Photo by Toshiyuki IMAI via Flickr Creative Commons

September is National Mold Awareness Month. Let’s see if we can learn something new about mold.

What is mold?

Mold is neither animal nor plant, but its own kingdom–Fungi.

“The fungi kingdom includes such wonderful organisms as the delicious edible mushrooms, the makers of the “miracle drug” penicillin and the yeast that makes our bread rise and our fine wines ferment.”

Sounds good, right? Mold also, however, can come in more harmful forms, like that called Toxic Mold or Black Mold.

All molds are organisms with defined cell walls, which reproduce via spores, and do not contain chlorophyll.

Fungi are an important part of the food chain, being part of the system that breaks down larger organisms. But that doesn’t mean we want it on the shower curtain.

What makes mold grow?

Like any living thing on earth, mold needs food and water to grow and thrive. Mold spores are everywhere, looking for their basic needs so they can reproduce. Mold can use pretty much any material that contains carbon atoms for food but what mold needs to take off is water–moisture, humidity, dampness, condensation.

Uncontrolled moisture = mold.

How can you stop mold?

The most important thing you can do is not give mold any moisture.

  • Use bathroom fans while you are in the shower and for a while after you get out to vent water vapor outside.
  • Repair leaks as soon as they are discovered.
  • Discard porous materials after floods, small or large.
  • Set your air conditioner to Auto so the fan doesn’t keep blowing moisture back into the air.
  • Use a dehumidifier to keep your home’s humidity below 60% but ideally between 30% and 50%.
  • Keep windows closed on very humid days.

What about bleach for mold?

Using bleach to clean mold off non-porous surfaces feels great–it’s gone! But not forgotten. Mold will come back if the surfaces are left damp and not cleaned often.

Mold spores are always with us. Maintenance and attention to our indoor environment can keep it at bay.

If you develop a mold problem that you cannot deal with yourself, contact Alliance for help. Our experienced mold removal technicians are ready to get that mold out of your house, out of your lungs and off of your to-do list!