Mold - Fungal Biology

Various text sources indicate the probable presence of over

100,000 species of fungi (mold and yeast) with approximately

80,000 of these species described. Neither animal nor plant, molds

are microscopic organisms that produce enzymes to digest organic

matter and spores to reproduce. These organisms are part of the

fungi kingdom, a realm shared with mushrooms, yeast, and

mildews. Typically, fungi are saprobes; that is, their source of

food is non-living organic matter. In nature, mold plays a key

role in the decomposition of leaves, wood, and other plant debris.

Without mold, we would find ourselves wading neck-deep in dead

plant matter. And we wouldn't have great foods and medicines,

such as cheese and penicillin. However, problems arise when

mold starts digesting organic materials we don't want them to,

like our buildings. There are molds that can grow on wood, ceiling

tiles, wallpaper, paints, carpet, sheet rock, and insulation. When

excess moisture or water builds up in the building from a leaky

roof, high humidity, or flooding, conditions are often ideal for

molds. Longstanding moisture or high humidity conditions and

mold growth go together.

We test for fungi by IAQA trained certified consultants.