Molds are fungi, much like, mushrooms and yeast. There are over 100,000 species of mold, the US alone being home to over 1000 different species. Fungi are heterotrophic; unlike plants they cannot create their own food. The environment they inhabit is their source of food. They do this by secreting digestive enzymes to break down both organic and inorganic materials. They absorb the soluble products for ingestion.
Molds can live almost anywhere; they grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present mold can thrive. Mold growth will often occur when an excessive amount of moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, especially in cases where the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed.
Molds reproduce by releasing spores that are undetectable by the human eye. Mold spores are carried through the indoor and outdoor air constantly. When these spores find their home on a damp or wet surface indoors, they may begin growing. For survival molds will begin to digest whatever they land on slowly destroying whatever it inhabits.
Water damage can be the cause of growth for many of the types of molds that exist. All molds have the potential to be dangerous to ones health. Molds can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people that have allergies to mold. Others are known to secrete potent toxins and/or irritants such as Stachybotrys, Chaetomium and Ulocladium. Potential harmful health effects and property damage are important reasons to counteract mold growth and to properly extinguish any existing indoor mold growth.