Fungi grow by letting spores (reproductive cells) escape into the air, like plants reproduce by spreading out seeds. Spores that are airborne are invisible to naked eyes—the main reason why mold is such an issue. It isn’t uncommon to see thousands of spores of mold per cubic foot of inside air. They’re very small—20 million spores can fit onto one postage stamp.
Spores may survive harsh conditions in the environment, like dryness, which doesn’t support normal growth of mold. As a matter of fact, most spores may lie dormant for years until favorable conditions permit them to once again, spring back to life.
Molds may be seen almost anywhere; they may grow on pretty much any substance, provided oxygen and moisture are present. There are some which are able to grow on foods, fabrics, leather, insulation, sheetrock, tile, carpet, paper, and wood.
They survive by digesting whatever substrate they’re growing on– a real issue when it’s your floorboards. There isn’t any way you can eliminate all mold and spores from your interior environment; the only method of controlling growth of mold indoors includes controlling moisture. The most typical indoor areas for mold to take hold include damp spaces, like:
• Kitchens and bathrooms, particularly underneath sinks—especially leaky ones
• Under or behind appliances which hide slow plumbing leaks (washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators)
• Roof leaks
• Area around windows in which condensation gathers
• High humidity spaces of the home, like basements
Oftentimes, the first indication of a mold issue is a “musty” smell. You’re probably familiar with mildew’s odor—mildew simply is a variety of mold. Also, you could see buckled or bowed floorboards, a fresh water stain on the wall, discolored carpet, or white or black specks—all indications you might be developing a mold issue.