Mold Basics – Part 2

Molds are tiny, multicelled organisms made up of branching filaments called hyphae (singular: hypha). Some of the hyphae are embedded in the material on which the molds grow and are called vegetative hyphae. Many molds also have other hyphae, called aerial hyphae, which absorb oxygen from the air. Rhizoids, hairlike filaments resembling roots, grow from […]

Bulk Sampling For Mold

Bulk Sampling is another technique used for direct examination. A direct exam allows for the immediate determination of the presence of fungal spores as well as what types of fungi are present. Direct examinations should only be used to sample visible mold growth in a contaminated area since most surfaces collect a mixture of fungal […]

Surface Sampling For Mold

Surface sampling is the most common technique used to test surfaces for mold during a mold inspection.  It provides valuable information.  The species of mold, the relative degree of contamination, and the potential for airborne spore production may all be determined by tape sampling. This method can be performed using either standard, clear cellophane tape or a […]

Common Mold Tests

There are may forms of mold testing that can determine whether or not your home or office has mold, and the severity of issue if one exists.  The most common form of testing is Air Sampling, which basically traps spores in the air onto a sticky slide within a cassette that is mounted on top […]

Non-Culturable Air Sampling

Overview Non-culturable spore trap samplers draw measured volumes of air through the sampling device for a specified length of time. The collection surface is a coated glass slide. Particles in the air (spores, dust, etc.) impact onto the sticky surface and are “trapped” for later analysis. A general philosophy regarding the interpretation of biological air samples […]

Mold Growth & Sporulation in Buildings – Part 2

    Each stage of fungal growth (spore germination, vegetative growth, sporulation) has a specific set of conditions that is optimal. Important conditions in this set are nutrient types and concentrations, light, temperature, oxygen and water availability. Water availability (i.e., water activity) is one of the most important of these. Each fungus has optimal water activities […]

Mold Growth & Sporulation in Buildings – Part 1

A driving factor in building construction is the continuous pressure to save time and money. These pressures usually result in gradual shifts in how buildings are made. Beginning in the late 1940’s, these gradual shifts have resulted in better and better conditions for fungal growth. This is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in schools. In […]

Mold & Granite Countertops

We think of granite as impervious to everything, and indeed, it is both hard and strong. Granite is a major part of the continental crust and is composed primarily of quartz, feldspar, mica, and horneblend. Chemically, it is approximately 72% SiO2 and 14% Al2O3 with other compounds comprising less than 5% each. Depending on the […]

Water Extraction – Part 2

Controlling microbial activity at a restoration site may require the use of chemical agents.  The EPA has defined three levels of biocidal activity:  Sanitizer:  a cleaning or disinfecting treatment designed to reduce the number of pathogenic microorganisms to a safe level.  This is the lowest level of biocidal activity. Disinfectant:  A solution designed to destroy […]