A Brief History of Mold:
|Why wasn't Mold Such a Problem Twenty Years Ago?
There are a number of reasons for the increasing problem of mold and mildew in our homes, not the least of which
is the fact that Title 24 to the United States Code of Federal Regulations, relating to energy conservation, brought new construction
methods and materials, meaning that buildings don't "breathe" as freely, trapping moisture vapors inside the
building. Most new homes are built on concrete slabs, which emit moisture for several years as they cure, and because they
are porous, moisture from the soil beneath the slab also vaporizes into the living space. Leaky roofs, windows, and plumbing,
whether caused by poor construction or lack of timely repairs, often result in colonization of mold and mildew spores. The
microbial spores become airborne, spreading inside wall cavities, behind cabinets and wallpaper, and through ventilation systems.
When moisture and temperature conditions are favorable, widespread contamination can occur in a surprisingly short time. Mold
is becoming such a serious problem that Congress is proposing to enact legislation called The Melina Bill (details) to combat mold.
Where is Mold Found in the Home?
Mold (fungi) is present everywhere-indoors
and outdoors. There are more than 100,000 species of mold. At least 1,000 species of mold are common in the U.S. Some of the
most commonly found are species of Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. Mold is most likely to grow where there is
water or dampness, as in bathrooms and kitchens wherever there is plumbing, the underside of carpets and pads, the surface
of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms) ceilings and attics, back side of drywall, wallpaper and paneling, inside
HVAC systems and duct work, clothing and food . If the answer is "yes" to any of the following questions, it is
possible that there could be hidden mold in your home or building.
Is there a musty smell in the building?
Are there visible signs of water damage anywhere?
Has the building ever suffered a roof leak?
Has the building
ever suffered a plumbing leak?
Has the building ever suffered a sink or sewer overflow?
Has the building ever
suffered other water problems?
Does the building have high humidity?
How can I Reduce or Eliminate Mold
inside my Home?
To eliminate mold you must first eliminate the moisture that's causing it. Molds will grow if we
provide them with moisture and nutrients. If we keep things dry, molds do not grow. High moisture levels can be the result
of water coming in from the outside, through the floor, walls or roof; or from plumbing leaks; or moisture produced by the
people living in the home, through daily activities like bathing, washing clothes or cooking. Water enters the building when
there is a weakness or failure in the structure. Moisture accumulates within a home when there is not enough ventilation to
expel that moisture, or HVAC systems that are not functioning properly. Different kinds of molds grow on different materials.
Certain kinds of molds like an extremely wet environment. Other kinds of molds may be growing even if no water can be seen.
Dampness inside the material can be enough to allow them to grow.
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