Since mold spores are everywhere all the time, we are always exposed to mold. At any given time, outdoor air will have as many as 100 different types of mold spores floating about, along with a number of other airborne pollutants.
Because mold spores are ever-present in the air, they drift freely in and out of buildings through doors, windows, attic vents, HVAC systems, etc. On any given day, airborne mold spore levels indoors should always be about the same as outdoors, unless mold is originating indoors.
Increased spore amounts:
When airborne mold spores find something damp to stick to, they colonize (grow) and release new spores. Mold growing outdoors is seldom ever a health risk. But when mold grows indoors, spore levels can reach concentrations significantly higher than outdoors and cause a number of adverse reactions in people and animals, including rashes and itching skin, eye – nose and throat irritations, chronic headaches, respiratory infections, nausea, and trigger asthma attacks.
Increased spore types:
In addition to increasing the amount of spores indoors, mold growing indoors on wet construction materials tend to produce different types of spores that are not found outdoors.
For example, it is rare to find Stachybotrys outdoors. However, Stachybotrys is commonly found growing indoors on drywall and carpet after a flood or other water intrusion has occurred. Stachybotrys is often referred to as “black mold” and can be toxigenic. Exposure to high concentrations of toxigenic mold spores inside a building can present a wide range of very serious health risks to the occupants.
While you cannot control Mother Nature, you can certainly limit the potential for indoor mold growth by limiting moisture sources and responding rapidly to every water intrusion issue. The biggest mistake people make is ignoring minor issues until they become major problems. Early detection and assessment can minimize the risk of exposure to toxic molds and save thousands of dollars in repair costs.