Mold

Mold – mold is a broad term for living organisms that are categorized as fungi. In biology, there are six major kingdoms. We are most familiar with: the kingdom of animals which ingest food for energy (cats, zebras, humans, etc.); the kingdom of plants which rely on photosynthesis from the sun to create energy (trees, flowers, radishes, etc.); and the kingdom of fungi which break down organic matter externally for energy, also makes them great at minimizing waste as they break down and return to the earth – this kingdom includes mushrooms, yeast, and mold.

Every different life form is a part of the environment and plays a role in maintaining balance. Mold is just about everywhere – it can grow in many extreme environments and does not require sunlight to grow. Tiny spores are like seeds, and they are light enough that a gentle breeze can transport the spores for miles. If you test the outdoor air we consider clean, you will find mold materials, yeasts, and other things that may surprise you. They are not dangerous at diluted levels in the air, and actually are quite beneficial.

Ideally, to determine if indoor air contains elevated levels of mold, you would test indoors and outdoors, and they should be about equal. Because mold is everywhere and the wide range of environments in our country – there is no standard level that is considered acceptable for mold. It is all about relativity to the outdoor air.

Ultimately, mold needs only two things to grow: nutrients (food) which can be just about any organic matter such as trees, composting vegetables, dust, or paper including the paper found in drywall; and secondly it needs moisture. Notice that sunlight was not on the list of requirements, because mold is not a plant. You couldn’t grow most plants in a cupboard for long, but mold would be pleased as bees to live in that cupboard.

We cannot easily remove organic matter from homes – even brick or cement walls can allow mold to grow on them. Mold can even grow on smooth inorganic surfaces such as glass or tile because it can feed on microscopic particles that land on those surfaces. So the best way to deter excess mold growth in your home is to manage moisture.

Moisture tends to collect on cooler surfaces. That is why mold is so common in windows, showers, bathrooms, and kitchens – those surfaces are near moisture sources and collect water. Monitor indoor humidity levels, reduce the creation of moisture in your home, and remove it with exhaust fans to help prevent excess mold growth before it becomes a problem. When it does become a concern, Top Notch Inspection Services has you covered with an IAC2 certified mold inspector trained in mitigation!

Too long, didn’t read version: Mold is everywhere and that is generally good. You can prevent excess levels by reducing moisture in your home.

-Marshall Tramp, CPI, RMP


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Marshall Tramp, CPI, RMP
Author: Marshall Tramp, CPI, RMP
Top Notch Inspection Services llc
Serving Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho