The first step in solving an indoor mold problem is ALWAYS stopping the source of moisture, since new mold will begin to grow on porous surfaces within 24–48 hours. The next step is to dry the area without spreading the mold dust and spores. A common remedy for small occurrences of mold would usually include wet cleaning with household cleansers. Care should be taken not to spread or inhale the mold dust and spores.
There are many ways to prevent mold growth; see heating, ventilating, improved insulation and air conditioning. There are also cleaning companies that specialize in fabric restoration – a process by which mold and mold spores are removed from clothing to eliminate odor and prevent further mold growth and damage to the garments.
Improper methods for cleaning mold include exposure to high heat, dry air, sunlight (particularly UV light), ozone, and application of fungicides. Both of these last two (ozone and fungicides) are dangerous and if not properly executed, fatal to humans and animals. These methods may render the mold non-viable, however the mold and its by-products can still cause negative health effects. The only proper way to clean mold is to use detergent solutions that physically remove mold. Many commercially available detergents marketed for mold clean-up also include an EPA approved anti-fungal agent in the right proportions.
Significant mold growth may require professional mold remediation to remove the affected building materials and eradicate the source of excess moisture. In extreme cases of mold growth in buildings, it may be more cost-effective to condemn the building rather than clean the mold to safe levels.
The goal of remediation is to remove or clean contaminated materials in a way that prevents the emission of fungi and dust contaminated with fungi from entering an occupied or non-abatement area, while protecting the health of workers performing the abatement.
High Efficiency Particulate Air filtered vacuum cleaners are used throughout the remediation areas after materials have been thoroughly dried and all contaminated materials have been removed. HEPA vacuum cleaners are recommended for the cleanup of the outside areas surrounding the remediation area. During this process the workers wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent exposure to mold and other contaminants. The collected debris and dust should be stored in impervious bags or containers in a manner to prevent any release of debris
A mold (US) or mould (UK / NZ / AU / ZA / CA) is a fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae. In contrast, fungi that can adopt a single celled growth habit are called yeasts.
Molds are a large and taxonomically diverse number of fungal species where the growth of hyphae results in discoloration and a fuzzy appearance, especially on food. The network of these tubular branching hyphae, called a mycelium, is considered a single organism. The hyphae are generally transparent, so the mycelium appears like very fine, fluffy white threads over the surface. Cross-walls (septa) may delimit connected compartments along the hyphae, each containing one or multiple, genetically identical nuclei. The dusty texture of many molds is caused by profuse production of asexual spores (conidia) formed by differentiation at the ends of hyphae. The mode of formation and shape of these spores is traditionally used to classify molds. Many of these spores are colored, making the fungus much more obvious to the human eye at this stage in its life-cycle.
Molds are considered to be microbes and do not form a specific taxonomic or phylogenetic grouping, but can be found in the divisions Zygomycota and Ascomycota. In the past, most molds were classified within the Deuteromycota.
Molds cause biodegradation of natural materials, which can be unwanted when it becomes food spoilage or damage to property. They also play important roles in biotechnology and food science in the production of various foods, beverages, antibiotics, pharmaceuticals and enzymes. Some diseases of animals and humans can be caused by certain molds: disease may result from allergic sensitivity to mold spores, from growth of pathogenic molds within the body, or from the effects of ingested or inhaled toxic compounds (mycotoxins) produced by molds.