Molds are a natural part of our environment, and are found indoors as well as outdoors. Although mold contributes an important part in natures recycling of dead organic matter outdoors, we should avoid mold growth within our indoor environments.
As in the outdoors, actively growing molds located indoors survive by feeding on dead organic matter. Typically, the result is decay and rot of materials used in the construction of the building or home such as wall framing, drywall paper, roof sheathing, sub floors, and various other cellulose containing materials.
While degradation of building materials is a serious issue and should be avoided, our greatest concern remains with the fact that molds have the potential to cause health problems. Actively growing molds produce spores which are irritants and known to contain allergens. In some cases, molds also produce potentially toxic substances called mycotoxins. Dormant, or not actively growing molds, are also known to be allergenic.
Mold issues located in our indoor environments are not always obvious. Many times molds are found located in normally unoccupied areas such as crawl spaces, behind walls or in attics. Furthermore, mold is not always found to be a thick fuzzy growth, but can appear rather harmless such as dark staining.
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Below are examples of typical mold issues.