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How distinguish normal mold from bad mold

Mold. The mere mention of this four-letter word sets panic in homeowners and renters. The green, black, or blue fuzzy substance thrives in dark, warm, and moist environment. In many cases, mold growth is normal and nothing to panic about; on bread, for example. But when you find it growing on your walls, floors, or other surfaces in your home, there’s cause for concern.

“Is mold good or bad?” That’s a question that most people ask when they find it growing in their homes, but it’s a tough one to answer. Mold is a naturally occurring substance. It’s all around us. When it grows outdoors, it usually isn’t problematic. In fact, it’s helpful, as it aides in the decomposition process. However, mold spores can travel indoors, and when they do, they can colonize and cause issues.

But is all mold bad? To answer that question, we break the substance into two categories: normal and bad. But what is normal mold and what is bad mold? Let’s take a look.

Normal Mold

When discussing normal mold that grows indoors, there are two types: airborne mold spores and surface mold growth. It’s normal for some degree of airborne mold spores to be floating around inside your home. The spores float in through any type of opening; windows, doors, gaps in the foundation or roof, and even on clothing and shoes. As long as they don’t originate in your home, these types of molds are considered “normal”.

Normal mold growth inside a home occurs on a regular basis. Mildew on your shower walls or inside the tracks of your windows. Why is this mold normal? Because it’s growing on non-sustainable food sources; in other words, it isn’t growing on porous surfaces, so it can’t sustain. Additionally, it can be easily washed away.

Bad Mold

So, what is bad mold? Any mold inside your home that grows on a sustainable food source, or a porous surface, and is affecting the quality of your indoor air with elevated levels of spores is considered bad. This is different from the airborne mold spores that are associated with “normal” mold. In addition to moisture, warmth, and darkness, mold needs to grow on porous surfaces in order to thrive. It feeds on the porous surface, so it can continue to spread throughout your home.

There are multiple porous materials within the average home. Examples include walls, wood, flooring materials, carpeting, and furnishings. What makes this bad? Because when mold starts to grow on porous surfaces, not only does it continue to spread, but it’s also difficult to remove. The levels of mold spores in the air become elevated, and that can lead to health problems. Exposure to indoor mold can cause a number of complications, including itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion, and respiratory problems.

Mold Inspection & Testing Cincinnati has years of experience performing indoor mold tests in homes throughout the region. To ensure safety, we encourage all homeowners and renters to have mold testing performed on a regular basis. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 513.800.14

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