Most of us are aware that molds have many useful purposes. Penicillin is developed from mold, many cheeses require mold as part of their manufacturing process, and molds are essential in nature as they help break down organic materials.
When it comes to your home or business, however, the types of mold encountered there can cause serious problems. Unchecked mold growth inside homes and buildings has been linked to allergies, respiratory distress, and serious illness. Because of its very nature, mold can be extremely difficult to remove. In severe cases, it can even render a building completely uninhabitable.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is no practical way to completely eliminate all molds and mold spores from an indoor environment. Even the most sterile environments have mold spores present in the air. However, mold can be controlled once you understand that it cannot grow without three key elements-moisture, heat and darkness.
The best way to prevent mold is to control moisture. Mold can begin to grow in less than 24 hours, so it is essential to prevent moisture as soon as possible. Some general tips for this include fixing leaky plumbing and water leaks as soon as possible, watching for condensation and wet spots, finding and fixing sources of moisture problems, maintaining a low (below 60%) indoor humidity, and venting moisture-generating appliances to the outside whenever possible.
Keeping moisture out of the building will go a long way in keeping mold out, and regularly inspecting areas that are prone to moisture development will help you keep mold under control.