“Black mold” is a “media generated” name given to the mold known as Stachybotrys, better known in the industry as “Stacky”. It is improtant to understand that there are thousands of species of molds and many are black as well as brown, grey, green and all the colors of a rainbow. It is also important to know that most molds can make certain people ill, regardless of it’s color, however, Stacky is known to be much more aggressive in doing so.
Stacky was first recognized in the 1930’s when horses on Russian farms became sick after eating contaminated hay. Today, Stacky is one of the main players in what is known as “sick building syndrome”. Stacky itself is not pathogenic, however it does produce toxins and can cause health problems ranging from common cold like symptoms, to asthma symptoms, to life threatening reactions for those with pre-exposure respiratory conditions. As with most molds that start problems within our buildings, Stacky needs cellulose-containing materials for food. Stacky also needs unusually high moisture levels to thrive. Some of the more common building materials locally are drywall and OSB products, However it will eat wallpaper, dust & lint just to name a few. This is not a mold that is normally produced by humidity issues alone, unless condensation problems have created enough moisture.