Absidia corymbifera is a strain of mold that exists mainly outside the home in the soil and decaying plant matter. You’re more likely to find Absidia in your home if you have potted plants or pet birds. It can release low levels of mycotoxins but is still hazardous for individuals with weakened immune systems.
Acremonium alternatum is a strain of mold existing primarily indoors, particularly cool, wet, damp areas such as windowsills, basements, cooling coils, and water from humidifiers. Experts say Acremonium is one of the less dangerous molds, but it could potentially cause problems in immunocompromised individuals.
AIR HANDLING UNIT (AHU)
Also known as an “air handler,” an AHU regulates and circulates air as part of a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. It often contains a blower, heating or cooling component, and filter, and it connects to ductwork that connects to the rest of the building and then back to the AHU.
One method of testing for the presence of toxic mold or black mold spores. Air sampling
can detect hidden mold as it compares indoor air quality to outdoor air quality.
Any substance, often a protein, which induces a negative physical reaction resulting from the body perceiving an attack.
Several different strains of mold classify as Alternaria, all of them being known allergens. Giving off airborne spores, Alternaria are particularly irritating to the respiratory system and can, in severe cases of prolonged exposure, lead to asthma or even death. This type of mold is most often found in soil, plants, foods, and other organic materials in wet or dry states, as well as in indoor air.
Any substance or material limiting the growth and spread of microorganisms.
Consisting of over 100 varieties, Aspergillus is a fairly common type of indoor mold, affecting both humans and their pets. Symptoms include cough, chest pain, fever, and breathlessness.
Chronic inflammation of the airways that can result from prolonged exposure to black mold genus Penicillium. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
Auriobasidium pullulans is another common strain of mold found indoors. It thrives in carpets, damp walls, mattresses, and humidifier water. Its commonplace existence in humidifiers and air conditioners has caused an allergic reaction known as “humidifier lung.”
1) Living organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi/mold, that can affect other living organisms,
2) Any remains of previously mentioned living organisms, or
3) Segments of dead organisms. Biological contaminants are often capable of being inhaled, and many lead to health disorders or allergic reactions.
Generally speaking, anything that kills life. The prefix “bio-“ means “life,” while the suffix
“-cide” means “kill” (as in homicide or genocide). Biocides as we understand them typically attack biological contaminants.
Toxic mold found in cellulose-rich materials, most often water-damaged buildings.
Botrytis cinerea is the mold most often found on fruit, sometimes causing a respiratory allergic reaction known as “winegrowers’ lung.”
The physical barrier between the conditioned and unconditioned parts of a building or property. The building envelope serves to resist air, water, heat, light, and noise transfer. Each envelope has three parts:
Weather barriers protect a space from the weather
Thermal barriers protect a space from temperature extremes
Air barriers protect a space from exposure to unwanted or undesirable air
The most extreme method of testing for mold. In a bulk test, a black mold remediation technician removes material from the contaminated area to identify and quantify any mold present in the sample.
Space between ceiling of one level and the floor above it that may harbor electrical, plumbing, or air conditioning equipment. It most significantly functions as a space for airflow pathways.
This mold strain affects homes, libraries, food supplies, air, soil, and plants. It appears as an unsightly brown blob and can cause serious infections in individuals.
Also known as “red bread mold,” Chrysonilia is associated with a variety of health risks and settles by budding within carpets and mattresses.
Cladosporium is best known as an asthmatic trigger. It flourishes particularly in floors, ceilings, walls, and decaying materials especially during humid summers.
Curvularia are black, shiny, and commonly found in floors, mattresses, and painted walls. It is dangerous specifically for immunocompromised individuals.
Removal of mold from non-porous surfaces (e.g. not wood or walls) by means of scrubbing with a cloth and soap and water and then immediately drying the area.
Also known as agitating. Mold removal technicians use wire brushes or sanding devices to scrub mold particles off a surface and create dust for a sample test.
Mold remediation specialists often use dry ice to remove mold from wood and cement – unfortunately, these blasts end up spraying mold spores back into the air.
Emericella comes in a wide variety of strains. It is often found in decomposing wood, mattresses, and carpets, and, not unlike most other molds, almost exclusively affects those with compromised immune systems.
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Government-sponsored agency designed to protect human health and the environment by upholding regulations. Established with an executive order by President Nixon in 1970.
The mold strain of Epicoccum is found mainly in plant materials but can also thrive in mattresses, carpets, and acrylic paints. It adversely affects infants, the elderly, and others with weakened immune systems.
Found particularly in soil, Eurotium is also found in HVAC systems and it is there that it poses a threat to humans as the HVAC projects it through the air and settles it in individuals’ lungs.
One of five kingdoms of living things, fungi are unicellular or multicellular organisms with nuclei – thereby classifying as eukaryotes. They acquire energy similarly to animals in that they absorb dissolved molecules. Neither plants nor animals, the fungus kingdom consists of yeasts, molds, mushrooms, and puffballs.
As previously mentioned, the suffix “-cide” indicates killing, so a fungicide is any substance that kills a fungus. Mold removal specialists sometimes use fungicides to remediate a mold situation.
Also known as Hyphomycetes, Fusarium is often found on fruits such as bananas and pears as well as wet indoor environments. It flourishes in standing water, wet carpets, and damp wallpaper. It can negatively affect the body through inhalation as well as direct contact.
