Lichens around pictograpy Quetico canoe area (C) Daniel Friedman Catalog of Biological Agents Building Material Deterioration & Damage
     

  • STAIN & BIODETERIORATION AGENT CATALOG - CONTENTS: Table of Sources of Biological Alteration of Inorganic Materials used on, around, or inside of buildings: Stone, Glass, Metal etc.Guide to Types of Stains on Building Surfaces:How to clean graves, tombstones, stone walls, sidewalks. How to identify, remove, & prevent algae, lichens, or moss growth on graves, tombstones, stone walls, sidewalks. Photographs of Algae, lichens, moss, mold help identify these substances in nature and on buildings. We provide photos and text to help distinguish among algae, lichens, moss and mold growths on any surface.
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to identify the cause of stains & deterioration on stone surfaces and how to clean or preserve stone surfaces, materials, artifacts
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This article describes and provide photographs and advice on identifying, cleaning, and preventing biodeterioration or damage from algae, moss, lichens, or fungal growth that occurs on stone surfaces such as buildings, gravestones, sidewalks, stone walls, and in nature.

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Catalog of Biological Substances that Alter Stone or Other Inorganic Materials

Stone roof tile delamination (C) DanieL Friedman\

The following table is excerpted and adapted from Cultural Heritage and Aerobiology, Methods and Measurement Techniques for Biodeterioration Monitoring, Paolo Mandrioli, Guilia Caneva, and Cristina Sabbioni, Eds., Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003 ISBN 1-4020-1622-0

The importance of lichens as an organism that can attack cultural artifacts is demonstrated by our photo (left) of lichens surrounding a pictograph from the Quetico boundary waters canoe area in Canada. We include links to references useful in the identification of algae, moss, lichens, and mold.

This website tells readers how to identify, evaluate, remove or prevent stains on building surfaces.

Cultural Heritage and Aerobiology, Paolo Mandrioli et als., expanded with three additional table lines for Actinobacteria and Gram-Bacteria listed in Art, Biology, and Conservation: Biodeterioration in Works of Art, Robert J. Koestler et als. Eds., Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2003, ISBN 1-58839-107-8, and finally, with minor additional editing and commentary by Daniel Friedman.

For conservators, the latter text, (Art, Biology ...) includes important studies on treatment and prevention of artifact deterioration, including studies of the use of biocides, anoxic eradication of fungi, and the use of other biocides or preparations for use in defense of cultural artifacts against microbial and environmental agents.


Table of Sources of Biological Alteration of Inorganic Materials: Stone, Glass, Metal
Organism Group Materials Damaged Type of Damage
 
Stone
 
Autotrophic bacteria
Thiobacillus, Desulfovibro, Nitrosomoas, Nitrosvibrio, Nitroscoccus, Nitrosospora, Nitrobacter, Nitrococcus, Nitrosira Black crusts, patinas, exfoliation, pulverisation
Herotrophic bacteria & Actinomycetes
Bacillus, Nocardia, Streptomyces Black crusts, patinas, exfoliation, pulverisation
Actinobacteria
Agromyces, Amycolatopsis, Arthrobacter, Aureobacterium, Brachybacterium, Brevibacterium, Cellulomonas, Gordonia, Kocuria, Microbacterium, Micromonospora, Nocardia, Nocardioides, Nocardiopsis, Rhodococcus, rothia, Saccharothrix, Streptomyces [as above] Culturable and nonculturable microbial communities present in caves, from Robert J. Koestler et als. p. 213
Gram - Bacteria
Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Chromobacterium, chryseomonas, Enterobacter, Erwinia, Flavimonas, Janthinobacterium, Kingella, Pseudomonas, Serratia, Variovorax, Xanthobacter, Xanthomonas Culturable and nonculturable microbial communities present in caves, from Robert J. Koestler et als. p. 213
Gram + Bacteria
Bacillus, Paenibacillus, Sporosarcina, Staphlococcus Culturable and nonculturable microbial communities present in caves, from Robert J. Koestler et als. p. 213
Fungi: Deuteromycetes (dark fungi)
Cladosporium, Alternaria, Stachybotrys, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Phoma Patinas, spots, pitting.
Also films of various colors & consistencies,typically black or brown except for gray, green, red, yellow for Aspergillus and some Penicillia. - DF
Photos - © InspectAPedia.com
Algae: Chlorophyceae & Cyanobacteria
Chlorella, Chlorococcum, Haematococcus, Scenedesmus, Stichococcus, Ulothrix, Chroococcus, Gloeocapsa, Lyngbya, Nostoc, Oscillatoria, Scytonema, Myxosarcina

Patinas & films of various colors & consistencies

Usually thin - see photos here - DF

Lichens
Acarospora, Aspicilia, Caloplaca, Candelariella, Diploschistes, Lecanora, Lecidea, Verrucaria, Xanthoria
apparently also Cladonia - DF.
Usually thick visible growth - see photos here - DF. Photo example.
Mosses & higher plants
Eurrhinchium, Eucladium, Parietaria, Hedera, Ficus, Capparis, Cymbalaria, Sonchus, Anthirrinium, Ailanthus, Ulmus, Robina,Rubus Usually thick visible growth - see photos here - DF. Photo example.
 
Glass
 
Autotrophic bacteria
not specified Erosion, spots, opacification
Algae
not specified Patinas, erosion
Fungi: Deuteromycetes (dark fungi)
UV-tolerant fungi (outdoors) such as some species of Cladosporium - DF Erosion, spots, opacification
Often black or brown sooty spots - DF.
Lichens
Diploicia, Pertusaria, Lepraria, Verrucaria, Xanthoria Erosion, encrustation, pitting, opacification, iridescence
 
Metals
 
Autotrophic bacteria
not specified Erosion
Algae
not specified Patinas

A Complete Guide to Types of Stains on Building Surfaces:

In the following guide we list types of stains by stain color & appearance, by building location or material, and by stain cause. We distinguish among the following stuff that may stain or be found growing building roofs, walls, or other surfaces, with extra focus on asphalt shingle roofs as well as other roofing materials such as wood shingles, wood shakes, roll roofing, and even slate or tile roofs. Some of these types of roof stains or discoloration are only cosmetic in nature, while others may indicate growths that are likely to reduce the roof covering life.

A more detailed, illustrated version of the list below is given at STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS.

Continue reading at

STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS

STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS


For roof stains, see STAIN DIAGNOSIS on ROOFS.

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