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What is Mold?



Chicago mold job

Mold remediation in Chicago!




Mold refers to a type of organism that is neither plant nor animal. Mold is a type of Fungi. People commonly associate mold with plants, but unlike plants that require sunlight to grow, though mold growth is greatly inhibited by the sun’s ultraviolet light.

Mold also differs from plants in that it eats whatever material that it is growing on. Mold actually plays in important part in nature as it’s role is to break decaying organic matter like dead animals, plants, or leaves.


Mold Growth Indoors and Outdoors

Mold is common in the outdoor environment in places such as dirt, soil, wood, dead plants, dead animals, and on dirty rocks, pavement, or dirty organic material that has a lot of moisture.

Mold is common in indoor environments that have experienced water damage specifically in places, carpet, carpet padding, drywall, paneling, behind wall paper, flooring, cabinets, insulation, food, furniture, paper, fabric, drapes, air vents, basements, and inside ceiling tiles.
Conditions For Mold Growth Indoors

Q: What three things does mold need to grow?

  1. Oxygen is needed for mold growth as it is for all living things
  2. Organic materials containing carbon provide necessary nutrients
  3. Water, or moisture






Mold is everywhere as it is, but it will grow crazy, if there is water with mold growth beginning to real take off within 72 hours of a water damage issue. Mold will grow just about anywhere provided there is enough moisture. Mold problems generally won’t develop in a house, or place of business unless there is a significant moisture problem caused by sewage backup, flooding, broken plumbing supply lines, condensation, high humidity, or excessive steam. There are many different types of mold and most them will begin to grow within 24-48 hours of moisture being present, so it important to remove moisture and water from an indoor environment as soon as possible. Xerophilic mold types only need high humidity as their source of moisture to survive, but other molds require more accumulation of moisture to grow. Home and business owners should be judicious in taking efforts to insure that moisture levels in their basements stay in the normal to dry range to prevent basement mold issues.

Mold also prefers to have warm temperatures, but there are some types of mold that grow in sub freezing weather. Now, mold doesn’t always die, when temperature, or food become a problem as it can lay dormant for long periods of time just to grow again when conditions are more favorable again.



Mold in a basement in Chicago


Information On Mold Biology

Mold grows in colonies, comprised of a network of multicellular filaments known as hyphae, and is only really visible to the naked eye when part of a very large colony.

Mold produces enzymes and release them from the tips of the hyphae onto whatever organic material it is growing on. The enzymes breaks down the organic material allowing the mold to digest it and absorb that organic material’s nutrients by basically sucking it up the mycelium like a straw into the main body of the colony

Information On Mold Spores

Mold doesn’t only produce enzymes for digestion food. Mold also uses the mycelium to produce spores that have spread mold like seeds spread plants. Mold spores are very small and can be carried by the slightest breeze, wind, or air current. These spore will land on organic materials and grow if the conditions are right and moisture is available. Spores can begin to grow should there be dampness or moisture in the air or if the organic material is saturated as long as there is oxygen and nutrients. Spores can germinate into a new hyphal cell and begin a new mold colony in as little as 24 hours. Spores are very tough and can survive the harshest environments and lay dormant for many years. It is also impossible to eliminate all mold, because of it’s resiliency and how easily it floats through the air.


This wall in Chicago had wall all over it

Mold Grows anywhere water damage occurs!

What is Toxic Mold?

There are several hundred thousand different species of molds, but only sixteen have been known to be super toxic to humans and animals. These molds are toxic, because there spores contain mycotoxins, which make humans and animals sick when ingested, or inhaled.


Common toxic molds are:

  • Aspergillus
  • Stachybotrys
  • Trichoderma
  • Fusarium
  • Penicillium
  • Paecilomyces



Is all Black Mold Toxic?

No, not all mold that appears black or dark in color is toxic. However, you get a mold assessment, or mold test done immediately by a certified mold testing company to make sure that any dark mold in your property isn’t toxic.


Why is Toxic Mold a bigger concern now than in the past?

Mold that is toxic to humans and animals has excited since the beginning of time. However, new construction of indoor environments, which have become more air tight for energy conservation purposes. A side effect of preventing hot, or cool air escaping from a property is moisture can get trapped and there more cellulose materials being used in construction (insulation and padding) than there has been in the past. Wet drywall and wet insulation that is trapped behind that drywall will have a hard time drying on their own. Calling a professional water removal company like 2nd Chance Water Restoration of Chicago can help you dry your property quickly and correctly leaving a very small window for mold to grow. Unfortunately, it seems that a high percentage of common construction material like carpet padgding, drywall, and insulation can be a perfect source of food for mold to grow.


Call 2nd Chance Water Restoration of Chicago if you need a professional water damage removal, mold remediation, or sewage removal service estimate at 630-546-2239 if you are in the greater Chicago area. You can find our service area here.