Molds are very tiny and lightweight organisms in the atmosphere and are nature’s creation to break down unwanted and dead material. Mold is normally found outdoors and its count fluctuates depending on the season and the time of the day etc. Indoor, most building surfaces provide adequate nutrients to support their growth. Mold spores multiply heavily in dampness and in large quantity it can cause allergic symptoms similar to those created by plant pollen. No standards exist to judge an acceptable amount of mold. Each individual case and circumstances are very different due to huge abnormalities in the scenario.
All molds should be handled with caution. The color can vary from light green to brown to black etc. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all molds should be treated as potential health risks and removal should be handled professionally.
Most molds are reason for caution after flooding in the basements etc. Carpets, sheet rock, paper and other absorbent materials can grow mold after getting soaked. In general, it is best to throw out those items. Other items made of glass or metal should be cleaned and disinfected. It is important to make sure that the source of moisture is stopped or removed before the mold is cleaned up, otherwise the mold will grow again.
There are a many types of molds found in the home. Mold can grow on almost any substance as long as it has a carbon-based food source, moisture, oxygen, and the temperature is between 40 and 100o F. some of the most common types are:
|Penicillium||This is the most common mold known to cause allergies, hay fever and asthma. Species may be found growing on wallpaper, wallpaper glue and decaying fabrics in water-damaged buildings or homes. It is also found in carpet and in interior fiberglass duct insulation. Some species can produce mycotoxins.|
|Alternaria||Outdoors it is found in plant soils. Indoors, it is found in carpets, textiles, house dust and potentially damp areas like window frames and showers. A large spore mold can deposit in nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract and causes allergy.|
|Aspergillus||Generally found in warmer climates in areas of water damage or extreme dampness. Aspergillus species are also commonly found in house dust. Many species produce mycotoxins which may be associated with disease in humans and some animals. Also found in building materials and in fall leaves and other decomposing matter like compost piles.|
|Cladosporium||Cladosporium also has an indoor species that grows on textiles, wood and other porous, damp areas. Both indoor and outdoor species are triggers for hay fever and asthma symptoms. The most commonly identified outdoor fungus, but it can easily enter into the house through the HVAC and other airflow entryways.|
|Stachybotrys||It is toxic black mold that produces airborne toxins (mycotoxins) that can cause serious breathing difficulties, memory and hearing loss, dizziness, flu-like symptoms and bleeding in the lungs. Stachybotrys requires excessive moisture to thrive (usually running water) and is a slimy black mold. Generally, stachybotrys is not found in homes as often as the other.|
We can test:
- Air - viable spores, total spores, PCR
- Bulk material
- Surface wipes and tape lift samples
- Legionnella in water
- Allergens - e.g., cat, dog, cockroach, dust mites, mice
- Full Particle Identification - looks for fibers, animal & insect parts, minerals and unusual materials when standard testing is not conclusive
- All lab samples are forwarded immediately to highly-qualified and accredited third party microbiological laboratories.