Household mold & mushroom

Updated February 21, 2017

Mold, also known as mildew, is a living fungus and a part of a common group of micro-organisms that often serve a helpful and vital role in the environment. This group includes fungi such as yeast and penicillin. However, mould can develop on food, making it unsuitable to consume. Mold (filamentous fungi) can grow in damp places in the home such as shower stalls, basements, crawl spaces and kitchens. Mushrooms or other small fungal growth can also develop in humid households.

How Mold Enters Our Homes

Mold spores are everywhere around us, entering our homes invisibly on people's skin, clothing, through heating and ventilation, open doors, windows and on the fur of pets. Although some mould spores can live at temperatures below freezing, the majority of mould thrives when humidity is more than 60 per cent and the temperature is between 12.8 to 32.2 degrees Celsius.

Invisible Mold Danger

Mold may be present in your home even if you cannot see it, hidden inside walls or behind baseboards. Sometimes the only indication of mould is a vague mouldy or musty odour. Mold may be hidden behind wallpaper, drywall or panelling, under carpeting or flooring. Mold often grows inside of walls where water has leaked or condensation builds up. Homes in hot, humid climates are constantly subject to mildew and mould growth.

Mold Damage

Mold and mildew (mould growing on fabric) spores destroy whatever they are growing on. If you have mould evident in your home, act quickly to prevent further damage. Mold disintegrates the structure it grows upon.

Health Concerns

Black toxic mould produces toxic chemicals (mycotoxins) that can damage health and deplete energy. Mycotoxins are evident on the spores and released into the air. Many people are highly allergic to mould and mildew spores. Contact your health care provider if anyone in your household presents allergy-related symptoms such as: runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, coughing, wheezing, itching, skin irritations, headache, difficulty breathing and fatigue.

Mold Removal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you contact a professional mould removal company for clean-up of areas larger than 10 square feet. Small areas around leaky pipes or drains can be cleaned with household bleach. Saturate the area with bleach and rinse with clear water. It is impossible to eliminate mould spores in the air. Mold requires moisture to survive. The best way to control moisture is to control humidity and provide adequate air circulation.

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About the Author

A passionate writer for more than 30 years, Marlene Affeld writes of her love of all things natural. Affeld's passion for the environment inspires her to write informative articles to assist others in living a green lifestyle. She writes for a prominent website as a nature travel writer and contributes articles to other online outlets covering wildlife, travel destinations and the beauty of nature.