We all cringe whenever we hear the word mold. But do we really know and understand that much about it? I’m guessing most don’t. This is why we’ve created a list of 10 things that you should know about mold. Now you can learn about, and hopefully improve your understanding of this pesky fungus.

  1. In order to decrease mold growth, you need to reduce moisture and indoor humidity. It’s recommended you keep indoor humidity between 30% and 60%, and this can be achieved by venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside, using air conditioners and de-humidifiers, increasing ventilation, and using exhaust fans when cooking, dishwashing and cleaning.
  2. Mold and mildew are actually different from each. While they have their similarities, such as their preference for moist and warm places and their ability to be found on a multitude of surfaces, they also have their differences. Mildew is a surface fungus that can be black, grey, white, or sometimes orange or pink and appears dusty or flat. It can easily be treated with a store-bought cleaner and scrubbing brush. Mold, on the other hand, can be black or green, appears fuzzy or sometimes slimy and is usually the result of a larger infestation that is more difficult to deal with.
  3. There are some health issues associated with mold, a reason why it should be taken seriously. When mold grows and settle, the mold spores are allergens that can cause sneezing, runny nose, red and itchy eyes, rashes and in more serious cases can lead to asthma attacks. For those with a compromised immune system, mold can be an even harder thing to live with.
  4. When a mold issue arises in a home, perhaps due to flooding or poor ventilation, it’s best to call a professional company to take a look at and handle it. They’ll test for mold spores in the air, know exactly how to eliminate the entire problem (not just the stuff that can be seen), and have the specialty protective gear and products they need to get the job done.
  5. Taking care of mold and mildew are two different processes. Mold is best left to the professionals, as it can spread like wildfire and is sometime in places you cannot see – not to mention can be harmful to health if the right protection isn’t taken. Mildew on the other hand, is more of an eyesore in a bathroom than it is a health risk, and is easier to control and take care of. Bleach, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide along with a scrub brush can eliminate mildew. And keeping areas dry will prevent it from coming back.
  6. There’s no way to completely eliminate mold from a building. There are always traces of indoor mold that exist in a home or business, but it’s when moisture becomes a problem that mold growth gets out of control. Therefore, the important thing to remember is to control moisture in order to prevent future mold problems.
  7. Some common sources of moisture, and therefore mold, include flooding, backed-up sewers, leaky roofs, water leaks, humidifiers that aren’t regularly cleaned and disinfected, damp basements or crawl spaces, steam from cooking and showers, wet clothes hung to dry indoors, condensation on poorly insulated surfaces, and poor ventilation.
  8. Mold’s purpose is to break down and consume dead organic material, which is great in nature, but not necessarily in our own homes and workplaces. Modern day buildings and homes are a great food source for mold as the materials used for constructions are some of mold’s favorites: wood, paper, cardboard, wallpaper, leather, fabric, upholstery, grout, painted walls, cement, plaster or drywall, ceiling tiles, insulation, and carpet.
  9. Unfortunately, mold cannot always be seen – and many people don’t think they have mold because of this. Common hiding places for mold are inside of drywall, behind improperly installed showers, in leaking roofs or crawl spaces with poor circulation.
  10. Mold can be detected not only through visual clues, but through smell and knowledge of the building’s history, like if there was a flood or indoor leak.

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