We often hear about mold when referring to things like moldy bread or the term black mold.  So what is mold, and how does it affect human beings in our environment?  Mold is a form of a microscopic fungus that feeds on dead organic matter such as rotting plants, leaves, or even animals.  It thrives in moist and humid climates, and most forms of mold exist in the form of tiny little organisms called spores.  There are thousands of different species of mold, although some are a little more common to humans than others.  It may be surprising to know, but some molds actually have important uses.  So what is mold used for?  Mold can be used to produce certain cheeses, and is also an important part of food production in many countries.  On the other hand, some molds can be very harmful and dangerous when breathed in, consumed, or even touched.

What is mold looking for in order to thrive in an indoor environment?  Mold needs three basic things to grow successfully inside someone’s house.  These three things are moisture, food (for the mold to thrive), and period of time where it can remain undisturbed.  If mold has enough humidity or moisture, it can grow rapidly.  Combine that with organic matter (food), and a decent amount of time being undisturbed, and mold can become a menacing force.  The question what is mold can be answered in many ways, depending on the type of mold.  While most of us don’t really see the positive effects or results of mold, we do know the negative.  Educating yourself about the different kinds of mold and what it needs to survive, as well as how to avoid letting it grow in your home is the best way you can be protected against its harmful effects.

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