Mould, do we need it, if we do, how do we live with it, if we don’t, how do we get rid of it.
Mould can be a boring ,yawning , I don’t want to deal with it subject, or it can be a vital, cutting edge dynamic subject, well maybe not dynamic but certainly all the rest.
Most people only think of mould in negative terms, it smells, gets up my nose and has a crappy reputation.
Maybe this will enlighten you with some facts on what a truly marvellous living organism that mould is.
Are you aware for instance that moulds main purpose in existing at all is to eat and reproduce? How cool would that be, sole purpose in life eating and mating. I don’t think there’d be many who wouldn’t agree with me that would have to be every mans ultimate dream job.
Alright, now I’ve got you thinking that mould isn’t all bad.
Mould is actually the most prolific living organism on earth; it makes up around 25 % of the earth’s bio mass, and Life as we know it today would not exist without it.
Every living breathing growing thing, including animals, vegetables, plants, grass, fish, porcupines, yes, you get the picture, will eventually die. And what happens to us when we die, we go back to earth with a lot of help from mould. Mould will eventually break down every living mass on the planet and rot it back to the earth.
Mould even plays a major part in keeping trees alive by bringing water to them.
A certain type of mould attaches itself to a tree and uses this tree as its host. It then spreads in all directions seeking moisture. Remember I said about the eating and reproducing, well, this is about the eating; I’ll give you the juicy bits about the reproducing in a minute.
Ok, we have the tree, we have the mould attaching itself to the roots of the tree, and we have the mould spreading as much as a couple of hundred metres, seeking water. This water finds its way back to the tree via microscopic hollows in the mould and feeds the tree, a perfect parasitic relationship between the tree and mould.
You can see this relationship in action when you see a road or opening cut through the bush. The road cuts a path through the trees and in doing so the long microscopic mould tentacles are broken, interrupting the supply of water. Eventually the tree will wither and die through lack of water.
Mould is also very hardy, it has been discovered healthily growing under the ice in the Antarctic and in the Sahara desert, mould is the ultimate survivor. In fact mould has been around in its present form for more than 10 million years doing the same old thing eating and reproducing.
In fact the reproducing part is just about the cleverest thing it does.
When you disturb the average boring old bit of mould it immediately thinks, ah, I’m being attacked and I quickly need to guarantee I survive by sending out microscopic spores, for simplicity we ‘ll call these mould spores, another term is off gassing.
These mould spores float in the air current and are carried where ever the breeze blows them, until they land on a new source of nutrient that they can grow on and start the growth cycle all over again.
The other really interesting thing about their reproducing is during the life circle of mould they can actually change their sex, how convenient is that.
Even though we can’t live without mould in certain conditions life is pretty uncomfortable trying to life with it. Headaches, allergies mood swings, depression, these are just a few of the symptoms occupants of damp mouldy properties can suffer from.
In fact the Australian Institute of Architects has reported that up to 40 % of Australian homes have a rising damp problem. Mould issues are also well documented to be contributing to sick building syndrome.
If you suspect you have a mould issue in your life, what can you do? Two of the most important things are introduce plenty of natural sunlight and ensure you have adequate ventilation. Also resist cleaning with bleach or chlorine as all these chemicals do is take the colour out of mould, the mould is still there but it’s now invisible.
Vinegar and water is more suitable and so is Aqua Magic, a chemically free, environmentally safe cleaning product. If the problem still persists, invest some time with a mould and dampness remediation company, such as Moisture Cure.
So, when you reach for your favourite mould killing solution, spare a thought for mould, there can’t be many living organisms that have as their sole purpose in life eating and reproducing as the only reason they exist.