Names of some of the more common found molds:
Aspergillus / Penicillium:
are two separate genera of molds so visibly similar, they are often grouped together. They comprise of approximately 400
different species, produce dry spore that are easily dispersed through the air, and serve as a source of food for mites
therefore also being dispersed by mites and other insects.
Outside: They may be found in soils, fruit rot, decaying plant debris, compost piles, and some petroleum based fuels.
Inside: Commonly found through–out the home on decaying fabrics, carpeting, wall board, moist chip boards, behind paint,
on wall paper and adhesives, and house-hold dust. Can also be found in dried foods, dry cereals, nuts, apples, cheeses,
herbs, onions, and oranges when isolated from blue rot.
is profuse and is essentially a cornucopia of spore when air monitoring either inside or out-doors. This genus contains
approximately 20-30 different species, most abundant in dry weather, branching chains produce dry spores that are
released by twisting of the spore-bearing hyphae as they’re drying.
Outside: Can be found in many soils, plant litter, and old plants and leaves, some of the species are plant pathogens.
Inside: Found just about anywhere indoors including but not limited to bathroom tiles, kitchen tiles, moist windowsill's,
laundry areas, textiles, and any other wet areas of the home. Some species of cladosporium grow at temperatures at or
below 32 degrees (F) and can be found on many refrigerated foods.
is one of the most common found molds geographically and contains approximately 40 -50 different species, very few of
which are commonly found indoors, and is easily dispersed through the air.
Outside: Found in soils, textiles, dead organic debris, foodstuffs, and is a plant pathogen that often found on dead plants.
Inside: When moisture is present, alternaria can grow on just about any organic substance.
Is a slimly mold commonly found in areas of extreme moisture around the home and can be dispersed through water flow or
droplets. The old dried - up spores are capable of dispersion by air. This common mold includes approximately 80-90
Outside: Found in soils, dead organic material, foodstuffs, and hay.
Inside: Requires extremely wet conditions in order to multiply, and under such conditions can likely be found anywhere in
Ceratocystis / Ophiostoma:
separate genera that are so similar that they are generally grouped together, and represent approximately 50-60 different
species. The production of wet, slimy spore is typically dispersed by water flow, droplets, or insects.
Outside: Sometimes referred to as “lumber mold” this genera is commonly found in lumber yards and forests.
Inside: Can typically be found on wood construction materials.
contains approximately 80-90 different species, and is common geographically. These spores are formed inside of fruiting
bodies, and are released by being forced through small openings in the fruit body being dispersed by wind, water flow or
droplets, and insects.
Outside: Found in soils, dung, wood materials, straw, cellulose substrates and various seeds.
Inside: Very common on sheet rock paper that has been saturated by moisture, and on cellulose and wood construction
is ubiquitous, and represents approximately 15 different species, requires a significant amount of moisture to reproduce
slimy spore and is commonly dispersed by water flow, droplets, or insects.
Outside: Found in soils, decomposing cellulose material, decaying plant debris, leaf litter, and seeds.
Inside: Common on wet materials such as wall board, jute, wicker, and other paper materials.
It is our opinion that the exact nature of the health effects from exposure to mold/toxins has yet to be fully discovered, in
great part due to the difficulty in pin-pointing exact contaminants leading to bacterial related infections. The general
populace is continually educating themselves’ concerning environmental contaminants both outdoors and indoors, agreeing
that healthful living and working environments equivocate to a longer healthier life. Inhalation, absorption, and ingestion are
all known sources of entry into the body for molds/spore and we are all exposed to a greater or lesser degree. It is our
individual reaction to increased levels of exposure that poses concern, especially for children and elderly. Allergic reactions
appear to be the most common health problems associated with biological pollutants. Symptoms can include but are not
limited to watery or “goopy” eyes, eye irritations, runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, itching, skin irritations, bacterial
infections, coughing, headache, dizziness, and fatigue.
