mold species

Common Mold Species in the Pittsburgh Area

Pittsburgh truly is an amazing place. From the rivers and bridges to the passionate sports fan base and the exquisite food scene – it’s not a surprise that this beautiful place we call home is ranked as one of the most livable cities in America. 

But unfortunately, mold loves Pittsburgh just as much as we do. 

For homeowners in our area, mold problems aren’t out of the ordinary. Due to the climate conditions that produce humid temperatures in the summer and heavy rainfall year-round, mold spores can thrive in a place like Pittsburgh. That’s why it’s important to be informed on what types of mold species could be growing in your home, office or school. 

Follow this Mold Medics guide for the most common mold species you’ll find. 

Aspergillus

Out of all the mold that exists in the world, Aspergillus is the most common. With over 200 subspecies identified, experts believe it can easily survive in natural indoor environments and – in some cases – cause serious harm to your pulmonary system (lungs). Roughly 16 of the 200 subspecies are proven to be toxic. 

In Pittsburgh, Aspergillus spores are usually found in wet and damp indoor environments – such as your basement,  bathrooms, crawl spaces, carpets or attic. However, it tends to prefer high-carbon materials like building materials (drywall and PVC pipes) and fabric (carpets and furniture) that are in humid environments. It can also arise on houseplants and starch-rich food.  

Penicillium

Remember the time you brought home half of a Primanti’s sandwich you didn’t finish at the bar, stuck it in the fridge and went to eat it a week later – only to find greenish-blue mold spores growing all over it? Yuck! Most of us have experienced a case of spoiled food-induced Penicillium mold at some point or another. Albeit the unpleasant visual appearance, this type of mold is typically harmless to the human body. Some species are known to produce toxic compounds (mycotoxins), however, which can trigger allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to mold. If Aspergillus is 1A in terms of its frequency, Penicillium is 1B. In addition to spoiled food, Penicillium is commonly found growing in wet and damp environments. 

However, there are also positive qualities of Penicillium. It’s a key component of the antibiotic penicillin that is used to treat bacterial infections and is also used to prevent yeast growth during alcoholic fermentation – leading to changes in the color and flavor of wine and beer.

Stachybotrus Chartarum

Stachybotrus Chartarum is also known as black mold.  It isn’t as common as some of the other mold types, but its spores are highly toxic when inhaled and should be remediated immediately upon discovery. Stachybotrus Chartarum can grow anywhere where there is moisture inside homes, restaurants or office buildings. It is greenish-black in color and easily grows on high-fiber/low-nitrogen materials like fiberboard, wallpaper, dust, lint, bathtubs and more. 

If your home suffers water damage or excessive moisture levels, you’ll want to contact us to get areas of high risk tested and treated with our six-step remediation process. 

Chaetomium

Chaetomium is frequently found in water-damaged buildings.  Many of its species are proven to release mycotoxins and are recognized as human allergens, which makes it vital to check for mold infestation following flooding in homes, restaurants or schools. Considered the third most common water-related mold, Chaetomium can grow on a number of household materials spanning from wallpaper, drywall and window frames to carpets, baseboards and tile flooring. 

If the air inside your home tests positive for Chaetomium, it likely means you have a pretty serious problem on your hands. Chaetomium spores are larger and heavier than most other types of molds and require an extensive process to be removed. It could mean your home has a chronic moisture problem or leaky pipes within your HVAC system. 
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about Pittsburgh’s best mold remediation process, our environmentally-friendly services and exceptionally fair pricing!

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