Mold, which is airborne everywhere, settles onto various surfaces, where it remains viable (able to become active growth) for long periods of time. Mold simply needs moisture (ambient moisture, such as humidity) a food source, (Organic materials-even soil), and ideal temperature 50-90 degrees. Once mold receives these catalysts, active growth begins. If you have ever found something "alive" in your refrigerator (moldy food), you should be aware that the source of the mold wasn't the refrigerator, the source was probably airborne mold that settled onto the food when it was opened on the counter. Even a sealed container in your "fridge" will grow mold if it was opened on the counter for more than 30 seconds. However, this is no reason to develop obsessive compulsive disorders, because we ingest vast quantities of mold each day in the air we breathe. |
Carpet isn't the only building material that experiences problems with mold. The Paint industry has been haunted by the occurrence of mold for many years. While oil-based paints (organic solvents-linseed oil, safflower oil, sun flower oil) can be a food source for mold, latex-based paint do not have organic ingredients. Mold actually uses soil that accumulates on latex-based paints surface as its nutrient catalyst. Maintaining humidity levels within the home at 50% or less is the only answer to limiting active mold growth, but it will not eliminate the presence of mold. Homes that rely on gas, oil or other heat fuels do not dehumidify the air, allows sufficient moisture for mold growth to occur. Often condensation accumulates on walls and window sills as a result of these heat sources, which provides the moisture catalyst needed for active mold growth. A function of central HVAC systems is to "condition" the air, which equates to dehumidification.
Exterior coatings have similar issues, but it is impossible to dehumidify the neighborhood. In selecting exterior paint coatings, select high sheen products (satin, semi-gloss). While mold growth will still occur on these high sheen surfaces, these finishes are less porous than flat paint coatings and easier to remove mold and surface soils through yearly washing.
Another concern raised is the ability to remove entrapped fungi from the pile of carpet. This objection has been consistently raised by advocates of other flooring surfaces. This is a very valid concern, but one in which reality is very different from perception. Essentially, to effectively accomplish cleaning, contaminants must be extracted and removed from the facility. Testing has shown that this is more easily accomplished with carpet than other flooring surfaces, as shown above.
In order to effectively extract contaminants with other flooring surfaces, extraction equipment such as automatic scrubbers and vacuum cleaners must be used. Studies show that standard wet mopping and dust mopping of hard surfaces are not as effective as vacuuming and extracting of carpet. Given gravity, all horizontal surfaces are exposed to biological accumulation, however an effective method of removal must be initiated to ensure satisfactory results.
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