Water Damage Indicator Molds
WATER DAMAGE INDICATOR MOLDS
Stachybotrys, Chaetomium, and Memnoniella are all types of water damage indicator molds. Most of these molds are molds that people will readily call a “black mold” if observed in an indoor setting. Water damage indicators molds have been known to produce mycotoxins that can be harmful to humans who are exposed to them. These molds grow in places where there is usually an endless source of moisture and a constant nutrient source. When there are continual leaks or even in extreme cases of floods, the end result is one of these water damage indicator molds growing and flourishing. Water damage indicator molds also produce mold spores. Water damage indicator mold spores are heavier and stickier than those of the common indoor and outdoor mold spores. It is rare to find water damage indicator mold spores in air samples that are taken. The only instance where these heavy mold spores are found in an air sample is when a water damage indicator mold colony is disturbed causing the spores to be released into the air.
In homes, Stachybotrys can be observed as a very dark green or black growth. Stachybotrys grows well on surfaces that are high in fiber content (cellulose) as a constant nutrient source. Wallpaper, wood, ceiling tiles and carpet are some common places where Stachybotrys is seen growing. Very wet areas are the ideal habitat for Stachybotrys to grow as well. It is commonly recognized as a water damage indicator. Houses that have had substantial water damage such as flooding are the perfect condition for Stachybotrys to grow and spread. Even after Stachybotrys begins to grow, it still needs consistent and abundant moisture to grow. Stachybotrys chartarum, in its own right, is a mold known to produce very toxic mycotoxins. A mycotoxin is simply a toxic chemical produced by molds. These mycotoxins produced by Stachybotrys can be detrimental to the health of human beings. Molds in general can have adverse effects, but the effects of Stachybotrys are the worst known.
Chaetomium can be found growing on surfaces such as carpet, window seals, baseboards, and sometimes even sheetrock. Surfaces that have been damaged to do extensive water or moisture exposure are typical sites where Chaetomium can be seen growing. A mature colony of Chaetomium can be observed in colors ranging from grey to olive green. Chaetomium does produce mycotoxins that are potentially harmful to humans if exposed. In severe cases of Chaetomium exposure, humans can develop a brain abscess and can also genetic damage. When Chaetomium is ever discovered in an indoor setting, a professional remediation company should be the person that should be contacted.
Memnoniella is also a water damage indicator mold that is commonly confused with Stachybotrys because of their colonial similarities in being black mold. Memnoniella do grow in colonies that can be seen as black growth a lot like Stachybotrys. Memnoniella grow well on high cellulose surfaces that have had either water damage or constant exposure to moisture. Ceiling tiles, drywall, and wallpaper are just a few of the surfaces where Memnoniella can be found growing under the right conditions. Being that Memnoniella is such small spore it makes it easier to penetrate into the human body. Memnoniella can be very harmful to people with severe allergies and those who suffer from asthma. Memnoniella produces mycotoxins as well.
Water damage indicator molds are molds that should be paid the most attention being that they produce mycotoxins that are harmful to humans. Also water damage indicator molds, if not physically observed with the eye, can sometimes go undetected. Direct sampling is usually the only way a water damage indicator can be identified being that the mold spores aren’t usually found in air samples. If any of these molds are found in your place of residence, a consultation with a professional remediation company should be the next active step in removing this mold from your home.