Your Palm Beach
Mold Testing

Mold Definitions

Mold Testing—This is a common term used that describes mold inspection, which should be performed, or be directly supervised (on site) by a licensed mold assessor according to Florida State Law.
Air Return Duct - 
The part of the ductwork where air, from the building’s rooms and some outdoor air, are drawn through filters, into return vents, and then back to the air handler to be treated.
Air Scrubber (Air Filtration Device) - 
A device used to clean or “scrub” particulate matter from the air. They consist of a portable unit that contains a fan (which pulls air through the unit) through series of filters, which includes a HEPA filter and a pre-filter.
Air Supply Duct - 
The part of the ductwork where treated air (cool or warm) is channeled out of the air-handler, through supply duct, out of supply vents, and into the building’s rooms as cool or warm air.
HEPA Filter - 
HEPA stands for ‘high efficiency particulate air.’ A HEPA filter is a type of air filter that removes 99.97 % of all particles greater than .3 micrometers.
HVAC Professional - 
This is a licensed contractor, in the state of Florida, that works in the field of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC).
Mold Assessor -A qualified person who has met Florida State licensing requirements for mold assessor, and actively performs, or directly supervises a mold assessment.
Mold Assessment - A process performed by a mold assessor that includes the physical sampling and detailed evaluation of data obtained from a building history and inspection to formulate an initial hypothesis about the origin, identity, location, and extent of amplification of mold growth.
Mold Remediator - A qualified person, who has met Florida State Licensing requirements, that performs mold remediation.
Mold Remediation - A intrusive mold investigation The that removes visible and non visible mold. This is achieved by using special air scrubbing equipment, cleaning, sanitizing, and demolition. Some times containment walls are used to prevent cross-contamination of non affected rooms.
Post Remediation Verification - (commonly referred to as clearance testing) This is an inspection that that is done after remediation is complete. The same company that performed your remediation should not perform a clearance inspection, which is a violation of Florida State Licensing Law. A Florida state, Licensed Mold Assessor performs this inspection. The resulting report is an important document that verifies remediation was successful. The report includes pictures before the building materials are repair along with laboratory results.

