Interpreting Mold Samples

A useful method for interpreting microbiological results is to compare the kinds and levels of organisms detected in different environments. Usual comparisons include indoors versus outdoors, or complaint areas versus non‐complaint areas. Specifically, in buildings without mold problems, the qualitative diversity (types) of airborne fungi indoors and outdoors should be similar. Conversely, the dominating presence […]

Mold Inspection Scam

Recently, we were called by a customer who had concerns about growth in a very large garage. The two car garage extended over one hundred feet in length, and mold began to grow on the drywall ceiling due to some water infiltration and a much larger humidity issue. Her skepticism developed after she had hired […]

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 […]

Surface Sampling Overview

There are other simple sampling methods that may be used to supplement volumetric air sampling. Surface samples are taken by tape lift imprint, by swabbing the suspect surface with a culturette swab, or by submitting a bulk sample of the suspect surface. We typically recommend that a direct microscopic examination be performed on surface samples. […]

Toxic Types of Mold

Toxic mold” is a term that is used to describe types of mold that are considered deadly to humans. Most people believe that the name refers to one particular species of mold; however, it encompasses hundreds of species, a small fraction of which are not very harmful to the human body. Black mold is commonly […]

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 […]

Most Common Indoor Mold Spores

AlternariaA large spore mold that can deposit in the nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract causing an allergic response. Indoors, it is often found in carpets, textiles, house dust and potentially damp areas like window frames and showers. It can also be found in plant soil. AspergillusUsually found in warmer climates in areas of water […]