“Mold” refers to more than a million species of microscopic fungi. Mold spores are seeds; spores continually travel through indoor and outdoor air, germinating when they land on surfaces with excess moisture and an organic food source. Building materials such as wood, carpet, sheetrock and particle board are likely places for mold growth. Spore germination can happen within 24 to 48 hours, and some spores may remain viable for many years.
Common Indoor Mold Types
Cladosporium is most commonly identified as an outdoor fungus, with high spore count in the summer months. Indoors, it’s usually found on in the fiberglass liner inside air ducts. Its indoor food sources include food, paint and textiles.
Penicillium is most commonly found in carpet, wallpaper and interior fiberglass duct insulation. It’s a relatively wide mold classification. Some species can produce toxins.
Aspergillus is considered to be wholly allergenic and may be parasitic. Depending on the fungus’ food source, some species may produce toxins that may or may not be considered potential human carcinogens.
Strachybotrys chartarum (commonly known as “black mold”), the most deadly form of mold, is relatively rare. Chiefly an indoor fungus, it’s dark-colored (usually greenish-black) and slow-growing, but can be poisonous when inhaled. Even non viable spores are allergenic and toxic.