Problematic fungi/mold

Mold can be found in a variety of locations within your home and it can do more than make your stomach churn. Molds are simple, microscopic organisms that can grow on virtually everything both indoors and outdoors. It can grow indoors and on anything from the surface of foods to household plants and household materials (i.e. 2x4 studs, subfloor plywood, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, drywall, brick and even fabric).

When present in large quantities, mold can cause health problems, including allergic reactions, toxic reactions, asthma episodes, infections and respiratory damage. In addition, homeowners can incur large bills for structural damage caused by water or water vapor trapped behind the walls. That's why it's important to identify potential areas or situations where mold can grow. When water damage has occurred, immediately take steps to clean and properly dry the area. For mold to develop, it needs nutrients and moisture.

If indoor mold contamination is extensive, it can cause very high and persistent airborne spore exposures. Persons exposed to high spore levels can become sensitized and develop allergies to the mold or other health problems. Mold growth can damage your furnishings, such as carpets, sofas and cabinets. Clothes and shoes in damp closets can become soiled. In time, unchecked mold growth can cause serious damage to the structural elements in your home.

Mold spores primarily cause health problems when they are present in large numbers and people inhale many of them. This occurs primarily when there is active mold growth within an indoor environment where people live or work. People can also be exposed to mold by touching contaminated materials and by eating contaminated foods.

What are molds?

Molds are microscopic fungi that live on plant, animal or organic matter (such as cellulose). Almost all building structures are made from this material!

No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from two to three hundred thousand or more. Most are filamentous organisms that produce spores, a general characteristic of fungi. These spores can be air, water, or insect-borne.

What are some of the common indoor molds?

The three (3) major mold groups:

Molds are organized into three groups according to human responses; Allergenic, Pathogenic, and Toxigenic.

Allergenic Molds

Allergenic molds do not usually produce life-threatening health effects and primarily affect those who are already allergic or asthmatic. The human system responses to allergenic molds tend to be relatively mild depending on individual sensitivities. Typical symptoms include scratchy throats, eye and nose irritations and rashes.

Pathogenic Molds

Pathogenic molds usually produce some type of infection. They can cause serious health effects in individuals with suppressed immune systems. Healthy people can usually resist infection by these organisms regardless of dose. In some cases, high exposure may cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis (an acute response to exposure to an organism).

Toxigenic Molds

Toxigenic molds produce mycotoxins which are organic compounds that create a toxic response in invertebrates. Mycotoxins can cause serious health effects in almost anybody. These agents have toxic effects ranging from short-term irritation to immune-suppression and possibly cancer. Therefore, when toxigenic molds are found within an indoor environment, MiraMold will write the mold remediation protocol to reflect a heightened level of safety needed to properly avoid any further exposure to either the building owner or inhabitants.

Where are molds found?

Molds are found in virtually every environment and can be detected, indoors and outdoors, year round. Mold growth is encouraged by warm, humid and dark conditions. Outdoors they can be found in shady, damp areas or places where leaves and other vegetation are decomposing. Indoors, they can be found where humidity levels are high, such as basements and showers. Below are a few other more surprising areas.