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“Black Mold” – difference between it and “regular mold”
All types of mold can be harmful depending on the susceptibility of the individual person. The elderly and young (generally under 5 years old) are particular susceptible due to their lower immune system abilities.
Harmful “black mold” that customers many times ask us about is usually stachybotrys. This type of mold is almost always harmful to everyone due to its inherent defense mechanism as a mold. It has evolved into a mold that emits particles that kill other types of mold. This is not in response to human presence but as a survival technique. Indirectly it results in a harmful environment for almost all humans to be in when inhaled. Side effects are from slight breathing issues to sever respiratory complications. Many molds are black and can be very harmful but the only way to determine the type of mold is to have it surface or air sampled / tested.
Stachybotrys is a “marker” mold which means it is usually found when there is a large amount of continued moisture in a building. Another “marker” mold is chaetomium. When these two particular molds are present by themselves or together it is usually an indication of a prolonged issue in the structure.
Some other types of molds are listed below:
These types of mold can indicate prolonged issues with water presence as well. Mold generally needs 3 things to thrive: moisture, stagnant air, warm temperature, and a medium to grow on. Most molds thrive in an temperature that humans find comfortable: 70 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically the inside of houses, garages, or crawlspaces have stagnant, warm air. Any these items combined with a moisture issue not taken care of properly and a medium to grow on like the backing of older carpet, inside of drywalled walls, wood floors, cabinets, etc make an excellent environment for mold to grow and cause serious structural and health issues.