What is mold?

Mold is a natural part of our environment, helping to break down organic matter. Mold must have a source of moisture to grow. Common indoor sources of moisture include plumbing and roof leaks, humidifiers, showering and dishwashing, house plants, and improperly vented appliances. Even if your building is “hospital clean” to the point of being sterile, mold spores can re-enter the moment someone opens a door or window.

Can it be hazardous?

Exposure to mold is rarely harmful to healthy persons, even those with asthma. It is possible that people with severely compromised immune systems such as chemotherapy and organ transplant patients or advanced HIV patients may be at risk. Typical allergic responses to the minority of people who might be susceptible may include: watery eyes, headaches, irritated nasal or throat passages, etc. Certain fungi have also been known to cause ring worm, athlete’s foot, and nail and scalp infections. As with any illness, visit a physician to determine the cause of any physical symptoms.

What types of mold can I expect to encounter in Florida?

Mold spores are one of the most prevalent organisms on the entire planet, and there are hundreds of species. The most common types of household mold that are found indoors include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus. Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra and sometimes referred to as “black mold”) is a greenish-black mold that can also be found indoors, although it is less common than the other types of mold found in homes. Stachybotrys grows on household surfaces that have high cellulose content, such as wood, fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. There are types of mold that can grow on substances as different as foods and carpet. While it is nice to know the Latin name of the genus if you are ever a contestant on Jeopardy, most molds could cause the same reactions in people who are susceptible.

What should I do if I see mold?

If you see visible signs of mold – guess what? You have a water intrusion or moisture issue somewhere. Mold and moisture go together. Mold is fairly easy to clean, but more difficult to eradicate entirely. Visible mold could mean mold spores are growing elsewhere. Even dead mold spores could pose potential harm. If there is visible mold growth in your home or business, it should be removed whether anyone is experiencing health problems or not. Risk increases with the amount of mold and duration of exposure.

What other types of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) issues could I encounter?

Apollo can help you identify and correct a variety of air quality issues, including, but not limited to: carbon monoxide, fecal coliforms (from rat droppings), sewer gas odors, formaldehyde, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), silica dust, and dosimetry & noise exposure testing.

Where can I go to read more about mold?