiles, bathroom tiles, wood, moist windowsills, and any wet areas in a home. Some species of Cladosporium grow at temperatures near or below
0(C) / 32(F) and can often be found on refrigerated foodstuffs and even frozen meat.
Ulocladium is ubiquitous in nature and includes approximately nine different species.
How it is spread: Ulocladium produces dry spores that are easily dispersed through the air by wind.
Where it is found outdoors: Ulocladium is common outdoors in soils, dung, paint, grasses, wood, paper, and textiles.
Where it is found indoors: Ulocladium is common indoors on very wet materials containing cellulose such as wallboard.