Characteristics Of Stachybotrys Fungi
Appearance of Stachybotrys
Stachybotrys Fungi cannot be identified by visual appearance, it
requires examination of the fungal spores under a microscope.
Many other common indoor molds can look similar to stachybotrys
(including cladosporium, aspergillus, alternaria, and drechslera),
so testing is critical to conclusively identify stachybotrys in
As a guideline only:
Stachybotrys chartarum [SC] is a greenish-black
wet and slimy mold. It can look also appear sooty, or grayish white
strands depending on the amount of moisture available and the length
of time it has been growing
Stachybotrys mycelial mats are generally dark
olive-gray slimy masses, with smooth margins and either a smooth
or ridged surface. The spores are more brownish in color. When the
growth sporulates, the colony may appear to have a powdery surface.
Conditions For Growth Of Stachybotrys
Stachybotrys mold needs the proper conditions in order to grow:
- Moisture - accumulated from roof or wall leaks,
or chronic plumbing leaks. Areas with relative humidity above
55% and subject to temperature fluctuations are ideal for toxin
- Nutrient source - building material with a
high cellulose content and a low nitrogen content.
- Temperature – mostly in temperatures
that humans consider warm to moderately hot.
- Time - one to two weeks after moisture intrusion
compared to one to two days for molds like aspergillus, penicillium,
Once the stachybotrys begins to grow it can continue to propagate
even if the surface water source dries up.
Stachybotrys usually develops into the dominant mold, crowding
out other mold types.
Stachybotrys spores grow in clusters at the end of stem-like structures
known as hyphae. Stachybotrys can spread both through the generation
of these spores and the growth of root-like structures called mycelia.
The spores do not easily disperse into the air if the colonized
material is wet, as the spores are held together by a sticky/slimy
coating. Distribution through the air is only possible when the
mold dries out or is disturbed.
It is usually difficult to see in indoor samples, but just one
spore in a sample indicates a mass release. The spores die shortly
after release but remain allergenic and especially toxigenic. Disturbing
the sports sets off mycotoxins which can be even more toxic.
Most commonly found in homes and buildings in USA, Canada, Australia,
New Zealand where there is both water damage and high humidity.
Causes Of High Humidity
Causes and Contributors of high humidity may include:
- Leaking pipes
- Water damaged dry walls and ceiling tile (due to leaking pipes,
leaking roof or flooding)
- Faulty or obstructed dryer vent connections
- Use of steaming hot water in washing machines or many showers
- Faulty or obstructed bathroom/kitchen ventilation fans
- Boiling water for long periods of time
- Drying washing inside over drying racks
- Using portable gas heaters
- Use of humidifiers
- Excessive sealing of the home - inadequate air exchange
Back to Top
Design Your Own
Using Scale Paper For
Bathroom Decorating Tips Using
Mirrors And Lighting
DIY Bathroom Remodeling
DIY Bathroom Remodeling
Hazards - Part 2
Luxury Bathrooms With Soaking
Choosing Your Bathroom Medicine