How Piles of Leaves Promote Mold Growth
Mold exists almost everywhere and it thrives throughout all times of the year. Disrupting the place where mold has made a home is what disperses tiny particles in the air, which can cause a number of allergy symptoms.
Where Does Mold Live?
Many forms of mold grow and live in grass, on rotting logs and falling leaves, and in compost piles. While they do not die with the first frost like a number of other allergens, they lay dormant during the winter. In the spring, they grow on plants that were killed by the winter's cold temperatures. For those who enjoy composting, the soil-enhancing leaf mold is a welcomed part of fall. Even on their own, fallen leaves will still grow mold.
How Do Leaf Piles Promote Mold Growth?
Leaves that are slightly wet or damp and collected in large garbage bins or bags will create mold. Shredded leaves quicken the process, producing mold much faster than a pile of whole leaves. Because most leaves are fresh when they are raked into piles, their mineral and nutrient contents are still high, which promotes mold growth. If leaf piles are left out in the open, or if holes in garbage bags or bins allow air to get into the piles, mold will grow even quicker.
How to Avoid Leaf Mold
Spores are the tiny particles released from mold that can cause itchy and watery eyes, stuffed noses and other allergy symptoms. Staying indoors and avoiding contact with leaf piles, rotting logs and other sources that harvest mold is the best way to avoid negative reactions. Removing any leaf piles from your lawn immediately after raking is also important if you want to avoid contact.