Facts about Molds
On other pages within this website, we discuss the effectiveness of borates for controlling molds and insects in wood building structures. Because further information about molds and their effects on buildings and their residents is important, this information page provides some essential facts and a useful overview, and lists some additional information sources.
Over 100,000 different types of mold exist on our planet. Many are harmless, while some are not. Without sufficient control, mold growth can heavily damage homes and other wood structures. Some of these molds can also be harmful to humans - especially those who spend a great deal of time in closed indoor environments. People who suffer from existing conditions and respiratory problems like asthma, certain allergies, compromised immune systems, and chemical sensitivities are at greater risk for illness and severe symptoms. Infants, young children, and the elderly may also be at risk. Over time, and with continued excessive exposure to molds and their spores, it is possible for otherwise healthy persons to become sensitized and develop allergies to molds. In certain cases, the symptoms for mold allergies can be quite severe. For these reasons, it's important to understand molds and how to control them.
Like most other forms of fungi, molds need at least two things in order to survive and grow. For molds, the first is a healthy food source. The second is water or moisture. In climates with sufficient humidity, many molds won't need an additional water source to feed on wood. This is why borate treatments are so important. Unlike volatile chemical biocides and insecticides which dissipate and require continual treatments, borates are naturally occurring salts which will reside permanently in wood after it is treated (when exterior surfaces are protected by a sealer coat) Because borates remain permanently embedded in the wood, a borate treatment will transform wood from an edible food source for molds into an inedible food source which molds will not consume. However, because molds will find many other food sources besides the wood in a building's structure, it's also important to control molds inside the home. A reasonable mold control plan for your home's interior will require additional information. To help you find the facts you'll need, we've provided the following sourcing information. For information about insurance coverage for mold damage, and for good mold prevention tips and strategies, it's important to study your homeowner's insurance policy or your renter's insurance policy.
The U.S. Government's Environmental Protection Agency and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) provide a great deal of very useful information about molds, their effects on human health, the prevention of mold growth, the use of borate treatments to control mold, and information about cleaning up mold growth when it has occurred. To access this information, type the following web addresses in your web browser's address window, or type either of these government agency names in your browser's search window.
Centers for Disease Control:
cdc dot gov - Search Tip - type 'molds' in the search window and click 'Search.' This will take you to a list of information pages from which you can download information about health effects, mold prevention, and mold cleanup. You'll also find a great deal of useful information on a page titled 'Basic Facts.'
Environmental Protection Agency:
epa dot gov - - Search Tip - type 'molds' in the search window and click 'Search.' This leads to a page from which you can select information about controlling mold, mold remediation, etc. You can also use the EPA website's search tool to learn more about the use of borates to control mold and insects. Simply type 'Borates' in the search window and click the 'Search' button.