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How Does Mold Form?

Mold is a common menace in most homes, especially those that have humidity and condensation issues. Living with mold in our houses is risky since it comes with all manner of problems. Mold is responsible for the majority of allergies, while prolonged exposure can result in serious breathing-related conditions such as asthma.

Mold infestation eats on the wood used to make the framing and this causes massive structural damage. It is therefore important to deal with mold the moment you first spot it. Understanding how mold forms can go a long way in helping you deal with it effectively. This article takes an in-depth look at the process involved in the formation of mold.

How Is Mold Produced?

Black mold in the corner of room wall.

Mold is a type of fungi that comes in the form of multi cells, combined to form strands known as hyphae. Mold grows on dead organic matter and the green, white, black, or grey matter you see is a colony known as mycelium. Mold reproduces through the production of spores that can be found floating in the air. These are very tiny and are almost invisible to the naked eye. Mold spores attach themselves to people’s clothes and they end up being transferred from one point to another in the house. Upon being dropped in favorable conditions and the right medium for its growth, mold spores turn into visible mold colonies within 7 days.

The Medium For Mold Growth

Mold grows perfectly on any organic material medium that has carbon in it. These media include paper, wood, food, trees among many others. Upon falling on organic matter, mold spores start secreting digestive enzymes that digest the material. In other words, mold relies on such materials for food that facilitate its growth. This explains the wood rot that is caused by mold growth, which eventually results in structural damage. The organic medium is not the only condition that mold needs for its proper growth.

Conditions That Support Mold Growth

The conditions for perfect mold growth include moisture, oxygen, darkness, and warmth. This explains why mold growth is concentrated in most hidden and hard to reach corners of the house. In most cases, these areas receive very little or no light at all. Such areas are usually rampant with moisture and this can be due to leaking water pipes, excess humidity, and condensation on the windows. Mold can also grow on surfaces when the dust on them is exposed to moisture. To reduce humidity in the house, ensure you have a working dehumidifier fitted with a HEPA filter. You should also have a good kitchen range hood to get rid of the grease and fumes produced during cooking. To prevent mold growth due to the dust that finds its way into the crawl spaces, use a good working air purifier.

How Long Does Mold Take to Grow

Upon the mold spores falling on a supportive medium for growth, they start to grow within 24 hours. Two to three days after this, you will start seeing the colonies that are green, white, grey, or black, depending on the type of mold. Since it is not always possible to see these colonies especially when they are growing in hard to reach areas, you should be on the lookout for other signs such as the musty smell. Most people assume that early and young mold colonies are not harmful. This mold may appear harmless in its initial stages but it is still feeding on the material that it is growing on. If this material happens to be your framing wood, things will have gotten out of control by the time you take action. This is why you should always get rid of mold once you first spot it; do not wait because by then, it will be very hard to remove it and the more time and resources you are going to spend.

Since oxygen is one of the requirements for perfect mold growth, it means that you will never have perfect air quality in your home. This is because mold spores can even come through windows from outside. Unfortunately, there is no way to control the amount of oxygen in the houses. The best thing you can do is deal with existing mold for better air quality. In regards to dealing with mold, you do not want to remove the mold by yourself. Hiring a professional to do the removal is the best way because they have the knowledge and skills and they know exactly where to look.

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