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Mold is a type of fungi that grows in humid areas and on various surfaces. The idea environment for mold to grow is moisture, and is easily spotted in insulation materials, carpet, fabrics, wallpaper, and paint among others.
There are various types of mold, and the most common one is the black mold which appears as a greenish-grey coloring and mostly forms rings around wet surfaces.
How Long Does Mold Spore Stay Airborne?
Mold spores can stay airborne for a couple of days, depending on their weight. Since they are very light, they continue to linger in the air until they get attached to other particles, become heavy then land on other surfaces.
Mold spores can easily get attached to other surfaces, this means that if airborne, they will easily get attached to other objects and be transported around.
Mold spores get into the air and can enter your house through open doors or windows and even heating or air conditioning systems when they heat up. The mold eventually land on various surfaces in your house and if there is the presence of moisture, they shall continue to grow.
Do Mold Spores Ever Die?
Mold exists in two stages, the active stage where it is feeding and releasing spores into the air. And the dormant or non-viable stage.
It is hard to have mold spores killed. The norm is that they just stay dormant in the air and wait for the right conditions to germinate and grow.
Mold spores can stay dormant in the air for a very long time, this has been proved by a discovery of mold spores in ancient Egyptian tombs.
Therefore, mold spores never die, but only go into an inactive state. They can go back to the active state when they are exposed to moisture.
Can Mold Spread Through the Air?
The answer to this question is in the affirmative. Mold particles are very tiny and can easily travel through air. The mold spores fly in the air and travel all over, attaching themselves to different objects.
We have the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) that are found in the atmosphere. VOC are a by-product of mold growth. A lot of buildup of this in the air courses a mildew smell.
When you turn on your Ac, the mold spores are able to travel through your Ac systems and into all areas of your house.
Mold also gets attached to surfaces like clothes, animal fur, among others. When you get into your house or clean off these surfaces, you shall be releasing the mold spores into the air.
When you clean areas that have been infected with mold, you shall be emitting mold spores into the air. And you need to collect and dispose of the mold spores carefully otherwise you shall be spreading them in the air.
Since mold spore are very light, they can stay in the air for a number of days. They can only land on surfaces when they become heavy or when they come into contact with those other surfaces.
How Do You Tell If There are Mold Spores in the Air?
You can notice the presence of mold in the air when you smell an earthy pungent smell, especially when you turn your Ac on. For the people who have allergic conditions, they shall experience severe symptoms like short breathe, irritation of the skin, among others.
Mold can also be found in the air through the Ac system, especially when it is turned on.
Another way of detecting mold spores in the air is through the VOC, which are part of the atmosphere. These gases are a by-product of mold growth. This is noticed when you smell a mildew smell in the air.
Can You Smell Mold Spores?
It is not easy to smell mold, however, if you notice a damp musty smell that could be the smell of mold. The smell of mold also is dependent on the surface on which it is growing, source of moisture and the type of mold.
Some smell has been described as that of falling rain, meaty, earthy, alcohol fermentation and herbaceous among others.
You can also smell mold spores in the air if you notice a pungent mildewy smell. This is easily noticed around air vents or when you turn on your Ac.
Another way of detecting mold spores in the air is if you notice an earthy damp smell.
The amount of odor in your home is determined by the size of the mold spores, more of the mold spores shall lead to a more pungent smell.
The smell of mold spores never goes away until the source of the mold is thoroughly cleaned.
Prevent Mold Spores from Going Airborne
When you notice the presence of mold in the air in your home, it is important to identify the source and tackle the source. You need to clean and repair the breeding ground for the mold. This can take the form of:
- Fixing leakages
- Cleaning and drying any wet surfaces
- Ensuring a good ventilation
- Controlling humidity levels
- Have a good drainage system around your home
- Replace seriously infected and severely damaged objects in your home
- Insulate cold surfaces such as floors to minimize condensation
- Keep the AC drip pans clean
- Have a well-functioning heating and cooling system
- Use an anti-mold paint on surfaces that need painting
- Regularly change your air filters
- Open your doors and windows when the weather is warm
- Use mold killing agents during the cleaning of your house
- Avoid houseplants
At times, the cleaning might need a specialist, who will have the correct leaning gargets and cleaning agents. It is also good to disinfect the source of the mold, to prevent further growth.
You can, however, carry out simple cleaning on your own. Wear protect gear and use the correct cleaning agents. Note that you should never mix bleach with ammonia as it causes a violent corrosive reaction.
When cleaning your home, make sure that you collect the debris into proper waste disposal materials. This will help you prevent the mold spores from becoming airborne again.
It is also advisable to use an air purifier that will collect the mold spores from the air and have it regularly cleaned. An air ionizer which has a filter, is also a good garget of keeping your air free of mold spores.
There is an interesting feature in the EC3 candle, this has been proven to remove the mold spores smell from the air.
The above discussed are ways of showing that indeed mold spores can be found in the air, have a smell, and do not die. Also, that getting rid of the source of the mold is very crucial to totally eradicating the presence of mold spores in the air.