Stachybotrys and Other Molds

Mold and fungal organisms are a frequent concern in construction. Fungal wood rot can damage structures and surfaces. We are also hearing more and more about the negative health affects of most molds found in home, and one particular mold - Stachybotrys - has received a lot of publicity. While there is a lot more to know about the health affects of moldy homes, most of the literature does suggest that such homes are not healthy.

For a very good primer on mold, take a look at the information provided by the Building Science Corporation

Here is what we know:

  • Wet/moist, poorly vented, and poorly maintained homes are the most likely to suffer from mold and fungal damage and contamination.
  • Keeping a home dry and well vented (prevention) is much easier and much less expensive than cleanup and repairs.
  • Cleanup after a flood is complicated and requires protection of the cleanup workers. Unless the cleanup is completed very quickly, most surfaces will have to be replaced, e.g. carpet, wallboard.
  • Stachybotrys is a particularly dangerous form of mold, but the "TV talk show" attention to this specific type of mold appears to be out of proportion to the problem. Such attention may also promote the false idea that one does not have to be concerned about other types of mold.
  • The health affects of Stachybotrys and other molds appear to be most serious for: infants, folks with respiratory problems and older people.
  • When in doubt get more information: read the linked material, call your local health department and/or you doctor.
  • Testing for mold is very difficult! Testing for elevated moisture levels, the main cause of mold is relatively easy and a key to mold control.
  • As an inspector I receive a great deal of unsolicited material about the latest way to make more $$$. A few years ago this junk mail had to do with asbestos, then EMF and now its mold. Mold is bad but con artists can make it worse!

Consumer News