5 Interesting Mold Facts
Mold is a complicated natural substance because it is beneficial in certain instances and harmful in others. Most homeowners associate mold with mold growth in homes which causes property damage and a range of health issues including allergies and even infections. Many of the negative mold facts have been covered extensively as it is important for homeowners to understand the potential dangers of mold in their homes. This article discusses interesting, little known facts about what scientists consider good mold and the beneficial ways in which it is used. However, you must remember that mold growing in your home is never a good thing and you should contact a mold remediation service provider as soon as you discover the growth.
Some Mold is Good for your Health
Let’s start with a fact that goes against what many people understand about mold. While most types of mold are definitely bad for your health, there are some types that are actually beneficial. The most common example of good mold is Penicillium mold, the active ingredient in penicillin. Penicillin is widely used as an antibiotic and it is effective because Penicillium mold naturally kills many types of bacteria. Alexander Fleming, a Scottish scientist, accidentally discovered the ability of Penicillium to kill bacteria in 1928 when a sample of the mold ended up in one of Fleming’s petri dishes containing bacteria. Penicillin is one of the first successful antibiotics and has been in use since 1942.
Another type of mold that has some beneficial qualities is Neurospora crassa which is a bread mold. Scientists study this mold because its life cycle provides insight on larger questions about the development and adaptation of species, cells, and tissues.
Mold is Good in your Garden
If you have a garden in your yard, the presence of mold will help it grow. Certain types of mold can speed up the decomposition process of organic materials like leaves and branches to help keep the soil healthy and full of beneficial nutrients.
Mold Growth is Colorful
Everyone is familiar with the sight of black mold, one of the most dangerous types of mold that appears as ugly black and gray splotches in your home. However, mold may appear in several different colors such as green, orange, and white. It is important to be able to identify different colors of mold in your home so that you can take action to remove it. No mold is good in your home, regardless of its color.
Mold and Mildew are Different
The terms “mold” and “mildew” are sometimes used interchangeably which creates some confusion about whether they are the same thing. Mold and mildew are each a type of fungus, but they have several key differences. The biggest difference is that mildew only grows on surfaces while mold can penetrate beneath the surfaces of affected materials to cause deep structural damage. Mildew is also much easier to remove because it stays on the surface of the affected materials.
For a more in-depth explanation, check out Mold vs Mildew: The Main Differences Between Mold and Mildew.
Mold is One of Many Fungal Species
There are more than 200,000 species of fungus in existence including mushrooms, lichen, yeast, and truffles to name a few. Mold is just one of these fungal species. There are over 100,000 species of mold that are generally categorized into one of the following three categories: allergenic, pathogenic, and toxigenic. Many species of fungus have the ability to morph into other fungal species or adopt the characteristics of multiple species.
Mold is a more useful and interesting substance than many people believe, but it is still dangerous in your home. The presence of mold indoors can lead to serious property damage and the spores are much more harmful to your health indoors because of the confined space. You must contact a mold removal professional once you find mold to have it removed before it results in major property damage or serious health effects.