What are the different types of mold?

There are an estimated 100,000 plus species of mold with 1,000 or more species commonly found in the U.S. In general, molds are an important part of the nutrient cycle because they break down dead materials in soil, food, plant materials, and other organic matter making it available for plants and other organisms.

Some common types of Mold:

  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium

What is Stachybotrys chartarum (Stachybotrys atra)?

Stachybotrys chartarum (also known by its synonym Stachybotrys atra) is a greenish-black mold. It can grow on material with a high cellulose and low nitrogen content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint. Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth. It is not necessary, however, to determine what type of mold you may have. All molds should be treated the same with respect to potential health risks and removal.

How can I check for Stachybotrys atra?

Stachybotrys atra can grow on water soaked wood, ceiling tiles, wall paneling, unpainted plaster board surfaces, cotton items, cardboard boxes, and stacks of newspapers. If these areas have been very wet, usually for longer than one week, check for mold. After the area dries, the fungus will not continue to grow, but the black dust caused by the fungus can be sucked up by the basement furnace blower and spread the mold dust up to the offices. Be sure to check your basement for the black mold. If you do not have access to the basement, ask your building manager for assistance. Note: not all black mold is Stachybotrys, but moldy buildings are not healthy buildings.