Facts About Mold

Facts About Mold

What is mold?

Mold, a type of fungus, is different from plants, animals and bacteria. Molds are decomposers of dead organic material such as leaves, wood and plants. Molds sometimes can infect living plants and animals. The spores and hair-like bodies of individual mold colonies are too small for us to see without a microscope.

When a lot of mold is growing on a surface, it often appears black or green. The color of mold is influenced by the nutrient source and the age of the colony. If mold is growing behind vinyl wall paper, colorful pink or purple splotches may appear. Mold growing on fabric is call mildew.

What are the health effects of exposure to mold?

Most people are not affected by exposure to mold unless they are exposed to a lot of mold. Unfortunately, we are not quite sure what “a lot of mold” means. Furthermore, we don’t know if a lot of exposure to mold for a brief time is worse than not so much exposure for a longer time. Each person is different; what amounts to a lot of exposure for some people is not so much for others. Remember, mold is everywhere; we are all exposed to mold every day.

Mold growth on insulation

Cellulose insulation does NOT provide nourishment for mold growth. INTEC uses cellulose insulation that is specially treated with a 100% Borate treatment, which serves as a fire retardant as well as a fungicide. It is highly resistant to mold colonization. Under extreme conditions mold can grow on cellulose insulation, however if that were to occur mold would likely be growing on everything else in sight. To date, the serious reported cases of mold growth on insulation have all involved fiberglass.

How can I prevent mold from growing in my home?

The answer is simple: keep your home dry. If mold does not have moisture it cannot grow. Remember mold spores are everywhere so you cannot completely keep them out of your house since our homes are built with wood and other organic material. Mold can also thrive on dust, cockroach and dust mite feces, skin flakes and food particles. Oxygen is available in the air so we cannot prevent mold growth by eliminating oxygen. Therefore, controlling moisture is the only effective strategy for preventing mold growth in our homes.

The key to stopping mold is to get rid of the moisture it needs to grow.

  • Vent dryers outdoors.
  • Install high-quality fans that remove water vapor from baths and kitchens.
  • Fix plumbing and roof leaks immediately.
  • Install ridge and soffit ventilation systems.
  • Stop water from infiltrating basements and crawl spaces by installing hidden linear French drains around your home.
    These simple trenches filled with perforated pipe and gravel can intercept and redirect water away from your home.
  • Seal brick homes with breathable, high-performance silane and siloxane water repellents.
  • Lower the relative humidity in your basement and/or raise the indoor temperature.

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