Frequently Asked Questions About Mold

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General FAQ's About Mold

Mold Question: What if I suspect mold but cannot find it? 

Answer: Look where there has been previous water damage, where there is standing water, or where there is a lot of humidity. Visible mold growth can sometimes be found underneath materials where water has damaged surfaces or behind walls.

Mold Question: How much mold can make me sick? 

Answer: It depends. For some people, a relatively small number of mold spores can cause health problems. For other people, it may take much more. The basic rule is, if you can see or smell it, take steps to eliminate the excess moisture, and to cleanup and remove the mold.

Mold Question: What symptoms do molds commonly cause? 

Answer: Mold can cause illness in several ways: Irritation: Exposure to mold can irritate the eyes, nose, and upper breathing passages. Symptoms of irritation include burning eyes, nasal congestion, coughing, and post-nasal drip.

Mold Question: Can Mold Cause Allergies?

Answer: Many people become allergic to mold and develop hay fever or asthma symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing, chest tightness, cough and wheezing.

Mold Question: Does Mold Contain Toxins?

Answer: Some molds create chemicals, called toxins that can cause illness. While much remains unknown about mold toxins, it appears that some molds produce toxins that can have effects on the skin, the respiratory system, the immune system, and the nervous system.

Mold Question: Can Mold Cause An Infection?

Answer: Some molds can also cause infection, such as chronic sinus infections. Other types of mold-induced infection are much less common, and occur mainly among people with weakened immune systems. Examples of individuals with weakened immune systems include those with HIV infection, those receiving chemotherapy, and the elderly. Children and pregnant women may also be at increased risk.


Mold Question: Are some molds more hazardous than others?

Answer: Allergic persons vary in their sensitivities to mold, both as to amount and type needed to cause reactions. In addition, certain types of molds can produce toxins, called mycotoxins that the mold makes to inhibit or prevent the growth of other organisms. Mycotoxins are not always produced, and whether a mold produces mycotoxins while growing in a building depends on what the mold is growing on, conditions such as temperature, pH, humidity or other unknown factors. When mycotoxins are present, they occur in both living and dead mold spores and may be present in materials that have become contaminated with molds.

Mold Question: What can I save? What should I throw away?

Answer: In general, porous substances that are growing mold, such as paper, rags, wallboard, and rotten wood, should be bagged and thrown out. Harder materials such as glass, plastic, or metal can be kept after they are cleaned and disinfected.


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