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The Basics of Mold

What is Mold?

Molds are fungi, which are living organisms. In order to grow molds need a food source of decaying organic matter and an abundant water source.  As molds grow, feed and digest they emit toxic gases called mychotoxins.


What is indoor Air Quality (IAQ)?

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is the measurement and analysis of the various elements contained in the air we breath within our homes and other enclosed environments.  Since the 1970’s and the advent of tighter, more energy efficient homes the concern with Indoor Air Quality has risen.  With less exchanges of fresh air pollutants and toxins can build up to harmful levels. Although mold is naturally occurring and air borne particles can be found almost everwhere, actual mold growth within interior spaces can cause extremely high toxic levels of spores that can cause dramatic health problems.  In addition to mold spores there are many other factors to consider when looking at indoor air quality, such as air borne particles, gases, odors, humidity, temperature, and other bio-pollutants.  In addressing  mold issues many of these other IAQ factors will be touched on as well to improve the overall health of the home.


What are the Health Effects of Mold?

There are many adverse health effects resulting form mold and poor Indoor Air Quality.  Among these are eye irritation, nasal irritation, respiratory problems, headaches, fatigue, and skin problems.  In addition the effects on the very young or old or those who otherwise have a weakened immune system can be extremely severe and possibly life threatening.


Misc Mold Facts

Bleach does not kill mold.

Mold can begin to grow within 28-48 hours of saturation.

Relative humidity above 60% may foster mold growth (optimum RH range is 40%-60%)

Moisture content of building materials above 17% can indicate serious problems.

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