Mold Inspections

Not all moulds are bad moulds

Molds (or moulds) are naturally occurring organisms that we couldn’t live without.  They play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter into nutrients which go back into the soil to promote further growth.

Some moulds are even used in the production of foods.  Penicillium Roqueforti and Penicillium Glaucum are the blue molds used for production of blue-veined cheeses.  Without mould we wouldn’t have bread, yoghurt, kefir (sour-milk and sour-cream), cheese, beer, wine, dry-cured meats or sauerkraut.

However there are some moulds that are considered more dangerous.  These moulds are ones that produce mycotoxins and aflatoxins. These toxins may effect our respiratory system and in some cases even act as carcinogens. Not all molds produce these toxins.  The ones that do needs to be treated with care.

How Mould grows

Two things which all moulds need to survive are water and organic material.  Different moulds will grow at different temperatures, but all need food and water.  Pretty much the same as us.  Unlike us, some moulds will thrive in areas where there is little or no oxygen.

The main difference is in the reproductive cycle of mould.

stachybotrys chartarum spores
Stachybotrys Chartarum spores
(black mould or more commonly
and incorrectly called toxic mould)

Moulds reproduce by releasing spores, these can be looked at (from a very rudimentary perspective) as the fertilized eggs of mould.Unlike other types of “egg”, mould spores are highly resistant and durable. They can remain dormant for years in even hot and dry environments.

As soon as sufficient water and nutrients are available, and the right temperature occurs the spores burst into life.


Stachbotrys hyphae

The spores “germinate” and grow into what is known as a germ tube.  The germ tube grows into a stem like organisms with what appears to be a shrub outcrop, this stem, which grows both into the food source and onto the surface called the hyphae.
stachy-on-the-wall The mould becomes visible to the naked eye when large clumps of these hyphae grow together and for a mycelium.  Mushrooms are a good example of mycelia.  Unfortunately, given the right conditions, so is Stachybotrys
What makes mould dangerous?
Should you test for mould?
Who should perform mould sampling?
What's the best type of sampling?
Why use FPPI?