We talk a lot about mold and how it can impact your home in Salina, Kansas, or even your health, so I thought I’d take a minute here and review seven key facts about mold, both good and bad.
Let’s Start With a Few Good or at Least Interesting Facts about Mold
Mold is a natural and essential part of the environment. It breaks down organic matter, makes delicious food to eat, and can be used to make clothes, building materials, and even furniture. The problems with mold usually occur when mold is found in an area where it shouldn’t be, like a home.
There are some types of mold that are actually beneficial. The most common example of good mold is Penicillium mold, the active ingredient in penicillin. Penicillin is widely used as an antibiotic and it is effective because Penicillium mold naturally kills many types of bacteria. Alexander Fleming, a Scottish scientist, accidentally discovered the ability of Penicillium to kill bacteria in 1928 when a sample of the mold ended up in one of Fleming’s petri dishes containing bacteria. Penicillin is one of the first successful antibiotics and has been in use since 1942.
There is a type of mushroom known as the Oyster mushroom that is being used in cleaning up the seas after an oil spill because it can help in breaking down the components of oil and petroleum. The fibrous mycelia network of this mushroom can also filter harmful components in soil and water such as pesticides and E. coli. Since both mushroom and mold are fungi, the latter can also be considered as a possible oil spill cleanup material. How cool is that?
Now We Can Begin to Dive into the Not-So-Good Facts about Mold
The first one is probably the most unsettling at times–there is always a little mold everywhere – in the air and on surfaces, inside and outside. The big problem with mold begins when it finds the right environment inside a building or home and begins to grow and contaminate a working or living space.
Mold essentially needs three things to become a problem indoors. Different molds thrive in different conditions, but most like water/moisture, oxygen, and a food source (think wood, paper, foodstuffs, plant matter). Mold can begin to grow within 24-48 hours given the right conditions. So if you live in a place with high humidity, it becomes imperative to make sure your home stays dry and cool. If you have had flooding or a water intrusion it’s important to act quickly before mold begins to grow.
Because mold mainly thrives in damp, humid places, the most likely places that mold will grow in a home are:
While there are over 100,000 species of mold, five are most frequently found in a home.
Some of this information isn’t something any of us really want to think about in Salina, Kansas. But now that we know it is all around us and that it can grow in places that would cause problems, it provides an awareness to situations that could arise in the future.
If you are currently experiencing an issue with mold, or have reason to suspect there could be mold contamination in your home – please give us a call and we can help make mold an afterthought again.