What is Mold?
Molds are simple, microscopic organisms, present virtually everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Molds, along with mushrooms and yeasts, are fungi and are needed to break down dead plant and animal material and to recycle nutrients in the environment.
Because molds grow by digesting organic material, they gradually destroy whatever they grow on. Molds can grow on surfaces or objects in buildings.
Molds are a fast-growing organism, and only need a food source- any organic matter (leaves, wood, paper or dust) and moisture, which does not have to be liquid, to grow.
Because organic matter is readily available, the best prevention for mold is to prevent dampness from entering your building.
Common Types of Mold found in Homes and Buildings
Mold comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.
The most common types of mold include aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra (also known as black mold).
Aspergillus is a fairly allergenic mold that is commonly found on foods and in home or building air conditioning systems.These aspergillus molds can lead to aspergillus sinusitis. Aspergillus is the most common household mold. There are over 185 species of Aspergillus and 22 species are known to cause human illness. Aspergillus fumigatus is the most isolated species followed by Aspergillus flavus. They can be found in almost any home or office.
Stachybotrys molds grow on high cellulose material such as wood, wicker, hay, paper and cardboard. They are also commonly called ‘black mold’ and sometimes ‘toxic black mold’. This mold requires very wet or highly humid conditions for days or weeks in order to grow.
Cladosporium is a black or green “pepper like” substance that grows on the back of toilets, painted surfaces and fiberglass air ducts. There is over 30 species of Cladosporium molds. These fungi are known to cause skin lesions, keratitis, nail fungus, sinusitis, asthma, and pulmonary infections.
What Causes Mold Growth?
Water intrusion can come from internal sources, such as leaking pipes, or external sources, like rainwater. When water intrudes in the building, it causes dampness in walls, ceiling tiles, rugs and other building materials. Dampness and excessive moisture over time will produce mold.
Broadly speaking, most mold testing involves taking a sample of either the air or a surface. Essentially, a mold inspector “tests” the air or surface to find out what kind of mold exists and/or if the mold found is able to grow in the area tested.
Health Complaints Associated with Mold
Employees who report health concerns caused from the working environment often complain of:
- Causation of new asthma
- Asthma attacks in those who already have asthma
- Allergic rhinitis (sneezing, congested nose, or runny nose)
- Upper respiratory symptoms, such as stuffy or congested nose or sinuses, sore throat, or irritated nose or throat
- Lower respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, or cough
- Respiratory infections such as acute bronchitis
- Eye irritation (burning, watery, or reddened eyes)
- Eczema and skin rashes or irritation
Because molds release tiny spores and small particles that travel through the air, we all inhale mold every day without apparent harm, however, mold can cause poor health when large amounts of mold spores are inhaled over time.
Mold Testing Services
G2 offers comprehensive mold assessments, using many tools including moisture meters and thermal imaging, in order to show where moisture may be present in a building or home. Once imaging is done and samples have been analyzed, G2 provides a thorough report for our clients, allowing them to make informed decisions.
We’re happy to help with your mold or any other environmental testing need.