Understanding the Lifecycle of Household Mold
Understanding the lifecycle of household mold is critical to helping your mold remediation team remove it and in preventing mold growth in the future. Let’s explore its lifecycle and how the nature of mold allows it to thrive and spread in an indoor environment.
The Lifecycle of Mold
Mold is a living organism, and like any living organism, it has a lifecycle that we can track. Like most fungi, an indoor mold starts as a spore. This spore then germinates, or forms new characteristics, when it lands in the ideal environment. For indoor molds, this environment is typically somewhere warm and damp. However, mold can grow in cold areas in the presence of moisture and nutrients, like those found in decaying wood.
At this stage of colonization, or hyphae growth, you can start to see the mold developing. From here, the mold continues to thrive and eventually produces spores of its own to then release into the surrounding environment. These spores are the mechanism by which mold spreads and repeats the lifecycle.
How Mold Gets Into Your Home
Mold can access the inside of our homes in multiple ways. From the air vents to our doorways, any opening in our building gives mold an invitation inside. Mold occurring outdoors can easily blow indoors as you enter your home—or travel on you, from your shirt to the kids’ backpacks. Realistically, keeping mold out of your house is virtually impossible, as the mold that travels in does so during the spore stage, long before we can even see it.
Mold spores are microscopic, and unless they have already landed on you, a loved one, or a pet, they’re typically airborne. These miniature travelers get shaken off or land on the carpet or walls—or in many cases, end up in your home’s air vents. If the mold lands in an area that provides the right environment, it grows.
Does Mold Ever Die on Its Own?
Unlike most living organisms that we’re used to, mold manages to survive even without access to the proper environment and sustenance it needs. Instead of dying, mold only goes dormant, or inactive. While in a dormant state, mold stops growing and doesn’t release any spores, as these both require energy. Once moisture returns, mold can continue in its usual lifecycle.
Some products can kill mold, but only under specific circumstances. For example, bleach is a common household tool for removing mold from counters. This mold-killing technique only works on hard, non-porous surfaces where the mold can’t spread into the substance as well. Bleach cannot kill mold growing on paper, fabric, and wood surfaces.
Why the Mold Lifecycle Matters
Homeowners may not need to know all the ins and outs of mold science, but understanding the lifecycle of household mold is critical to seeing how the fungus can thrive in their home. Mold removal and remediation teams keep the mold lifecycle in mind as they work to fully rid your home of the mold currently growing there. Here are a couple of ways the mold lifecycle impacts a remediation team’s decision-making process.
Identifying the Cause of Mold Growth
Knowing how mold grows plays a key role in helping your remediation team discover the reason the fungus is currently thriving in your home.
Finding mold that is dormant suggests that the initial cause of moisture has since dried up, or something about the environment has changed in a way that inhibits the mold’s growth. Discovering active mold signals to the team that some source of moisture, whether a leak or substantial humidity, gives the mold everything it needs to thrive.
Even the pattern of the mold’s growth can help your remediation team identify the source of the issue and give you clearer instructions on how to address it. The way mold appears in a cabinet or on a wall can provide you and your remediation team with strong hints as to the path the moisture source is taking, especially with leaks from the roof or faucet.
Mold Spores and Remediation
When people try to remove mold at home, whether in bathroom tile grout or under a kitchen sink, they tend to resort to a quick chemical or vinegar spray and a lot of elbow grease. However, understanding the mold lifecycle tells mold experts that even the act of scrubbing away visible mold can make the mold situation in your home worse.
Agitating mold currently producing spores only releases spores into the air. This spore release can lead to coughing and eye irritation for anyone not wearing proper protective gear. Unfortunately, even using mold-killing chemicals without properly containing the moisture source or the spores only leads to the mold spreading or returning to the same location later on.
Mold remediation experts work to isolate the mold before beginning the removal process to stop this part of the lifecycle in its tracks. Isolating and then removing the mold ensures that no additional spores escape into the air or get released onto the carpet, where your family can kick them up later.
How To End the Mold Lifecycle in Your Home
The easiest way to end the mold lifecycle in your home is to call in a team of experts. Mold remediation is necessary to completely rid a space of mold and prevent mold spores from discovering new, damp areas of the home to grow in. The final step of the remediation process is to equip yourself and your household with the knowledge necessary to prevent mold from settling in again in the future. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as adding a dehumidifier—or as complex as completing necessary home repairs. Either way, removing mold from the home and preventing it from returning is essential to helping your family breathe easily again.
If you’re looking for a team of honest experts to help you end the mold lifecycle in your home, Mold Only is here to help. We offer mold remediation and mold testing in Broward County and the surrounding Florida area. Our licensed team promptly assesses your home’s mold situation and provides a no-nonsense plan on how to help. Contact us today to get a free quote and rid your home of irritating mold spores as soon as possible.