Mold is a type of fungi that grows in what biologically are classified as multicellular filaments. These filaments technically are called hyphae. Mold is contrasted with single-cell fungi that are classified as yeasts. Mold does have some requirements in order to grow. In very basic terms, as is the case with biological organisms of different types, mold requires food and water in order to exist and grow. Understanding how mold is able to obtain moisture and suitable food is an important factor when it comes to preventing, controlling, and eliminating mold growth in your home, business, rental property, or in some other location.
Origins of Mold in a Residence or Business
Mold grows from spores. The reality is that mold spores can be found virtually anywhere. For example, mold spores are plentiful out of doors. As a consequence, mold spores can be transferred easily into a home or business. They can waft in through an open door, be carried in on clothing or a pet’s fur, and so forth.
Provided mold spores remain in a dry state, they do not germinate. The reality is that only a very small amount of moisture is necessary in order for a mold spore to germinate.
Common Locations of Mold Growth in a Residence of Business
Although mold spores technically can germinate just about anywhere, even a minuscule amount of moisture accumulates in a home or business, there are some locations at which mold more commonly does germinate and grow. These include:
- Various locations in a bathroom, including around a windowsill, around tile and grout, and under a bathroom sink (if even a very minimal amount of leaking occurs)
- Various locations in a kitchen, including around a windowsill, around tile and grout, under a kitchen sink and various other appliances
- Other rooms in a residence, particularly around windowsills
- In the basement, including on walls and along windows, including windowsills
- Inside walls in a home or business are other locations where mold can germinate and grow
- Mold can germinate and grow in an attic, including in and on insulation
- Mold can grow on different food items, although the focus of this presentation is on mold growth associated with the physical structure of a residence or business itself
Moisture and Mold
As has been noted a moment ago, moisture is necessary for mold to germinate in the first instance. Moisture is also vital for mold to survive and thrive. Only a very minimal amount of moisture is necessary for such a person. With even a minimal amount of moisture, mold spores can germinate, grow, and produce new spores in 24 hours, perhaps even a shorter period of time.
A higher level of humidity in a home or business in and of itself can be enough to cause mold spores to germinate and mold growth to be sustained and even thrive. If relative humidity arises above 60 percent in a home or business, mold spores can germinate and mold can grow, even thrive.
Food and Mold
In addition to moisture, mold must have nutrients in order to grow. The reality is that mold can grow on virtually any type of organic substance. Buildings of all type, including homes and businesses, are filled with organic materials that are suitable for “mold food.” These include:
- Plant matter
Mold doesn’t require much in the way of nutrients in order to survive. For this reason, mold can grow on inorganic materials in building as well. This occurs because these items can contain soil, dust, and other matter that contains at least some organic matter. Examples of inorganic items in a residence, business, or other location on which mold rather frequently can grow include:
Temperature and Mold
Mold grows and thrives in a particularly broad temperature range. Mold can germinate and grow in locations in which the temperature is between 40 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this broad range, the temperature of a residential or commercial property is by definition ideal for mold. With this general temperature range noted, there are types of mold that have been found thriving in hot springs with temperatures over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mold Inspection and Remediation
If you discover mold in your residence or business, mold may exist only in that spot or location. What is more likely is that mold is developing in more than one location in your residence, including in areas that you cannot easily access and inspect. For this reason, you will want to give serious consideration to engaging the professional services of a mold inspection and remediation company.
By taking the most proactive approach possible to inspecting and remediating mold in your home or business, you best protect the physical structure of your property and objects and items in it. You also take a vital step to protect the health and wellbeing of your family or individuals that spend time at your business.