This strain of mold can infect nails and skin and thrives in wet areas such as swimming pool floors, damp walls, and wet mattresses.
One of the most common fungi, Geotrychium grows on nearly any surface. Prolonged exposure can lead to respiratory and circulatory ailments.
Gliocladium is found worldwide, mainly occurring in soils, plants, and damp fabrics and causing allergic reactions in some individuals.
High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter. In order to pass qualification as a HEPA filter according to government standards, the filter must eliminate 99.97% of passing particles that are at least 0.3 micrometers large.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning system. Sometimes HVAC is referred to as “climate control” (not to be confused with “climate change”). Homes and cars use HVAC systems to control air temperatures and maximize occupants’ comfort.
A medical condition caused by the immune system producing undesirable or disproportionate reactions to stimuli. Allergies and autoimmune disorders are classified under hypersensitivity.
Individuals with hypersensitivity regarding their lungs are likely to develop hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an immune reaction causing inflammation of the alveoli in the lungs and difficulty breathing. Hypersensitivity to inhaled biological contaminants, such as dust or mold spores, can cause a hypersensitivity pneumonitis flare-up.
Mold remediation technicians initially perform inspections to determine the presence and extent of toxic mold or black mold growth in a home or commercial building. Inspections are non-intrusive and often include moving furniture, lifting rugs, and examining duct work.
In contrast to unicellular yeast, mold is a fungus composed of multiple cells. As it grows, it often discolors the molecules it feeds on and becomes fuzzy in appearance and texture. Mold often decomposes these natural materials and is especially problematic when it spoils food or damages property.
Producing mycotoxins similar to those of Stachybotrys (black mold), Memnoniella grows almost exclusively in gypsum board.
Mucor is most frequently present in soils, plants, mattresses, dust, carpets, fruits, and manure. Homes with a large quantity of stored, processed foods are most susceptible to Mucor growth. This mold is known to cause eye, skin, lung, and brain infections in humans.
Microbial Volatile Organic Compound. Formed in the metabolism of fungi and bacteria, MVOCs are often found in the air near mold growth. People breathing this unclean air often complain of eye and airway irritation.
A hazardous chemical byproduct of mold. Mycotoxins are what make mold in the home dangerous, as prolonged exposure can lead to serious illness.
When a space has less air coming in than it does going out, air pressure within that space is lower than that of immediately surrounding areas. In this condition, an opening in the space allows air to flow from surrounding areas into the negatively pressurized space.
Many varieties of Paecilomyces are found in a smattering of materials ranging from soil and insects to butter and gelatin. In households, they most frequently inhabit HVAC fans, dust, wet plaster, and damp walls.
Penicillium is the most commonly found indoor mold species. Some strains can produce the antibiotic penicillin, but not the kinds frequently found in homes. Penicillium inhabits mattresses, floors, carpets, and damp building materials. It can cause allergic reactions in a wide range of individuals after prolonged exposure.
Air compartment connected to a duct or ducts.
PRESSED WOOD PRODUCTS
A group of materials used in building and furniture construction that are made from wood veneers, particles, or fibers bonded together with an adhesive under heat and pressure.
Remove or fix. As in, “The specialized technician will be happy to remediate the mold problem in your home.”
Scopulariopsis includes a variety of mold found in plants and animal products as well as decaying wood. When it grows on dyes used in wallpaper, it can cause severe health problems after even a short time of exposure.
Serpula lacrymans is an extremely destructive mold best known for causing the phenomenon known as dry rot. Dry rot breaks down indoor wood and can survive both extremely cold and extremely warm temperatures. Because of the speed at which Serpula lacrymans can damage your home, it is crucial for you to contact a specialized technician if you suspect the presence of dry rot in your home.
Fungi do not reproduce sexually. In other words, they can procreate by themselves, no partner needed. To do so, they release spores into the air. In the right conditions, a mold spore will settle and reproduce to create a whole new mold organism.
Stachybotrys grows all over the world and is popularly known as the dreaded black mold. Black and slimy in appearance and texture, it often grows on wet or water damaged materials. Inhalation, ingestion, or direct contact can have serious health consequences for both humans and animals. Visit our Black Mold Encyclopedia to learn more.
Also known as a strip test or a tape test, a surface test collects mold on tape or in dust form to measure the amount of mold spores existing on a given surface.
Any substance that upon inhalation, ingestion, or absorption has the potential to disrupt bodily functioning. Many molds that grow in the home produce spores that are toxigenic.
Trichoderma is an extremely common mold found in nearly all soils. It thrives best in areas with high water activity – even more so than other molds. The immunocompromised, especially children, are susceptible to negative reactions to Trichoderma.
Ulocladium is the mold responsible for hay fever allergic reactions. Like many other molds, it prefers moist conditions in which to grow – kitchens, bathrooms, and basements are where you’ll most likely find it. It is dark in color and appears similar to Alterneria. Ulocladium is additionally known as a skin irritant.
Wallemia is a common mold found in textiles and food products. Its tiny spores easily settle in the lungs and cause the allergic reaction known as “Farmer’s Lung Disease.”
EPA-approved method of removing mold from damp materials.