GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT MOLD
What Is Mold?
Molds are microscopic organisms found virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
Most people think that mold is slimy, blackish-green discolorations
that gradually increases in size, but found only in dirty, unkempt
homes or apartments. The truth is, mold and spores can flourish in
sparkling clean environments as well.
Molds are microscopic organisms (miniscule life forms) found
virtually everywhere outdoors. No one really knows how many species
of mold exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to hundreds
of thousands. Spore production is characteristic of molds in general
to reproduce. A spore is a small reproductive body that is capable
of growing into a new organism, producing bacteria, fungi, and
algae. Most spores are filamentous (thread-like) organisms so small
that 250,000 of them can fit on the head of a pin. They stay
airborne indefinitely, drifting from one room to the next, landing
on food, clothing, appliances, table tops, carpeting and furniture,
walls and woodwork. Any wet, damp or humid surface becomes a
breeding ground for mold colonies and more spores.
mold can be found.
We’ve all seen mold; ugly stains of white, orange, green, brown and
black spreading on walls, floors and other surfaces. But the most
dangerous mold is the
mold we don’t see.
Mold and mildew is inside your sink and dishwasher cabinets and
probably in your bathrooms and laundry areas. There is an 86% chance
of mold growing somewhere in or on your refrigerator. Its nestled
into the microscopic crevices of clothing, furniture fabric and in
your carpeting. There is little doubt that mold spores exist in your
heating and air conditioner system ductwork from where mold is
continually dispersed throughout a home or building looking for a
place to “plant” its self and grow. It can be found in your window
sills, basement, crawl space and attic, office desk, indoor plants,
kitchen counter space, on the TV, in your fireplace and countless
Mold exposure risks vary.
The above incidences could be everyday, ordinary “low-risk” and
“acceptable level” occurrences of mold—or not. Each person has their
own level of tolerance to the mycotoxins (poisons) emitted by mold.
And those with higher levels of tolerance to mycotoxins can
eventually become sensitized to these poisons from prolonged
Signs of increased health risks to mold
“Higher risk” mold conditions are more easily recognized by the
sudden visual appearance of emerging mold. Another and unmistaken
evidence of this kind of mold problem is the presence of a pungent
mildew or musty odor, even when mold is not visually evident. The
faintest whiff of this odor should immediately prompt one’s concern
about mold exposure and to take quick action to identify and correct
its cause and clean up the mold and mildew damage! Our mold
consultants are prepared to assist you in necessary planning and
cost-effective corrective actions to take.
Some molds have been more closely associated with specific health
problems. One example is Stachybotrys atra, a greenish–black mold
often referred to as “toxic mold.” It grows on material with high
cellulose content (e.g. drywall, wood, paper, dust). Stachybotrys
becomes a problem when it emits mycotoxins capable of producing
toxic effects in humans and animals. Many Aspergillus species of
molds also produce mycotoxins.
Some molds release volatile compounds into the air, producing an
unpleasant odor. Scientists label these compounds “microbial
volatile organic compounds” or “mVOCs” (Moisture Remediation in
Schools and Commercial Buildings, Environmental Protection Agency,
March 2001). Exposure to mVOCs has been associated with headaches,
dizziness, and fatigue.
SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED ABOUT MOLD IN YOUR HOME OR OFFICE?
Eventually, mold destroys whatever it grows on. It can ruin furnishings, destroy cabinets and cause serious damage to the structural elements in your property. Mold is extremely durable and adaptable. It can survive in the harshest conditions and is resistant to even the strongest disinfectants and bleaches. Eliminating leaks and moisture can slow the spread of mold, but testing to determine the type of mold is the first responsible step in creating an
effective action plan.
Answers to your mold problems.
Do you have a concern about indoor mold exposure or are in question
about a possible mold colonization problem? AMI certified mold and
mildew inspectors are equipped and available to evaluate and assess
your individual conditions. Our certified toxic mold inspectors can
conduct mold sampling and test to give you comparative baseline
analysis for an accurate snapshot of what is in the air you breathe.
Call for an appointment today at (800)
369-8532 or (760) 757-3606