Mold is found both indoors and outdoors and can grow anywhere conditions are favorable and on almost any surface. 

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Mold is reproduced by spores being released into the air.  Moisture and a food source are all that mold needs to thrive.  Concrete, brick, wood, and drywall are some places mold is commonly found.  Even the harshest environments are no match for mold. 


Penicillium, Stachybotrys, Alternaria, and Cladosporium are some of the most prevalent indoor molds.  Some can be found outdoors as well.  A large percentage of molds are non toxic but can aggravate existing conditions such as hay fever and allergies.  Children and those with weakened immune systems are most susceptible to the effects of mold.  Mold also poses a threat to the integrity of building materials such as wood, ceiling tiles and drywall.  The enzymes secreted by the mold break down the cellulose fibers in these and other materials.  The paper that protects the gypsum in drywall is especially vulnerable.


Black Mold


Black mold or Stachybotrys Chartarum is the most notable toxin producing mold.  Toxins, specifically mycotoxins, are produced by a number of other molds as well.  Gypsum board, paper, and fiberboard are the most common places Black Mold is found due to the high cellulose content of these items.


Black mold spores are tiny and easily inhaled.  Coughing, wheezing, runny nose, irritated eyes, and diarrhea are all symptoms of having inhaled black mold spores.  It is important to note that not all black colored molds are toxic.  The only way to be sure one way or the other is to have professional sample tests performed.


Testing for Toxic Mold


Proper testing procedures are imperative for accurate results.  Since it stands to reason that the species of mold found inside a home can also be found outside a home both areas should be thoroughly tested.  Samples should be taken from a variety of strategic locations both inside and outside the home.  The location of ventilation sources should be taken into consideration when locations are chosen Samples taken too close to a vent or too far from a heating register can produce unreliable results.


If there is a significant area with evidence of mold a professional abatement company should be hired to clean the area and eliminate the source of moisture causing the issue.  Some mold can be cleaned with simple bleach but you should never take on a mold cleanup project before having it tested for toxicity.