Simply put, molds are very small organisms that are present almost everywhere in nature including inside your home. Molds belong to a family called fungi. Other members of the family include mushrooms and yeast. Fungi are important to our environment because they break down dead material and recycle nutrients.
Just like people, molds need food (any organic material) and water (moisture) to survive. Molds digest food by excreting chemicals called enzymes. Molds find food sources in many of the materials that make up your home – wood, wallpaper, drywall and even household dust, just to name a few. Mold growth on these surfaces usually leaves a telltale sign of discoloration along with a musty odor. Once mold starts to grow, it typically reproduces by distributing spores. A small amount of mold can produce millions of spores.