Mold is a microscopic living organism that’s neither a plant nor animal. It belongs to the fungi family. Penicillin, which was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928, came from Penicillum mold. Because molds are minute airborne organisms, it is impossible for the naked eye to see them when they start to infest anything. When they have already developed into a kind of colony, then they become visible.
Mold is commonly associated with spoiled food, especially bread where a whitish, greenish, bluish, or even dark spots appear on it. When this happens, it means that the food has already expired and is unfit for human consumption. But everyday airborne molds can cause health problems to your family members. People think that because they cannot see any visible mold around the house, then what is mold to do with any respiratory problem that their kid or kids might be having? But what you cannot see can harm you and your family a lot.
What is Mildew
Sometimes it’s hard to tell mold and mildew apart. Molds can appear black, red, green or blue but mildew is dull white or gray. Molds are usually found in food. Mildew develops in fabrics, showers and papers. Mildew are seen on damp clothes or fabrics as powdery or velvety that looks like sugar-crystal shapes with dull white or gray color. The two can be referred to interchangeably. However when discussing about the characteristics, health risks and control of mold and mildew, mold control experts refer to both as generally mold.
How Does Mold Grow?
The three conditions for mold and mildew to grow are moisture, temperature and nutrient.
Molds proliferate in areas with moisture problem either indoor or outdoor. The common areas that are suitable for molds to thrive in are the bathroom, kitchen, attic, basement or places that are damp and musty. Parts of the house where dripping or leaking occurred can be good places for molds to start a colony. Check areas such as the roofs, pipes, or walls, or even the garden area where house plants are over-watered; there might be molds thriving and it’s better to nip them at the source before they multiply.
Molds need food aside from moisture. Since molds are decomposers, they get nutrients from wood, paper, wallboards or any material made from wood. Molds can digest synthetic materials like adhesives, pastes, and paints. Fabrics are also good sources of nutrients including clothes, curtains, carpets and upholstery. The dust and dirt that accumulate on the surfaces of glass, concrete and metallic materials can serve as food for molds, too.
A temperature range that is most favorable for molds to grow is between 40 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (4.44 to 37.77 Celsius). Molds can reproduce in as short as 48 hours in areas that are not well-ventilated and air is humid.
Where Does Mold Grow?
Because of the size of mold spores, they can easily travel and be carried by sticking to the people’s clothes, bags, shoes, and skin and even your pet’s fur. Sometimes they can enter through the open doors and windows. The humid air from heating, air-conditioning and ventilation systems can just be a perfect place for molds to thrive undetected. If all three conditions (moisture, nutrients and warmth ) are present in your homes, then there is 100% possibility that you will be encountering mold problems sooner or later. It may not only be mold-infestation but hazards that can also compromise your family’s health and well-being.