Molds can be found almost anywhere. Mold can grow on virtually any organic substance as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed.
It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors. Mold reproduces by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Mold gradually destroys the things it grows on.
Many types of molds exist and all molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds can produce allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people allergic to mold. Other molds are known to produce potent toxins and irritants. Potential health concerns are important reasons to prevent mold growth and to remediate or clean up any existing indoor mold growth. It is very important and should always be performed by a trained professional in mold removal with the correct personal protective equipment.
Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings and homes. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems arose during home and building construction practices during the 1970s, '80s and '90s. Some of these construction methods resulted in structures being tightly sealed, but lacking adequate ventilation, which leads to moisture buildup. Building materials such as drywall may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems may include roof leaks, landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the structure, or unvented combustion appliances. Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance is also associated with moisture problems in homes and large buildings. Moisture problems in portable classrooms and other temporary structures have frequently been associated with mold problems.