Where to Look for Household Mold
The house smells musty, and the air feels thick, heavy, and distinctly uncomfortable. You’re certain you’ve got a mold problem, but no matter where you look, you just can’t seem to find it! If you’re like the hundreds of Ottawa homeowners who struggle with mold every year, knowing where to look to find the source of the mold can be a major struggle. Learn where to look and how to properly eradicate mold with Enviropure.
Know Your Enemy
First things first, before you go searching the house for mold, you ought to understand what it is and how it works. You’re a human after all, but if you can ‘think’ like a fungus, you can spare yourself a lot of wasted time by focusing your energy specifically in places mold likes to take root.
Mold Crash Course
Mold is an entire category of fungus. On the microscopic level, they are entire communities of microbial organisms. While there are many different types, they all share a set of distinct characteristics.
1) Whatever you find them on, they are eating.
Different kinds of mold will be found on different kinds of things, because they have distinct ‘dietary’ requirements. The mold that you find on a rotting orange, for example, is going to differ from the mold that you find in your basement. The way you deal with this mold is going to differ as well.
2) Mold requires moisture for growth.
Like everything we know to be alive, mold needs to ‘drink’ just as much as it needs to ‘eat’. While some molds need less moisture, others more, its a simple fact that no mold can exist without moisture
3) Mold does not require light to survive.
Plants derive their energy through photosynthesis. Mold is what is known as a chemoheterotroph, which means that it gets its energy from chemical reactions.
Interestingly, humans are also chemoheterotrophs. When you eat food, after passing through the stomach, your body gets energy from whatever you’ve eaten by mixing it with a concoction of enzymes, chemicals that are meant to turn whatever you’ve eaten into other chemicals that are useful to the body.
Mold does things in a similar way, except instead of digesting internally, they do so externally. They will ‘soak’ whatever they’re on with enzymes, turning organic matter into chemical compounds the mold will absorb for energy.
This process can occur anywhere. Unlike plants and humans, mold doesn’t need to have food, moisture, and light to survive. Requiring only food and moisture
4) Mold Multiplies Through Spores
Some Molds rely on water to disperse their spores, others have evolved methods to spread through the air. If you walk into a space suffering from a mold problem, the dark, musty smell and heavy air your sense is the result of inhaling hundreds of thousands of mold spores seeking a new spot to grow.
This may sound gross to you, and perhaps it is, but keep in mind that exposure is rarely a significant health risk. The human body has evolved side-by-side with mold for millions of years, and has developed many powerful mechanisms to fight its presence in the body!
Where To Find Mold
The key to finding mold is to not think like a human, but to ‘think’ like a mold.
Human beings have evolved over millions of years to navigate our world primarily via sight, and this means a fundamental reliance on the presence of light. By casually looking around your home for mold, you’re biasing your search towards the places that light touches and limiting the odds of successfully finding the source of your problem.
Remember that Mold has taken a very different evolutionary path from us. Mold can, and often prefers to, live in spaces of complete and total darkness. If your kitchen smells moldy, looking into the cabinets and fridge is not enough. You must look behind, beyond, and sometimes within them.
Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
Let’s say you smell mold most intensely around the fridge. You think it’s probably the source of your mold problem, but you aren’t totally sure.
The first step is obviously going to be opening the fridge and poking around inside to see if you can find something moldy. If you’ve been dealing with this smell for a while however, it’s pretty reasonable to assume you would have found moldy food ages ago, so that’s not it.
But don’t rule out the fridge being the problem just yet. By simply poking around inside, you’re thinking like a human, only considering the parts of your fridge you can see as being capable of hosting mold. Consider where you can’t see, and take a look.
Try pulling the fridge out and looking behind it. The space behind the fridge is a low-traffic area that is rarely cleaned and, depending on the condition of your fridge, can also be very moist. Remember that mold needs water, so if your fridge is dripping even a little condensation, the space behind it fridge can be a veritable paradise for mold. So pull the fridge out, and take a look!
Still, don’t see anything? Don’t rule the fridge out just yet.
It might be inside your fridge. Not where you keep your food, but where all the machinery and components that keep your fridge cold are! This space is rarely ever one that people are aware of because its a place people rarely see. But if you’ve got a leaky part inside your fridge, the conditions in there might be just right for mold to grow!
STILL, don’t see anything? It might be time to call in expert help.
How Professionals Find Mold
With access to specialized equipment, the methods Enviropure uses for especially tricky situations is not accessible to the average homeowners.
When mold is particularly elusive to find, Enviropure can take a sample of the air in your home, perform a lab analysis to determine the specific type of mold you’re suffering from, and use our knowledge of that mold to pinpoint its location. For example:
Aspergillus, Cladosporium and Stachybotrys Atra:
‘Black Mold’ is actually three completely distinct species of mold. Though they look the same to the eye, they have unique characteristics and needs that can be used to locate them.
Aspergillus is what is known as an Oligotroph. This means it requires very little nutrition to survive and is characterized by very slow growth. It is commonly found in A/C systems, feeding on the occasional morsel of digestible material carried by airflow and ‘drinking’ condensation
Cladosporium is a very versatile and common household mold. Generally greenish-black, it likes to grow on porcelain, fibreglass, and certain painted surfaces. It can grow in hot or cold, sometimes even below freezing temperatures!
Stachybotrys Atra grows on cellulose-rich building materials and is very thirsty, meaning it is generally found in damp or water-damaged buildings, clinging to the wood it is slowly eating away. This mold can cause significant structural damage as it slowly rots the foundation and framing of your home.
These are just three examples of how Enviropure’s specialized equipment and knowledge can be leveraged to get to the bottom of any mold problem. If you’re suffering from mold, and can’t seem to solve the problem on your own, its time for…
Enviropure Mold Removal
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a big mold problem or a little one, any mold that can’t be found or eradicated by means accessible to a homeowner is a job for Enviropure.
Sometimes mold takes root deep within the ventilation system of a home, in places no human can access without specialized equipment.
Sometimes it’s behind your drywall, beneath floors, or in the ceiling. A handy homeowner could tear down drywall and rip up floors to look for it, but doing so would be inefficient. Without the right equipment and experience, you’d be tearing up your home and may not even find it! Even if you do, you can’t always be sure you’ve found all of it!
In any case, when you’ve looked and looked, maybe even found and treated some mold, but still are struggling to put an end to the musty odour of a household mold problem, its time to get in touch with Enviropure.