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.