Where Can Molds Grow?

Molds can grow indoors on food, cloth, dust, fruit, paper, cotton, soap, oil, paint, wood, carpets, leather, sheet rock, and insulation when moist conditions exist.

Mold cannot use inorganic materials such as concrete or rock for food, but it can consume anything organic, or carbon based, that happens to land on these surfaces.

Mold only needs a few simple things to grow and multiply:
Suitable place to grow

In homes and buildings, many of the materials mold grows on (such as wood framing, wallpaper, fabrics, drywall, and cardboard boxes) contain cellulose, a plant substance. Cellulose is a polymer (a long-chain molecule) of glucose. The starch we eat is also a polymer of glucose. Our digestive enzymes break starch down into individual glucose molecules that taste sweet. This process starts in the mouth, so a cracker develops a sweet taste as we chew it. Humans can't digest cellulose, because the glucose molecules are linked or bonded differently than they are in starch, but fungi can. Wood is primarily a composite of cellulose and lignin, another complex plant substance that even some fungi cannot digest.

Molds have varying requirements for growth such as moisture, food, temperature and other environmental conditions. Indoor and outdoor spaces that are wet, and have organic materials that mold can use as a food source, can and do support mold growth. Many molds reproduce by making spores, which, if they land on a moist food source, can germinate and begin producing a branching network of cells called hyphae.  Indoor spaces that are damp or wet, and have organic materials that mold can use as a food source, will support mold growth. Since Mold Spores can become airborne, even by the slightest air currents, indoor exposure by inhalation or skin contact and/or by direct skin contact off surfaces is possible.

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