What are molds?
Molds, one of the major forms of fungi, are found everywhere in the
environment, both indoors and outdoors. Most of the time, they are found in
association with decaying organic materials such as leaves and food. Molds
make their living by helping break down these organic materials so they can
be recycled and reused by other living things in the great circle of life. Thus,
molds are very important to the world’s ecology.
How do molds get into my house?
Molds travel about as microscopic spores. Spores are like seeds, but much
smaller, so they are easily blown great distances through the air. Because of
this, mold spores are found literally everywhere. For example, it is not unusual for a cubic meter of outside air to contain 500 to 1,000 mold spores.
Should I be concerned?
Yes and no. For the most part, molds don’t find people, pets or houses
to be inviting places to live. Humans’ nasal passages and lungs are designed
to handle those spores that we do inhale. While mold spores may be present
in the air, they cause trouble only if they are permitted to grow. However, if
significant mold overgrowth occurs in the home, it can damage the home’s
structure and trigger allergies in its occupants.
Is mildew the same as mold?