Glossary of Mold Terms


A substance such as mold that can cause an allergic reaction.

This type of mold is often found indoors after a water intrusion incident that has not been responded to appropriately. At least one type of Aspergillus species produces aflaxatoxin which is both a toxin and carcinogen. The most common form may cause coughing, fever, chest pains, and breathlessness.

Mold assessment is the process of identifying the location, and extent of mold located within a building.


A chemical that kills mold.

This is a hand held device that permits the user to see inside walls, ceilings, and other interior building areas to determine if visible mold is present. It consists of a camera located on the end of a flexible tube or snake.


Colony Forming Units.

This species of mold often grows indoors when moisture has been present. This mold may cause sinusitis, pulmonary infections, and infections of the skin and toenails. Prolonged exposure may weaken the immune system of animals and humans.

The process of water vapor in the air converting into liquid water. Typically, this occurs on the interior side of window glass in high humidity conditions. It is the opposite of evaporation.


A device designed to reduce the level of moisture in the indoor air generally after a water intrusion incident. Moisture in the air is converted to water and the water is then removed.


Fungi is a classification of organisms separate from plants, animals and bacteria. Included are yeasts and molds.

Many fungi are parasites on plants, animals and humans. Some produce biologically active compounds that are toxic to animals and humans. These are known as mycotoxins.


A chemical that kills mold.

An organism of the kingdom of fungi, feeding on organic matter.


A high efficiency particulate air filter used as part of the remediation process.

High Ozone Shock Treatment
High ozone shock treatment or ozone blasting is a highly controversial method of remediating mold within a building. There are both advantages and disadvantages to the method.

Humidity Gauge
This is a device that measures the level of humidity in the indoor air.

Heating, ventilation, and air - conditioning system.

Greater than normal sensitivity to mold or chemicals.


An infection of the cornea (eye) cause by certain molds.


Moisture Meter
This is a hand held device that measures the level of moisture in building materials such as drywall, wood, brick, stone, concrete and carpeting.

Molds are fungi which is a classification of organisms separate from plants and animals. There are thousands of known species. Some highly dangerous, some are not. Some molds, known as toxic molds, produce mycotoxins which are substances toxic to animal and human life. Molds reproduce by means of spores which may remain airborne for days or weeks. When spores land on a surface suitable to sustain life, they begin to grow.

This is a secondary spelling for mold.

A mycotoxin is a toxic substance produced by some molds. Where conditions are suitable, fungi proliferate into colonies where mycotoxin levels can become dangerously high.


Negative Pressure
A condition that exists when less air is supplied to a space than is exhausted from the space, so the air pressure within that space is less than that in surrounding areas. Under this condition, if an opening exists, air will flow from surrounding areas into the negatively pressurized space.


Organic Material

This is the matter that has come from once living organisms. Organic matter serves as nourishment for molds and is capable of decay. Examples of Organic Matter are:

  • cardboard
  • the paper covering drywall;
  • the paper covering most ceiling and wall building insulation; and
  • furniture and clothing made of fabrics containing cotton, wool and / or leather.


Personal Protective Equipment
Equipment used during the remediation process and sometimes during the assessment process. The equipment includes gloves, impervious clothing, respirators, and eye protection.


Mold remediation is the process of removing mold from a building after stopping the source of moisture.


Sick Building Syndrome
Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is a combination of ailments associated with either a person's place of employment or home. There are many possible causes including mold. Common symptoms include irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, skin irritation, and other health related problems.

A spore is a reproductive structure that is adapted for dispersal and survival for long periods of time in unfavorable conditions. Once conditions become favorable, a spore can develop into a new organism. Mold reproduces by means of spores which are easily carried by air currents.

Stachybotrys Mold
There are more than twenty species of Stachybotrys Mold. The species known as Stachybotrys Chartarum is the most dangerous to animals and humans because the mycotoxins produced can result in one or more of the following depending upon the length of exposure and volume of spores ingested or inhaled: chronic coughing; chronic fatigue; fever; headaches; irritation to the eyes; nose and throat; rashes; sneezing; nausea; vomiting and even bleeding in the lungs and nose.


Thermographic Camera
This is an infrared thermal camera used to locate areas of excessive moisture inside walls and ceilings. They generally cover larger areas than moisture meters.

Causing damage or death to plants, animals, and / or humans. A substance that is poisonous.

Refers to the degree to which a chemical, including those produced by molds, can harm humans and animals.

Toxicology is the branch of medicine involved in the study of the adverse effects of chemicals, including those produced by mold, on humans and animals.