Mold is a living organism. All living things need sustenance to survive. In the case of mold, that means food, water and oxygen.
So you would think that if any of these things are removed, mold will die. Unfortunately, that is not true..
Mold can remain dormant indefinitely until the conditions are right for it to begin producing a colony. It will not die on its own.
In the next few sections, we will explain some mold characteristics and tendencies, and you will learn why services from A+ Restoration & Cleaning is the best way to get rid of mold in your home.
Mold Growth in Your Home
Mold is hardy. It isn’t particular about where it grows or what it eats, so as long as there is moisture, there is the potential for mold.
Mold can feed on anything that contains cellulose. This includes wood, insulation, fabric, and carpet. In short, everything your home is made of. Mold also eats organic materials like dust and pet dander. It is impossible to remove every mold food source from your home.
Therefore, controlling moisture levels is the only way to control mold.
We commonly see mold in the kitchen, bathroom and basement because these rooms are not only high in moisture, but they also contain plenty of food and great hiding places for mold. Tile and grout are common places for bathroom mold, as is unsealed blocks in the basement.
Once mold gets a foothold, it can spread to the foundation or behind the drywall where you’ll never be able to see it, but you can definitely feel its effects.
Mold can cause allergic reactions and allergy-like symptoms in humans and pets. These symptoms include:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Sneezing and congestion
- Headaches or migraines
- Skin rashes
- Coughing and sore throat
These reactions happen when we breathe in mold spores that are floating freely in the air. Although mold is in the air around us at all times, we don’t normally have a reaction to it. Where there is a mold colony, there is a higher concentration of free-floating spores. This is even more dangerous when the colony is contained within our homes, where the spores cannot dissipate.
If Mold Doesn’t Die, What Happens to It?
Mold colonies survive in two different states.
The first state of mold is an actively growing colony. During this stage of growth, mold is feeding on whatever food source it can find, all the while growing its current colony and potentially exposing the rest of your home to mold.
When mold is growing, it is releasing spores into the air and is at its most dangerous. Mold spores are responsible for allergic reactions like sneezing, coughing, headaches, and itchy eyes.
Spores are also what spread mold colonies from one place to another. As mold reproduces, spores are released into the air, and wherever water and food are present, a new colony will start to develop.
In its other state, mold is dormant. If a food source or adequate water is not present, mold will become dormant, or non-viable, but it does not die.
This state of mold is comparable to hibernation. While mold is dormant, the colony does not grow, but it does not go away. You’ll still see its dark stains even though the colony isn’t spreading.
However, dormant mold is not capable of releasing spores into the air, so it can’t make you sick. That’s the good news. As soon as moisture and/or food (oxygen is always present) are introduced back into the vicinity of the dormant mold colony, it will become viable again.
You may not see dormant mold as a problem, but we can’t stress how quickly a harmless dormant mold colony can reactivate and start spreading. Regardless of the stage it is in, mold needs to be removed from your home.
Residential Mold Remediation
Mold growth is measured by size of the colony, and it is categorized into levels.
Colonies that are less than 10 square feet are considered Level 1 mold damage.
This amount of mold can usually be removed by the homeowner – although you can certainly call a professional mold removal company for any amount of mold.
To remove Level 1 mold, don appropriate personal protection equipment, including long sleeves, a mask and eye protection. Gently scrub the surface of the mold with a wire brush, then wipe it with a disposable cloth dampened with detergent, vinegar, or fungicide.
Level 2-4 mold damage ranges from 10 to 100 square feet of growth.
The best course of action for this amount of mold is to hire a professional mold removal company like A+ Restoration & Cleaning. We will be able to remove the mold safely and prevent it from spreading to the rest of your home. We can also check other areas of your home to see if there is any hidden mold that needs to be removed during your service.
Level 5 mold damage is when your HVAC system contains mold.
This is extremely dangerous because it means mold spores are being blown throughout your home every time your heat or air conditioning is running.
Not only do you need professional mold removal services, you will also have to evacuate your home until the mold is removed. Every part of your home will need to be thoroughly checked. Often, Level 5 mold also means there will be mold in hard to reach areas like the insulation, crawl space, and within the walls.
This requires extensive mold removal, and you may even have to replace insulation, wood or drywall that has been affected.
These recommendations are true for living and dormant mold. Regardless of the state that mold is in, it should be treated as if it is alive and dangerous.
Mold will not die on its own, so watch for signs of it, and when you see it or feel its effects, take action right away to protect your home and family.