Black mold… it’s the mold we all know and dread. But when it comes to black mold, what are the common varieties, and why should you care?
The other black mold
Chaetomium is one of the most common varieties of mold found in damp or water-damaged spaces. It is often mistaken for another common variety of black mold, Stachybotrys chartarum. The difference between the two is hard to tell with the naked eye, and they can even have common side effects. Stachybotrys chartarum is more likely to cause health problems and severe symptoms, but remember: no amount of mold in your home is okay!
Where and when?
Chaetomium grows under similar conditions to other mold varieties: where it’s dark, damp, warm and hidden. This can be in many places and across several different types of materials. Common places to find it include:
- Paper products
- Trim along doors and windows
- Cotton furniture
- Cardboard boxes
Looking at the list, it’s easy to imagine places this mold might appear: basements, downstairs rooms that are prone to dampness or leakage, storage areas, and more. Chaetomium breaks down the cellulose within materials, essentially “eating” them. For this reason it can also be found on food, especially high-fiber foods commonly found in your pantry. These are foods such as:
- Whole-grain pasta
- Brown rice
- Whole-grain bread products
I found black mold- what does it mean?
The untrained and naked eye generally cannot identify what variety of mold is present just by observation. However, all kinds of mold should be removed, so you only have to test the variety if you prefer to do so. The most important thing is to remove it quickly and efficiently, and identify risk factors that have led to the mold. This will prevent recurrence, which is a common issue for homeowners who find mold growth.
Elevated levels of Chaetomium- above >500-1000 spores/m3– are associated with health risks. This can include skin and nail infections, allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and even autoimmune disorders. More severe symptoms have also been observed like memory loss, seizures, fever, and internal injuries.
The bottom line
If you have any variety of mold in your home, it needs to be addressed. However, some molds have more serious potential health and safety consequences than other. Black mold is one of these varieties, so don’t delay if you see or even suspect its presence in your home. If you’re dealing with mold issues, contact the flood medix! Our expert crew will be happy to help.