What Is Mold?
Unless you’re a high school biology teacher, you may need a quick refresher on what mold actually is and how it grows.
Mold is defined by the EPA as “a natural part of the environment [that] can be found almost anywhere that moisture and oxygen are present. They belong to the kingdom Fungi and live in moist places such as soil, plants and dead or decaying matter.” And, according to the CDC, “The most common indoor molds are Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus.”
Basically, molds are a type of fungus that can grow just about anywhere. Unfortunately for us, mold often turns up in places where we least want it to live: kitchens, bathrooms, and other spaces where we live a big chunk of our lives.
What Causes Mold in the Home?
So, that’s what mold is and where it grows. But how does it grow? What causes mold to grow in the home? Generally speaking, mold just needs a humid environment to grow. This means that all it requires, to re-quote the EPA, is “moisture and oxygen”. Of course, this is present almost everywhere, so it’s easy to see why mold is so pervasive in our homes.
That said, though, mold actually needs a third ingredient: time. Mold doesn’t tend to develop and grow unless left alone for an extended period of time. Because of this, we can often stop mold from developing before it even gets started.