Coffee Grounds? No, Hidden Mold Growth
What appeared to the homeowner as just maybe spilled coffee grounds, ended up being the only visual evidence of a Stachybotrys infestation that was over 12 liner feet long and had been hidden behind the kitchen cabinets. The cause was a busted drain pipe within the concrete wall.
The homeowner reported to us that their family had experienced chronic sinus infections and an increase in the frequency of migraines.
Upon following up with the family several months later, they were happy to inform us that they had been infection free since having their home returned to a healthy home standard.
There are several hundred thousand species of molds, there are about sixteen different species which are known as "toxic molds" as the general public has dubbed them. They have received this label because these mold species are known to release mycotoxins which can be toxic to animals and humans.
So, to answer your original question of toxic mold, if you have or have had any water intrusion or humidity issues within your home, then Yes, it is possible there's a mold issue within your home. Is that mold the infamous Toxic Mold or Toxic Black Mold that everyone fears? We can not answer what type of mold it is without sending it to the lab for analysis, however let's talk about this label of toxic mold.
Stachybotrys is one species of mold that produces the mycotoxin called Trichoethence. Because Stachybotrys often is seen as a black microbial growth, it is often called "Toxic Black Mold". However, there are other species of mold that appears black as well and have no mycotoxin's associated with that species, so not all "black mold" is toxic. The same rings true for other molds. There are mycotoxin's associated with molds that appear green, pink, rust, and gray in color, they would be considered what the general public call toxic mold, just like there is other green, pink, rust, and gray appearing molds that do not have mycotoxins associated with them.
Some of the most common mold species that are labeled toxic molds that we find in Florida homes are Aspergillus/Penicillium, Chaetomium, and Stachybotrys.
Why Do I Hear About Toxic Mold More Now?
While mold has always existed, and the earliest reference about mold in buildings is found in the Biblical writings of Leviticus, it has however become an emerging issue in the past couple of decades. This is due mainly in part to building code changes in the 1970's within the construction industry in response to the energy crisis. The new code changes called for higher energy conservation which required buildings to be airtight. With buildings no longer as ventilated or able to "breathe" as they use to, pockets of moist air can become trapped for longer periods of time which has the potential for mold growth. Another contributing factor is many of the building materials used today are excellent sources to "feed" mold growth.
I've No Worries Unless I See Mold, Right?
Sadly that is not true. Mold can be in some of the most unsuspecting places, and you could have a serious toxic mold issue within your home and never see anything that would cause you to be suspicious.
We have discovered hidden mold growth in homes that had no visible signs, and only based on the clients declining health situation did the doctor suggest they have their home assessed for the possibility of a mold infestation.
A good example of this is the testimony is to the right., It was provided to us by a family in Spring Hill, FL. There was no typical signs of an indoor mold infestation, however, because of past experiences with indoor mold, they became suspicious after about 6 months of continual sickness within their family.
Photo of Stachybotrys spores provided by our preferred Independent laboratory
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