The history of Mold

Mold has not always been able to digest wood. When life first appeared on earth and started making plants on land all the plants were pretty small. As the plants grew taller and taller to get more light from the next plant, which would get in the way, they had to develop a way where they can grow taller and not fall down in the slightest wind. Most bushes were nothing more than tall vegetable plants. Trees had to develop a chemical in their body to make them stronger. After the first million years they developed a chemical called lignin and that surrounded all the various cells in the trees but it is a chemical that is a sort of polymer or plastic like thing. These trees grew tall and killed off all the other trees that didn’t grow tall and keeping with Darwin’s theory only the tall trees survived. And then they all died when they got too old just like the trees nowadays die but mold had not invented a chemical that they used to dissolve this lignin with. The trees were as hard as a rock as far as the mold was concerned. And that’s exactly why we have so many thick seams of coal everywhere.

A problem of biblical proportions.  Scientists believe that thousands of years ago there was mention of mold in the Old Testament of the Bible under Leviticus 13:47 – 52 about a problem that would be green spots and blue spots on clothing made of organic material such as wool or leather. It says that a priest has to take control of the stuff and watch it for a week and if it grows it has to be wrapped up and thrown in the ditch and covered with dirt. There was also a mention in Leviticus 14:33 – 36 and 36 – 38 and 39 – 47 and 48. All dealing with the same greenish and reddish spots but in a house and not clothing probably caused from roof leaks or something like that and it would be on the organic portions of the house or any leather hanging in the house as furniture or anything like that. Again the priest had to take charge of it. Clean it up and declare the house healed when it was done. They actually called this stuff leprous probably because it sort of look like leprosy.

In April 1996 The New Your times published an article that suggested the 10 Plagues of Egypt were actually caused by an infection of red mold in the water supply which caused the frogs to leap out of the water and die. Killed off the crops killed off the cattle and caused all sorts of problems with the Egyptian economy that led to a final decline of their civilization. That sounds like mold. I’ve seen some mold do some weird things.

The Salem Witch Trials. In January 1692 some of the original settlers in North America were thinking there were witches because certain amount of people got sick due to mold started acting weird. The Citizens were doing some finger-pointing and had the witches put to death. I think everybody knows by now that LSD, a hallucinogenic actually is a byproduct of mold devouring wheat. They didn’t call it LSD back then, but scientists more recently have figured that out. And if you know anybody on LSD you might think they were acting goofy too but I don’t think you have to end their life. This again is just another example of mold gone wild.

The Great Irish Potato Famine. From 1800 to 1845 the Irish population grew at a great rate and people were using up a large percentage of land that was normally used for farming to live on. They needed to find something that could grow more product per square foot, they began growing lots of potatoes which became a huge percentage of their diet. Back then there was a thing called Late Blight. This is a form of mold that attacks potatoes in the leaves and in the roots causing the potatoes to ferment and become un edible. With so many people eating mostly potatoes and not planting enough other products this Late Blight spread really fast There were so many potatoes everywhere that the people didn’t have anything else to eat and over 1 million Irish people starved to death. Seeing this happen, caused almost 2 million people to leave the country. This all happened about the time of the American Civil War. A lot of these people moved to the United States.

Haunted By Mold. In more recent times and I remember this myself in 2000 CBS TV news reported about a house near Austin Texas where a family was in the process of suing their insurance company because their house had gotten completely wrecked by mold. There were various leaks in the house and the water had dripped down through layers of the floor and had gotten all around the house and there was a very acute mold infestation. This is a 10,000 square-foot house and they had lived in it for a couple years and the kids and the husband were getting extremely sick. I remember them saying that their insurance company said they did not have to bother with repairing the house because it wasn’t their problem. While the kids got really sick and they had to move out of the house immediately. After that the house was tested but it was too late. The kids have some lingering breathing problems and scar tissue in their lungs and the father is totally crippled and he can’t work anymore. Well this is a sad case. This was actually fixed up by accident. The wife was in advertising and spent a lot of time on airplanes and just happened to run into a plumber who was a mold expert. He stopped by a couple days later and got really sick in 20 minutes. That was the beginning of the end. You should be able to Google this.

Time is of the essence when dealing with mold. As I mentioned previously you only have a window of 24 hours to maybe 48 hours to stop a leak and do something to prevent the growth of mold. After that you taking a big gamble. This is a gamble that I see people lose all the time. You cannot out wait mold because it’s always there just waiting for little moisture which will come the next time it rains or the next time somebody turns on a leaky faucet.  Oakbridge Waterproofing can stop foundation leaks and plumbing leaks. We can find all the leaks you have through a thorough review of the house and then take care the damage and get rid of all the mold and clean everything up. I think it’s a good idea to give us a call quickly when this happens especially if you can smell something or see any black, green or blue spots growing on organic things that includes cardboard furniture made out of wood or anything organic. Including by the floors, and door jambs.

Author:  Robert B. McGuire

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