Mold Glossary

Arthrinium (ar-thrin’-ee-um) – contaminant, found commonly on dead plants and in soil.  Generally, not considered to have much health significance, but one species is reported to be an allergen.  IAQ significance relates that it will grow in the same conditions as Stachybotrys (wet cellulose) and amplified amounts in indoor air could be a warning that conditions do exist for fungal growth.
Ascospores (ass-co’-spores) – A large category of spores (produced in a sac-like structure) that are found everywhere in nature and include more than 3000 genera.  Most Ascospores of health or IAQ importance are identified separately by their genus (e.g. Chaetomium) when possible on a IAQ report, and the Ascospore category is used primarily on these reports for a large group of less important spore types often found in quantity on outdoor air samples.  On tape samples, Ascospore is sometimes also used as a general morphological identification (i.e. the ascus or sac structure is present) for certain samples in those cases when the spores do not appear to represent any of the IAQ significant genera.
Aspergillus (as-per-jill-us) – allergen / contaminant / opportunistic pathogen, commonly found in the environment around the world.  It comprises approximately 200 species and can appear almost any color.  Though commonly found on cultures, tape-lifts, and air samples, its spores are indistinguishable from Penicillium on non-cultured samples (like tape-lifts and air-o-cells) unless the conidiophore is present.  Health effects vary by species, but many species are reported to be allergenic.  Some species produce toxins that might have significant health effects in humans.  Aspergillus is one of the most infectious of molds, but infections are not common in normal immune systems.  Aspergillus spp. are well-known to play a role in three different clinical settings in humans: (1) opportunistic infections; (2) allergic states; and (3) toxicoses.  Immunosuppression is the major factor predisposing to development of opportunistic infections.  These infections may present in a wide spectrum, varying from local involvement to dissemination and are called aspergillosis.  Among all filamentous fungi, Aspergillus is in general the most isolated one in invasive infections.  It is the second most recovered fungus in opportunistic mycoses following is Candida.  Construction in hospital environments constitutes a major risk for development of aspergillosis particularly in neutropenic patients. Aspergillus versicolor can be found mostly in temperate areas in air, house dust, foods, soils, hay, cotton, and dairy products.  Its presence in indoor air often indicates signs of moisture problems in buildings, as it is readily found in water damaged building materials.  This species produces the mycotoxin sterigmatocystin, which is reported to be carcinogenic to the liver and kidney, and it can cause such symptoms as diarrhea and upset stomach.  It also produces the volatile organic compound (VOC) geosmin, this compound causes irritation of the mucus membranes of humans and pets; also causing the characteristic musty, earthy odor often connected with moldy houses.
Aureobasidium (are-ee-oh-buh-syd’-ee-um) – Aureobasidium is a cosmopolitan, dematiaceous fungus commonly isolated from plant debris, soil, wood, textiles, and indoor air environment.  Aureobasidium pullulans is one of the causative agents of phaehyphomycosis.  It may cause keratomycosis, pulmonary mycosis with sepsis and other opportunistic infections, as well as cutaneous mycoses such as eumycotic dermatitis.  While Aureobasidium mansoni was reported to cause nosocomial meningitis, Aureobasidium pullulans was isolated in patients with peritonitis.  Aureobasidium may also colonize hair, skin, and nails in humans.  The pathogenicity of Aureobasidium remains limited and uncommon.  Thus, Aureobasidium pullulans is commonly considered as a contaminant.
Basidiospores (bah-sid-ee-oh’-spores) – Basidiospores are known as “higher fungi” or true mushrooms and are a general category of sexual spores that have been released from the basidium of a fungus.  This group of spores is ubiquitous in nature and is mainly found in gardens, forests, and woodlands.  Basidiospores are moisture driven as their spores disseminate during rain or in times of high humidity.  The presence of these spores at levels greater than those of the outdoor environment may be an indicator of fungal contamination and water damage inside a building.
Beauveria (bow-vary-uh) – contaminant, known to be pathogenic in animals and insects.  Rarely involved in human infection.
Botrytis (bow-try-tus) – contaminant, parasitic on plants and fruits.  Rarely involved in human infection, but it is reported to be allergenic.
Chaetomium (kee–toe-me-um) – contaminant, rarely involved in systemic and cutaneous disease and sometimes reported to be allergenic.  Some species can produce toxins, and there is some research interest on whether these toxins can cause cancer.  Primary IAQ importance is currently related to that it will grow in the same conditions as Stachybotrys (wet cellulose) and amplified amounts in indoor air could be a warning that conditions do exist for Stachybotrys growth.  Many times, on damp sheetrock paper, colonies of Chaetomium and Stachybotrys will be growing on top of one another or side by side (this can also be an important consideration when doing tape lifts of sheetrock because most of the time the colonies are not distinguishable by the naked eye – the small area that is sampled might be a pure colony of just Chaetomium even though numerous colonies of Stachybotrys might exist.)
