Q: Why do you spell mould with a "u"?
A: Scientists in the field of micro-fungi often refer to species that are found in homes or commercial buildings as "moulds". Since our driving principle is sound science, we felt it appropriate to use this spelling.
Q: Why is it important to know the species of mold in a home or building?
A: If you don't know the species you can't say anything about the potential health effects of the molds found. The one exception to this is Stachybotrys - which has 2 species that most often grow together so you have to assume the bad species is present.
Q: How can you tell that a species is being identified?
A: The name of the mold needs to have two full words, like Aspergillus versicolor. If it says Aspergillus sp., this means some species of Aspergillus, and there are many, some of which can cause serious health problems and some can cause allergies to varying degrees. If the identification says Aspergillus/Penicillium ? this is a combination of two families (genera) of molds.
Q: Apart from species identities, what else can I learn from samples?
A: Tape lift or bulk samples from visible mold sites, if analyzed thoroughly, can tell you if the site is still actively growing, approximately how long the site has been there, and if moisture intrusion is still occurring. Viable air samples can tell you likely species of mold that are actively growing in the home/building.
Q: How is it possible to find mold that is not visible?
A: It is vital that you use an inspector with a combination of tools that can detect mold that is not visible. The best combination, in our opinion, is a mold detection canine (mold dog), laser particle counter, and moisture meter. The mold dog can find suspected mold sites, and the other instruments can be used to confirm this detection before holes are drilled to take samples.
Q: How do I know that mold has been eradicated?
A: You need to be sure that air samples are taken at least 24 hours (48 hours or more is preferable) after remediation has been completed. We recommend viable air samples so the active mold can be determined, if there is any remaining. There are new national protocols for this that have replaced the New York City protocols.