A fundamental first step in fully understanding the impact mold can have on your life is appreciating its essential physical characteristics. Molds are the most common type of fungus found on the planet. Mold comprises a stunning 25 percent of the Earth’s biomass. Repeating this fact is important: 25 percent of all living matter on the planet is mold. 

Basic Structure of Mold

Mold is a fungus that is comprised of multicellular filaments. These filaments are called hyphae. Mold and its multicellular filaments are contrasted to another type of fungi that is a singular cell organism. This singular cell fungi is classified as yeast.

Under appropriate conditions, the hyphae comprising mold grow into what are considered long and intertwined strings. This forms the main body of this particular type of fungus. The main body of mold is called mycelium. The component of mold that is visible to the human eye is the mycelium. 

In some types of mold, the lower hyphae or the hyphae on the underbelly of a mold grown form what are small root-like structures. These structures that develop with the lower hyphae of a mold growth are called rhizoids.

Rhizoids fairly can be described as roots. These roots anchor the hyphae or mold growth to a substrate like wood or a food source like bread. When this type of mold structure exists, most of the body of a mold growth ends up buried in its food source and is out of sight. 

When considering the basic structure of mold, the part of a growth that is visible is that element that produces spores. The spores are one of the primary, but not the only, way in which mold reproduces and spreads. Spores readily become airborne and can spread “far and wide.” The reality is that mold spores are to be found in nearly any residence, business, or other type of building or structure. They are also found out of doors as well.

The second way in which mold reproduces and spreads occurs when hyphae or the multicellular filaments break apart. When this occurs, the piece of hyphae that breaks free is capable of “colonizing” additional mold growth. 

Another component of note in the basic structure of mold is what is known as chitin. Chitin is contained in the walls of hyphae than make up mold growth. Chitin renders “mold walls” highly durable and capable of surviving even under harsher conditions. Chitin can be contrasted to the cellular walls of plants because it serves a similar purpose. With that said, chitin is a stronger, more durable substance than is the cellular walls of plants. 

Moisture and Mold Growth

Moisture is required for mold growth. In the absence of dampness or moisture, mold will not grow in the first instance. When moisture is eliminated at a location where mold growth has occurred, it eventually will die.

Mold spores are highly durable. They can survive for indefinite periods of time in the absence of moisture. When moisture is introduced, a spore will germinate and begin to grow.

Common Types of Mold

All of the most commonplace types of mold share the same general structures and basic physical characteristics. With that noted, the most common types of mold include:

  • Acremonium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium
  • Fusarium
  • Mucor
  • Penicillium
  • Rhizopus
  • Stachybotrys
  • Trichoderma
  • Trichophyton

Health Effects of Mold and Mold Spores

In addition to understanding the essential physical characteristics of mold and mold spores, you also must be alert to the fact that mold and mold spores can have a negative impact on your health. As was noted a moment ago, more spores are considered ubiquitous. In other words, mold spores literally are everywhere. As a consequence, if damp conditions exist somewhere in your home, business, or elsewhere, mold can and will germinate with relative ease. 

If mold spores are present in significant quantities, such a situation can result in negative health consequences. Not only mold but mold spores can present health hazards to humans. The most common health hazards associated with mold spores are allergic reactions and respiratory problems. The respiratory problems associated with mold spores can prove to be significant in some cases. 

Professional Mold Remediation

Because of the destruction mold can cause to your property and the health hazards mold and mold spores can present, the presence of mold oftentimes calls for professional remediation. Professional mold remediation begins with an inspection of the property to determine the significance of mold infestation and the prevalence of mold growth. The inspection process can also include a determination of the density of mold spores at the property as well.

A professional mold remediation company provides a comprehensive range of services that include cleaning up mold growth and using EPA approved, highly effective solutions to prevent a reoccurrence of mold growth in the future. In addition, comprehensive mold remediation includes the elimination of foul odors that can be associated with mold growth. 

Author

Emily Kil

Co-Owner of Eco Bear Biohazard Cleaning Company

Together with her husband, Emily Kil is co-owner of Eco Bear, a leading biohazard remediation company in Southern California. An experienced entrepreneur, Emily assisted in founding Eco Bear as a means of combining her business experience with her desire to provide assistance to people facing challenging circumstances. Emily regularly writes about her first-hand experiences providing services such as biohazard cleanup, suicide cleanup, crime scene cleanup, unattended death cleanup, infectious disease disinfection and other types of difficult remediations in homes and businesses.