Chrysonilia (kris-o-nil-ee-a) – contaminant, brightly colored, fast-growing mold, which spreads easily through contamination.  Health effects are not yet known.  It is found in soil, breads, and contaminated laboratory cultures.
Cladosporium (clad-oh-spore-ee-um) – Cladosporiumis a dematiaceous (pigmented) mold widely distributed in air and rotten organic material and frequently isolated as a contaminant.  It is one of the most common molds in the outdoor air during the summer and fall months of the year.  The ability to sporulate heavily, ease of dispersal, and buoyant spores makes this fungus the most important fungal airway allergen; and together with Alternaria, it commonly causes asthma and hay fever in the Western hemisphere. Cladosporium spp. are causative agents of skin lesions, keratitis, onychomycosis, sinusitis, and pulmonary infections. Cladosporium can thrive in various indoor environments, appearing light green to black (the black mold on air vent grills is usually Cladosporium)
Curvularia (curve-you-lair’-ee-uh) – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen, found in air, soil and textiles.  Reported to be allergenic.  Rare infections of corneas, nails, and sinuses, primarily in immunocompromised individuals.
Drechslera / Bipolaris (dresh-lair’-uh) / (by-pole-air’-us) – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen, found in soil.  Allergenic and the most common agent for allergic fungal sinusitis.  Various but uncommon infections of the eye, nose, lungs, and skin.
Epicoccum (epp-ee-cock’-um) – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen, found in soil, air, water and rotting vegetation and can be commonly found in outdoor air.  It is a common allergen, and rarely can it cause an infection in the skin.
Exophiala (ex-oh-fy’-all-uh) – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen.  Commonly found in soil, decaying wood, and various other wet materials because it thrives in water laden environments.  Indoors it can be found in air conditioning systems, humidifiers, and other surfaces in frequent contact with moisture.  Some species linked to occasional skin infections and various other subcutaneous lesions.  Allergenic effects and toxicity are not well studied.
Fusarium (few-sarh-ee-um) – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen, found on fruit, grains and is common in soil.  Indoors it sometimes contaminates humidifiers.  Associated with as eye and various other infections in immunocompromised individuals and particularly burn patients.  Produces a variety of toxins mainly important when ingested, particularly thru contaminated grain products.
Geotrichum (gee-oh-trick-um) – contaminant, commonly found in dairy products and found as a normal part of human flora.  There are some reports of infection in compromised hosts, but most of these are not well documented.
Gliocladium (glee-oh-clay’-dee-um) – contaminant, found widespread in soil and decaying vegetation.  Like Penicillium, but there are no reports of infections in humans or animal.  There are some reports of allergies.
Memnoniella (mem-non-ee-el-la) – contaminant, found most often with Stachybotrys on wet cellulose.  Forms in chains, but it is very similar to Stachybotrys and is sometimes considered to be in the Stachybotrys family.  Certain species do produce toxins very similar to the ones produced by Stachybotrys chartarum and many consider the IAQ importance of Memnoniella to be on par with Stachybotrys.  Allergenic and infectious properties are not well studied.
Mucor (mhew’core) – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen, found in soil, decaying vegetation, and animal dung.  It is common to find some spores in normal house dust.  It’s a minor allergen and can cause Zygomycoses and lung infections in compromised individuals.
Myxomycete / Rust / Smut (mix-oh’-my-seat) – general category for commonly found genera usually associated with living and decaying plants as well as decaying wood.  Sometimes can be found indoors.  Some allergenic properties reported, but generally pose no health concerns to humans or animals.  Smuts are ubiquitous parasitic plant pathogens, which require a living host to complete their life cycle and are not usually found growing indoors.  Smuts are most often found on corn, grass, weeds, flowering plants, and other fungi; they are usually disseminated by wind.  They are called smuts because they form black powdery spore masses that resemble soot or smut.  Myxomycetes are ubiquitous outdoor molds (often considered a slime mold), and are commonly found in forested areas where bark, soil, dung, and leaf litter are present.
Paecilomyces (pay-sill-oh-my-sees) – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen, found worldwide in soil and decaying vegetation, associated with pulmonary and sinus infections in those who had organ transplants, as well as inflammation of the cornea.  Some reports of allergies, humidifier associated illnesses, and pneumonia.
Penicillium (pen-uh-sill’-ee-um) – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen, one of the most common genera found worldwide in soil and decaying vegetation and indoors in dust, food, and various building materials.  Common bread mold is a species of Penicillium.  Spores usually cannot be distinguished from Aspergillus on non-cultured samples (like tape-lifts and air-o-cells).  It is reported to be allergenic, to cause certain infections in compromised individuals, and some species do produce toxins unhealthy to humans.
Phoma (fo’-mah) – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen, found on plant material and soil.  Reported to be a common allergen found indoors on painted walls (including the shower) and on a variety of other surfaces including cement, rubber, and butter.  Some believe its effect on indoor air is not that significant because its spores do not travel well via air currents.  Some species are linked to occasional eye, skin, and subcutaneous infections.
Pithomyces (pith-oh-my-sees) – contaminant, found on decaying plants, especially leaves and grasses.  Rarely found indoors, but it can grow on paper.  No reports of allergies or infections, but some species produce a toxin that causes facial eczema in sheep.
Rhizopus ( rye-zo-puss) – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen, found in soil, decaying vegetation, and animal dung.  It is reported to be allergenic, and some consider it a major allergen often linked to occupational allergy.  It can cause Zygomycoses and other infections in compromised individuals.
Scopulariopsis (scope-you-lair-ee-op’-siss) – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen, found worldwide in soil and decaying vegetation and often be found indoors on various materials.  Usually is only a contaminant but some reports of allergies and an as agent for certain types of nail infections.
Stachybotrys (stack-ee-bought-ris) – contaminant, found indoors primarily on wet cellulose containing materials.  It is the “toxic black mold” that has garnered much media attention.  Some species produce a potent toxin that is lethal to animals, though dose effect on humans is not clear.  One species produces a toxin linked to the bleeding lung deaths of several infants.  A host of other toxic reactions in humans are also linked to it, but many of these require further study.  Stachybotrys is sometimes difficult to detect indoors because many times it will grow unseen on the back of walls or in the wall cavity with little disturbance that would cause it to be detected by routine air sampling.  This is potentially also when it is of most health concern: when it covers entire wall areas and constantly produces toxins undetected.  Non-cultured lab analyses (air-o-cells and tape-lifts) usually are the proper method of identification because Stachybotrys does not grow or compete well on most culture plate media, and it is reported that even non-viable spores can be toxigenic.
Stemphylium (stem-fill-ee-um) – contaminant, reported to be an allergen.  Rarely grows indoors but can grow on cellulose materials like paper.
Syncephalastrum (sin-sef-al-os-trum) – primarily a contaminant, often found in the soil of warm, moist climates.  Very rarely involved in infections.
Taeniolella (tan-o-ee-el-la) – contaminant, little is known concerning allergenic properties or toxicity.  Primarily grows on wood.
Trichoderma (trick-oh-derm-uh) – contaminant / opportunistic pathogen, found in soil.  Can be found indoors on cellulose materials like paper and in kitchens on various ceramic items.  Human infections are rare, but some have been reported in immune suppressed patients.  It is reported to be allergenic though some report these effects to be rare.  It can produce toxins very similar to those produced by Stachybotrys chartarum, and because of this, it is considered an important mold in IAQ investigations.
Torula (tore-you-law) – primarily a contaminant, but it is reported to be allergenic.  Can be found indoors on cellulose containing material.
Ulocladium (you-low-clay-dee-um) – contaminant, found everywhere.  Can grow indoors on various materials including paper but requires more water than some other molds.  It is reported to be a major allergen.
Verticillium (ver-ti-sill-ee-um) – primarily a contaminant found in soil and decaying plants.  Health effects are not well studied.  A few sources report it as a very rare cause of cornea infections.
Zygomycetes (Zy-go-my-seets) – large class of genera that includes Mucor and Rhizopus.  Some species may cause infections and zygomycosis in compromised individuals, and some species may be major allergens.  The category Zygomycete on reports is a morphological identification when a particular genus cannot be identified.  Particularly on non-cultured samples such as tape-lifts and air-o-cells, many Zygomycete spores and even other clear round spores are indistinguishable by genus.

Our Mold Assessment Report Sets Us Apart from the Rest.

Our professional report is crafted for your understanding. It will contain digital photography with captions explaining what was discovered. It will contain the laboratory results with explanations. If the mold discovered does require remediation, you will be provided with a detailed remediation plan to correct the problem and we will consult with you for your understanding and concerns. Our mold assessments include:

  • Digital photography of issues with written observations of evidence of moisture, (toxic) black molds or, non-toxic molds, thermal images with explanations of captured moisture issues, flood damage, water damage, evidence of moisture intrusion, and damage caused by indoor humidity issues. 
  • Digital thermal images with explanations of active moisture intrusion (wet wall areas that are present).
  • Laboratory results with a determination if the fungal ecology is normal.
  • A mold remediation plan (if necessary).
  • General Recommendations for advice on mold prevention.
When you hire Integrity Mold Inspection for an mold inspection, moisture inspection, or odor inspection for insurance claims, or rooms that have a nuisance odor or that may be triggering your allergy symptoms—you will receive direct feedback about the investigation from Integrity Mold Inspection. Gary Rose, owner of Integrity Mold Inspection, is available for questions and concerns you may have regarding your mold, moisture, or odor issue.

We deliver 24 hour mold inspection results.

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