What Is Mold? Is It Dangerous?
The word ‘mold’ is a layman term for fungi. While fungi come in hundreds of thousands of forms and species, the word ‘mold’ is a blanket term used to cover them all. While most uses of the word ‘mold’ or ‘fungi’ are unwanted invasions (i.e., mushrooms, athletes’ foot, toxic mold, water damage, etc.), there are plenty of benefits of having fungi around. Penicillin’s, blue cheese and yeasts to make wine and beer, all require fungi to create these treasured products.
Mold requires moisture to grow. When moisture is present, and mold begins to spread from the spores, it is called active mold growth. When conditions are dry and not conducive for mold to grow, the spores are still present but dormant. Mold spores are the equivalent to roots in other environmental species, fungi, by definition, do not have roots. The spores in which mold grows and spreads can travel via air or attached to objects or clothing. For instance, outdoors molds may become invaded on indoor surfaces, such as drywalls, by way of clothing or pets that walked through a molded area outdoors and retreated inside the home. However, outdoor molds, such as mushrooms, do not naturally occur indoors, the spores that grow species of molds vary per the surface they inhabit. With knowledge, you can deduce that mold spores on bathroom tiles differ from those in your air filters. Both species, however, should be tested and treated professionally to assist in limiting mold exposure to people or buildings. The presence of mold in buildings can affect the health of those in the building, as well as the structural integrity of the house or building itself.
With the ability to grow on a plethora of surfaces, mold can become an invasion in virtually any room in your home or office building. Typical bathroom mold can be easily noticeable on tile and grout. However, mold that grows hidden in the air ducts, the subflooring, or inside the drywall tends to go unnoticed until other building issues or health issues arise.
Mold is all around us. It is when active mold growth invades our daily lives and affects our health that we begin to take notice and become concerned. Building and housing mold are attributed to a plethora of health issues from asthma and allergy flare-ups, to neurological conditions originating from exposure to mycotoxins (toxic compounds released by molds). Due to these health risks and more, if you are concerned about active mold growth in having a professional mold inspector investigate is always the savvy choice. Depending on the severity, there could be potential health risks to tenants, employees or the inspector himself.