Every day we have many people calling us asking why mold is growing in their homes, so I thought it would be helpful to write a little something about it and provide a link for more information for those who are looking.
Molds are everywhere, and there are mold spores in every breath we breathe. BUT, mold should not be growing indoors, in a home, or in an air conditioning system. When mold grows indoors, the airborne mold spore levels rise, and this is when people start feeling the effects of mold.
Mold spores may enter your house from the outside through open doorways, windows, and normal ventilation and breathing of a home. Mold spores in the air outside also attach themselves to people and animals, making clothing, shoes, bags, and pets convenient carriers for mold to the indoors. These things are normal.
However, when mold spores fall or settle on places where there is moisture, such as where water leakage may have occurred from roof leaks, plumbing leaks, exterior wall leaks, foundation issues, flooding, overflows, or HVAC condensation, these mold spores will begin to grow. Mold must have moisture and a food source to grow, but many molds can live off of high humidity and dust particles. Many building materials provide nutrients that encourage mold to grow faster. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products like drywall or sheetrock, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive to mold growth. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
According to the EPA,
Too much moisture in a home can lead to mold, mildew, and other biological growth. This in turn can lead to a variety of health effects ranging from more common allergic reactions, to asthma attacks, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis.
For more information, click on this link for a great publication from the EPA: