What is mold and how does it affect your home?

Mold is a serious threat to your home's indoor air quality

Mold testing and inspection services

Many common building materials are susceptible to mold growth if they become damp for an extended period of time.

Mold has become a serious issue in recent years. It's been the subject of lawsuits, caused schools and businesses to close, and has been a frustrating problem for homeowners all over the country. While there are more demands for mold testing, prevention, and remediation, mold is not a new problem — but elevated mold concentrations in homes are.

Over the years, home construction has become tighter and more regulated. And with that, conditions that favor the growth and spread of mold have also improved. However, mold problems still occur in both old and new construction homes. Air sealing a home without allowing for adequate ventilation can increase indoor relative humidity, supplying the moisture mold needs to thrive. In addition, water infiltration problems, such as plumbing or foundation leaks, directly lead to explosive mold growth in a home.

Mold in many forms is useful to us. In fact, the production of many foods, beverages, and antibiotics depends upon it. But exposure to high levels of mold in the home can lead to serious health problems. Mold-related ailments include hay fever, asthma, eczema, and irritations of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. For people with suppressed immune systems, it can be even worse — possibly deadly. Taking steps to treat and prevent mold growth is essential to maintaining a healthy, comfortable home.

What is mold?

While mold is a living organism that breathes, consumes food, and requires water to survive, it is neither plant nor animal. It's actually a type of fungus. A single mold spore is very small, so much so that you typically need a microscope to see it. Unlike plants, mold does not derive energy from the sun — at least not directly. Instead, it feeds on dead organic matter, including plants and animals.

Mold thrives in environments where we like to live, including structures made of organic materials, like our homes. It likes temperatures between 39 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, relative humidity between 70% and 99%, and is typically found in places that are damp or humid for extended periods. Basements and crawl spaces, for example, are prime real estate for mold colonies.

Common Mold vs. Black Mold

Black Mold in Basement

Black mold has been linked to various cancers, endocrine problems, and other serious health risks.

Common mold spores are present nearly everywhere. The spores can spread and grow quickly, especially in humid, moist areas. Mold spores can be a major trigger for 90% of people living with allergies. And with at least one person with allergies residing in 50% of homes, it can make for an uncomfortable living environment.

Black mold, on the other hand, is rare. However, it is incredibly dangerous when it grows in the home. Black mold spores host a fungus that produces carcinogenic "mycotoxins" that have been linked to serious health issues. Exposure to this highly toxic mold can lead to liver cancer, lung cancer, chronic liver damage, acute or chronic nervous system damage, endocrine problems, and more.

Facts About Mold

  • Mold grows quickly.

    Mold can grow on any surface in your home. It also spreads very quickly and can develop into a serious problem in as little as 24-48 hours — a billion mold spores can cover a single square foot of drywall! When left untreated, crawl space and basement mold leave your home vulnerable to structural damage and can even reduce the value of your home.

  • Mold can live in the cold.

    Most people think mold can only survive in warm, moist conditions. However, that's a common misconception. Mold can flourish in nearly any environment as long as the temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Mold spores can worsen allergy and asthma symptoms.

    According to the American Lung Association, approximately 88 million Americans suffer from some sort of respiratory distress. Mold can exacerbate respiratory, allergy, and asthma symptoms through inhalation, ingestion, and skin contact. Even when mold is dead, its spores can still pose health risks.

Mold Control in Green Bay, Appleton & Nearby

If you're worried about mold in your Green Bay basement or crawl space, Sure-Dry can help. As the area's trusted basement waterproofing and crawl space repair expert, you can count on our team to provide proven and effective mold control solutions. Contact us at 1-844-252-7767 or online today to schedule a free, no-obligation estimate.

Sure-Dry proudly serves Wisconsin homeowners in the Greater Green Bay area, including Appleton, Oshkosh, Wausau, Fond Du Lac, Sheboygan, Neenah, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, Manitowoc, and nearby.

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