Mold can be found in several areas in the home environment. It appears most often in moist areas as little black circles or thread-like white objects. It is usually accompanied with a musty-type odor. Outdoors, mold plays a natural part in the environment by breaking down dead organic matter such as dead trees or fallen leaves. Mold reproduces by means of microscopic spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through the indoor and outdoor air. Mold begins to grow indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet or damp. Mold will not grow without water or moisture. Therefore, it is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
Some examples of places where mold can be found inside the home include:
· Basements, kitchens (bottom of fridge), around bathroom vanities, washer/dryer area.
· The underside of carpets and pads
· The surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms)
· Ceilings and the top side of ceiling tiles
· Front and back side of dry wall, wall paper or paneling
· Inside of HVAC systems and duct work
It is impossible to completely eliminate all molds and mold spores indoors. Mold will always be found floating in the air and in house dust. Indoor mold growth can be prevented by controlling water and moisture indoors. The following may prevent or reduce indoor mold growth:
· Repair any water leaks
· Provide good air circulation
· All HVAC systems should have a good electrostatic filter on the return
· Use bathroom, kitchen and laundry room exhaust fans
· Insulate and ventilate attic and crawl space areas
· Clean, dry or remove items that are damaged by water immediately.