1) What is mildew?
What is mildew? Well, mycologists, people who stud fungi, use the term “mildew” only
for fungi that grow on plants. When mycologists say “mildew”,
they mean a white growth that causes diseases in plants.
People who are not scientists use the word “mildew” differently.
For them, mildew is the discoloration caused by mold in buildings. The
molds that grow around windows or in bathrooms are called “mildew”.
Is mildew different than mold? The mycologist would say they are different.
Mildew only grows on plants outdoors. The non scientist sees the way mold
grows indoors and it is called “mildew”.
2) How long does it take mold to grow?
To be more specific, we should ask, “How long does it take for a
mold spore to germinate”? Then, we should ask, “How long does
it take growing mold to colonize”?
To grow, molds need a food source, a certain temperature and moisture.
Where these conditions are present, molds can germinate and colonize. How
fast growth occurs depends on the combination of conditions. Spores can
germinate after only 12 hours in some conditions and some grow in 24 to
48 hours. Houses offer an ample food supply- drywall, wood, insulation,
and paper. When these materials become damp or wet, settled spores can
become growing molds.
Molds may colonize in 1 to 12 days depending on the type of mold.
3) Why does mold give off musty odors?
The musty odors produced by molds are known by scientists as Microbial
Volatile Organic Compounds. Some MVOCs produce musty and moldy odors, which
result form the chemical changes taking place during the mold life process.
They are waste products given off by actively growing molds. Health effects
such as headaches, dizziness and nausea have been linked to exposure to
MVOC’s , but research is only beginning. Odors from MVOC’s
are a sign that mold is actively growing and so may indicate a level of
mold contamination requiring remediation.
4) What are mycotoxins and are they dangerous to humans?
Mycotoxins are poisonous substances. “Myco” means fungus,
so think of mycotoxins as “fungi toxins”. They are designed
for chemical warfare against other organisms, even against other types
of molds. Living molds may produce mycotoxins to discourage other molds
or bacteria from growing in the same territory. Unfortunately, humans who
inhale, ingest, or touch mycotoxins may have a reaction, Some mycotoxins
have been shown to produce human heatlth effects, while little is know
about the possible harmful affects of some other mycotoxins.
We should not panic over mold toxins. Not all molds produce mycotoxins;
furthermore, molds that can produce mycotoxins do not produce them in all
situatios. EPA cautions that finding molds in a building does not mean
that mycotoxins are also in the building, and even when mycotoxins are
present in a building, the quantities may not be large and thus health
5) How do you prevent mold from spreading?
To prevent mold spores from spreading to clean areas of a building, a
remediation contractor must control air movement. There are two important
procedures : (1) Erect critical barriers and (2) Establish negative pressurization
in the work area.
Critical barriers block the paths that airborne mold spores might follow.
Contractors construct critical barriers by placing two layers of polyethylene
over any air pathways through which spores might travel(air vents, wall,
plates, recessed lighting, doors and other openings).
To establish negative pressure, a contractor creates low air pressure
in the work area. The result is that rooms and areas surrounding the work
area will have higher air pressure than the work area. Maintaining negative
air pressure prevents mold spores from being carried by air movement from
the work area to uncontaminated rooms of the job site.
6) Will ozone kill mold and the mycotoxins produced by mold?
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists do no recommend
using ozone on visible mold growth. Due to various factors, ozone has not
been found effective against molds. One problem is the elements that cause
ozone to be less effective. Ozone can be affected by temperature and pH,
decreasing its impact on mold. Organic materials in the structure can also
A second problem is that ozone does not kill what it does not reach. No
method of application can ensure that the ozone contacts every surface
where mold contamination exists.
The last problem is mycotoxins. Even if ozone did affect mold, the toxins
on mold spores and mold fragments still remain on surfaces and can still
cause allergenic reactions in people. To remediate a mycotoxin problem,
you must reduce the concentrations of mycotoxins in the structure.
In conclusion, ozone does not work in solving the mold problem. Molds
are usually found in damp areas. Using ozone on wet materials in a damp
area may result in bleaching of the areas.
7) Should I have my air ducts cleaned?
YES!! The type of contaminates usually found inside air duct systems include
dirt, dust, dust mites, drywall dust, mold, mildew, fungi, moisture,
sawdust, pet hair, pet dander, insect remains, pollen, carpet fibers,
and/or rodents. These type of contaminates need to be removed professionally.
8) What are the benefits of using UVC’s?
UVC’s are important because it kills germs, bacteria, mildew, viruses
and mold spores. It is vital to use UVC’s to stop the spreading of
these contaminates. It stops the spread of sickness and disease by passing
thru the UVC’s. It stops mold and bacteria growth inside your central
air conditioning system.
The UVC’s eliminate chemical odors, pet odors, tobacco odors, and
cooking odors making the air in your rooms smelling fresh and clean while
producing ZERO ozone.
It also destroys VOC’s (volatile organic compounds).
It generates safe and highly affective hydroxyl, the natural compound
that scrubs pollution from the earth’s atmosphere.
It generates negative ions, which are circulated out of your cooling and
heating vents and into your living space by your central air conditioners
fan or blower.
Mold Infested Floor Return
Containment Barrier Separating Upstairs from Basement