The Biology of Mold

The Biology of Mold

  • Posted: Dec 07, 2015
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In this blog, we’ve taught you a lot about household mold and its adverse effects on health and infrastructure. Now, we want to talk about mold as a more basic concept — as an organism, and as a living, biological creature — because this creature is more than a nuisance. It has a life.

Mold is actually a type of fungus. Fungi are a group of organisms whose primary role in ecosystems is decomposition. You may ask, “how did mold colonize my home in the first place?” The answer has to do with the biology and reproductive system of mold.

Mold can reproduce both asexually and sexually. Asexual reproduction produces clones of the parent mold, and sexual reproduction combines two parents to make a genetically diverse product. In either case, mold reproduces by releasing hundreds of spores into the air. Sometimes, these spores will float into our homes and, if there is enough humidity and moisture, they will begin to colonize inside our homes.

Prevention of mold colonization comes down to one really important thing: moisture. Molds need moisture to live, and they are much more likely to colonize homes that have recently been flooded or have a humidity problem.

Now, if you’ve read our blogs, then you know about all the negative roles that mold has in our lives — but what about the positive ones?

Because mold is a decomposer, it plays a huge rule in nutrient recycling. Mold and other fungi will break down any dead organic material, such as dead plant or animal matter, and then is able to recycle those nutrients back into the ecosystem to other organisms. Really, fungi are essential to the proper functioning of any ecosystem.

In addition, mold has other beneficial properties, as well. There is a specific type of mold called penicillium that has been extremely helpful to humans. The name probably even sounds a little familiar. There are two things that penicillium is used for, but the primary one is in making antibiotics. The once-popular antibiotic called penicillin is made from penicillium, and has been incredibly helpful in fighting bacterial infections.

Penicillin is not prescribed as often today, as many bacteria have developed a resistance to it. It has, however, been very beneficial in past years. Penicillium is also used for cheesemaking — specifically in the making of blue cheese.

Don’t let your guard down, however, because some strains of penicillium can actually be incredibly harmful to humans, just as many other types of mold can. It is important to remember that, although molds can be helpful in some situations, they’re never helpful if they’ve colonized our homes. Remember, if you think mold has colonized your home, we’re here if you need us. Call us and we can begin with an inspection. Following our inspection, use our database of Illinois mold remediation companies and utilize their quick mold removal to get rid of your problem as swiftly as possible.

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