Molds, bacteria, viruses and allergens (pollen) are common Biological Contaminants that infest structures. Lead and asbestos are manmade containments, where biological contaminants are living. These biological contaminants may breed in stagnant water – life requires water – infesting the structure. The water required to sustain biological life and reproduction does not have to be sourced from a flood, a broken pipe, etc. Water that has accumulated in forced air ducts, inline or stand-alone humidifiers or dehumidifiers, drain pans, or where water has collected on ceiling tiles, carpeting, or in wall insulation or attic insulation.
Insects and/or bird droppings can be a source of biological contaminants.
Human susceptibility to biological contamination include cough, chest tightness, fever, chills, muscle aches, and allergic responses such as mucous membrane irritation and upper respiratory congestion.
Black mold (stachybotrys) is a fungus that forms on various kinds of damp wood (building materials) or decaying organic matter. Molds are found indoors and outdoors, in all climates, during all seasons. Mold organisms, the visible molds, require nutrients and water to sustain life and grow. The mold organisms incubate and release the microscope airborne mold spores.
The mold spore is the health hazard of any mold infestation, as it is breathed into the lungs. The spore is also the reproductive cycle for the mold. The spore, given the right environmental conditions (heat/humidity) will split into two spores. This process is known as fission. When these mold spores settle out of the air landing on organic matter, wet or moist nutrient surfaces (such as building materials), they form hyphae, leading to a new mold organism and continuing the life cycle of the mold. Mold spores not only land on the surfaces of materials, they infest into areas you cannot physically access to remove them. i.e. the pores of the 2 x4 framing behind the wall.
Outdoors, molds survive by using plants, decaying woods, organic matter such as fallen leaves as a source of nutrition. Mold outdoors is regulated by sunlight; mold does not use the sun for energy or photosynthesis and is dormant during daylight hours. Mold outdoors is also regulated by plants, flowers, the wind, insects and many additional other natural processes.
Indoors, black molds require the nutrients readily available from building materials, and moisture, to grow and sustain life. Mold indoors is not regulated by natural processes which regulate mold outdoors. Mold indoors tends to grow in enclosed, dark, wet areas; permitting for 24 hour a day growth at more toxic levels than outdoors.
Molds organisms typically will grow with temperatures about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Mold spores will split with humidity levels around above 60 percent. In cold climates, during the winter seasons, mold does not die off, it becomes dormant as much of nature does.
Controlled, moderate temperatures and available nutrient sources make most structures – residential and commercial buildings – ideal for mold growth.
The source of the water intrusion must be rectified before any mold treatment can be successful and guaranteed. Areas of high humidity must be ventilated and/or dehumidified for any mold treatment to achieve long term results.