What is Mold | All You Need to know

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Paxton does Mold Testing and Inspections

Mold can be difficult to identify correctly, making professional testing more important than ever.  To ensure a healthy environment at home, school, and work, it is essential that you accurately identify the mold and what species it is.  In order to identify mold, lets learn what mold is.

Here are some facts about mold:

  • Molds are organisms that are found everywhere, indoors and outside.
  • Molds are fungi
  • Molds grow on organic materials
  • Molds need moisture and food to grow
  • Molds reproduce and spread
  • Exposure can lead to severe health issues
  • Can cause structural damage to buildings


What is Mold

Like yeast or mushrooms, molds are a fungus that are part of the natural environment.  Fungi play an important role in our eco system by breaking down & digesting organic material.  Yet, the impact they can have on humans and buildings isn’t so good.

Is it really Mold?

Individual spores can only be seen under a microscope…yet what we see growing on food, plants, walls are masses of mold hyphae.  Mold Colonies form through the intertwining of hyphae.

The fungi appear in a wide variety of colors:  black, brown, white, yellow, green, purple, olive green, blue.  Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between dust and mold.  The color of the mold depends on the species, moisture levels, and source of nutrients.

Knowing the species of mold is very important in how the space will remediated.  That is why professional testing is so important.  

Mold Categories

For the purpose of indoor molds and the health effects, the fungi can be put into 3 categories:

  1. Allergenic – these types of mold cause allergic symptoms in people who are allergic to molds.  Symptoms can include, sneezing, itchy eyes, wheezing, couching, runny nose, itchy skin, and watery eyes.
  2. Pathogenic – Pathogenic molds can cause serious infections in humans even if they are in good health.  This type actually grows inside a human causing fungal or mold related illnesses classified as mycoses.  Examples of health issues are hypersensitivity pneumonitis, tissue infections of the skin, and even inside the body.
  3. Toxigenic – Toxigenic molds produce mycotoxins (a harmful chemical present inside or on the surface of the mold spore, which can be inhaled, ingested, or touched.)  These molds can cause temporary health problems or long term such as, neurological disorders, cancer, or immunosuppression diseases.

Why Test for Mold

It is hard to determine with the human eye if what your seeing is actually mold, and if it is toxic or not.  Even our Certified Professional Mold Inspector cannot and will not tell you if its toxic mold just by looking at it.  That would be irresponsible.

Stains and discolorations that you may think in fact is mold, could be attributed to smoking, dirt, debris, and insects.  Symptoms of the common cold could actually be from allergies to mold.

If you suspect that you may have mold growing in your home, then call Paxton Inspection Services to conduct a thorough mold inspection and testing.  Mold testing is the only way to get answers and to make a remediation plan.

Remember, it is not mold until its tested.  And not all black mold you may see is toxic until it’s tested.  So contact the expert Mold Inspector at Paxton Inspection Services by scheduling your test today!



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Paxton Inspection Services is Fargo-Moorhead’s leading home inspection company.  We offer testing services for mold, radon, indoor air quality, water, and more!

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