Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. It is estimated that species of mold range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds thrive in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.
Some of types of molds commonly found indoors include:
When conditions indoors are optimal (warm, damp, and humid conditions) the species listed above will start to amplify.
Some people are sensitive to molds and will exhibit mold symptoms or a mold allergy such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation. Some people including those with serious allergies to molds, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions can occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings including farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs. Exposure can be elevated in closed in spaces with little or no ventilation.
Inside your home you can control mold growth by:
Controlling humidity levels;
Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.
If mold is growing in your home (small areas), you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water.