Mold grows throughout the natural and built environment. Tiny particles of mold are present in indoor and outdoor air. Mold forms when it finds moisture, nutrients and a suitable place to grow. Mold should not be permitted to grow and multiply indoors. When this happens, health problems can occur and building materials, goods and furnishings may be damaged. A small percentage of the population has a severe reaction to certain types of mold.
The Minnesota Department of Health does not generally recommend testing for mold. Instead, simply assume there is a problem whenever mold can be seen or mold odors are present. Invasive or destructive inspection is sometimes necessary to fully discover the extent of a mold problem. The most important step in solving a mold problem is to identify and correct the moisture source that allowed the mold to grow in the first place. Whenever mold is found it should be properly cleaned up to prevent further spread.
What about mildew? According to our lab, mold and mildew are the same thing.
For more information about mold, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health web site at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/mold/index.html .