What is mold?

Molds are organisms that are found indoors and outdoors. They are part of the natural environment and play an important role in our ecological system by breaking down and digesting organic material.  Molds are neither plants nor animals.  They are part of the kingdom Fungi.

Mold on a cabinet under kitchen sink.

Health Effects:

Inhalation exposure to mold indoors can cause negative health effects in some people. Molds produce allergens, irritants and, in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions. People with weakened immune systems are more likely to suffer from expose to mold.

The odor given off by mold is an indication that the mold is feeding(active). This means that the mold has all the necessary ingredients to promote growth. These are moisture and organic materials i.e. wood, drywall, cloth.

Prevention

Using a HEPA filter on the HVAC system can help filter out spores in the air. Always try and keep the system running as it works as a dehumidifier which helps inhibit growth. Routinely check under sinks for leaks.  When showering turn on the exhaust fan and allow the fan to run for about 15 minutes after showering. This helps vent the warm moist air from the shower out of the home. Mold is everywhere. Every time you open the door to your home mold spores enter, so it is impossible to have a mold free home. Mold can be very harmful for your home and your health so taking these small steps to help prevent mold growth can lead to a healthier life and home.

The picture above is of an inspection done in mid-October. This is a in a full bathroom and shows a perfect example of how not using the exhaust fan while taking a shower and letting it run for a period after can cause excessive moisture build up. Over time the moisture absorbs into the drywall wall creating the perfect environment for mold to grow.

In this photo we have a laundry room where the dryer exhaust had torn and was letting the warm moist air that vents out of a dryer to blow directly onto the drywall. This is a perfect environment for mold to form. Once again, the drywall being a porous material absorbed the moisture giving the fungus an excellent food source. An indication that you may have a leak in your dryer vent will be excessive lent build behind the dryer and a humid moist air in the room.

This photo is from an inspection done on November 8 2018. In this case there was no obvious signs in the kitchen of an issue. Once I opened the cabinet below the sink I instantly knew there was mold without having to look. With the door open you could easily smell the mold letting me know that this was active mold and that it had a food source which was most likely a leak. The leak was not visible, so in this case the mold actually benefited the buyer by alerting them that there is a moisture issue.