Why is mold growing in my home?

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

Can mold cause health problems?

Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common.

How do I get rid of mold?

It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.

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iconMold Information and resources

Mold is a Fungus
Mold is a Fungus

Mold is a type of fungus in our natural environment. Mold spores are tiny microscopic ‘seeds’ which can be found virtually everywhere and are a part of the general dust found in homes.

Mold is Unhealthy
Mold is Unhealthy

There is wide variability in how different people are affected by mold exposures. However, the long term presence of indoor mold growth may eventually become unhealthy for anyone.

Dangerous Hidden Mold
Dangerous Hidden Mold

Sometimes, mold growth is hidden and difficult to locate. In such cases, carefully conducted sampling and testing may help determine the location of contamination.

Mold Testing
Mold Testing

There are many testing methods that can detect molds. They can be used to find mold particles suspended in air, in settled dust, or growing on surfaces of building materials and furnishings.