| Mold Basics
- Why is mold growing in my home?
- Can mold cause health problems?
- How do I get rid of mold?
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.
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. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure
can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of
inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing. This brochure provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure. For more
detailed information consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.
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.
Mold Cleanup Guidelines
What to Wear When Cleaning Moldy Areas
- Who should do the cleanup?
Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips
- How Do I Know When the Remediation or Cleanup is Finished?
- Actions that will help to reduce humidity
- Actions that will help prevent condensation
- Testing or sampling for mold