This is one of the most common misconceptions involving mold. There is much confusion between what is dormant mold and what is dead mold. We will clear that up! A guest blog by Mike Adams.
Mold is a fungus that grows in the form of multicellular filaments called hyphae. These filaments combine and become mycelium. The dusty or fuzzy look of mold is caused by millions and millions of little spores.
Spores are molds unique way of reproducing and surviving. Mold gets stressed, it spores. Spores float around until they land on food and moisture. This is molds built-in system to survive it’s own species. When a home is damaged by moisture, whether it be a flood or a small leak, the mold spores within the home will inevitably find the moisture. Once the spores are on the moisture, they will begin to grow. The area dries and then rehydrates. The mold grows during the moisture period, and spores during the dry out phase. It’s stressed because the supply of moisture is going away. The cycle continues over and over again.
Remember, that it’s only after millions of spores have been created that the mold becomes visible to the naked eye. The immediate remedy, after a water issue, is to dry the moisture out. The next step is often where the confusion lies. When the mold is visible or not visible and becomes dried out, it looks harmless. I have talked to many contractors over the years who believe that once the mold is dried out, it’s dead and harmless. This is FALSE and DANGEROUS! Mold needs food and about 60 percent moisture to live and grow. It needs nothing to become dormant. Dormant is not dead! Dormant is still dangerous, can still rehydrate, and grow and spore out, and can still emit mycotoxins.
Because of this confusion, we prefer to use the word “denatured”. After a treatment, the mold and the mycotoxins in the home have been completely denatured. Denatured in biochemistry literally means to destroy the characteristic properties of a protein or other biological macromolecules by heat, acidity, or other effects to disrupt its molecular conformation. The outer membrane is destroyed, the protein loses its structure, and the entire mechanism is torn apart. Don't ignore dried out mold. It may be dormant, but it’s not even close to being dead!