Other notable sources of allergen
There are many other varieties of pollen and plant material that can easily enter the home through windows, doors, air
conditioning, pets, camping and hiking gear, cloths, etc. Animal dander can also become airborne when disturbed, and can
trigger allergic reactions from someone that is susceptible. In such cases minimizing ingress and egress by pets, routinely
changing filters, routinely disinfecting, regularly bathing and grooming your pet(s) away from the home and utilizing a high
efficiency particulate air filtered vacuum to control dust may prove to be helpful.
Copyright 2007-2016 . Reliance Environmental Services, LLC. All rights reserved.
Mold, Bacteria, Fungi, Mildew,
And Other Biological Contaminants
The following is provided to be of assistance in providing basic information related to some of
the more commonly found household biological contaminants (mold, mildew, fungi, and
bacteria). The information provided here does not in any way even begin to list all of the
contaminants by name as there are literally over 100,000 different species of mold alone. Our
recommended policy for mold is: If you can see it or smell it, it needs to be taken care of in a
manner that improves the indoor environment and investment of your home or office. If you are
seeking more information than is provided by Reliance here, we highly recommend the
information provided by the environmental protection agency.
Molds, fungi, bacteria, mildew and dust mites are the most common biological pollutants found inside a Colorado home or
office. Although, infectious diseases caused by bacteria and viruses are usually transferred from person to person through
physical contact, the environment in which we live and work can prove to be a silent, and subtle underlying factor that often
goes unconsidered . Yes, mold can significantly damage your property and have health effects on susceptible people,
most importantly children and elderly. When mold and mildew are found to be originating in the home, microscopic
organisms are producing enzymes to digest organic matter and release spore into the air therefore beginning an on-
going cycle of reproduction. The airborne spore then disperses through-out the home or office, and may even circulate via
ventilation systems forming new colonies where they land beginning yet another cycle of indoor contamination. These
organisms are part of the fungi kingdom, along with mushrooms, yeast, and mildews. Mold plays an interesting and key
role in nature’s plan of decomposing leaves, wood, other plant debris and organic matter. Without mold we would find
ourselves overwhelmed with dead plant matter, organic waste, with-out foods such as cheese, and medicines like
penicillin. However, problems arise when mold starts digesting the organic construction materials used in our home or
office, eating at our investments and exposing us to concentrated indoor levels of biological contaminants.
Depending on the pollutant, levels of moisture, and ventilation of a particular area, biological organisms can grow inside
homes and buildings in different ways. Mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria are most often found in areas of the home that
have levels of high humidity/moisture, and/or a lack of ventilation. These typically are areas such as basements, crawl
spaces, kitchens, hot tub areas, laundry rooms, and bathrooms. However, we’ve also dealt with these issues in areas such
as attics and parking garages due to water intrusion, such as shown here:
Mold can grow on virtually any organic substance such as paper, textiles, wood, grease, dirt, soap scum, even concrete. If
you can see the presence of mold or mildew ordinarily we would not recommend environmental sampling. The “type” of
mold, it’s toxicity that is present is not of greatest significance when considering that all molds may have an affect on life and
health as well as your pocket book over a course of time. However, this type of information may be considered as important
if litigation or current health affects are of an issue.
Overall when considering the control of biological contaminants, levels of moisture and adequate ventilation are of foremost
importance. Routinely disinfecting these areas will also prove helpful. Regularly disinfecting humidifiers, dehumidifiers and
air conditioning condensing units is also recommended. We recommend an indoor humidity level of less than 50%,
preferably as low as 40%. This can be accomplished in areas that ordinarily would accumulate high levels of
moisture/humidity by making sure that there are no unnecessary water leaks, improving ventilation of the area via ducting,
and at times the use of an auto exhaust fan in conjunction with a humidistat. It is important to dry water-damaged areas and
items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
If mold is a problem in your home, clean up of the mold is recommended. We rarely recommend the salvage of fibrous items
such as carpet, drapery, clothing, ceiling tile, and dry-wall that are determined to be affected. In our experience these items
are generally best disposed of as contaminated materials.
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