9 Types of Mold You Should Learn About
(Original article courtesy of HomeEdit.com) Whether you’re moving into a new home or doing spring cleaning on yours, it’s always important to look for mold. This type of fungus can be a problem for a house structure and the health of the homeowners. Mold deteriorates and weakens the wood, drywall, and insulation, compromising the integrity of the building. Additionally, when mold spores are released into the air and inhaled, they can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory problems.
To ensure your house’s and its occupants’ safety, it is crucial to recognize mold’s presence and its risks.
9 Different Types of House Molds
Here’s a list that provides information about the most prevalent types of molds commonly found in houses.
- Stachybotrys Chartarum (Black Mold)
Aspergillus can be recognized by its yellow-green color to blue-green colors and cotton or wool texture. They can grow on various surfaces, including walls, insulation and HVAC systems.
This type of mold typically produces allergic reactions. However, its effects can accelerate to more severe conditions such as Aspergillosis, a lung disease.
Cladosporium is a mold type found indoors and outdoors and recognized by its black, greenish-black, gray or brown colors. It thrives in areas with high humidity and can grow on various surfaces, including walls, wooden materials, fabrics, and carpets.
It is one of the most prevalent molds detected in indoor environments. Individuals with allergies or compromised immune systems may be more susceptible to Cladosporium-related health problems.
Penicillium has a characteristic odor, blue-green, white, yellow or pink hues and a powdery texture. It’s often found indoors and can contaminate leather and cloth items.
While certain Penicillium species are used to produce antibiotics, others can cause health issues. Prolonged exposure to its spores can lead to respiratory problems, allergies, and asthma-like symptoms.
4. Stachybotrys Chartarum (Black Mold)
Stachybotrys Chartarum is a greenish-black mold that grows on material with a high cellulose content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, and paper.Black mold thrives in areas with excessive moisture. That’s why it’s often associated with water damage such as leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding.
This mold is known for its toxigenic properties. Inhalation or direct contact with its spores can cause respiratory issues, allergic reactions, skin irritation, headaches, and fatigue.
Colonies of Chaetomium usually have a cotton-like texture with colors ranging from white to grayish-brown or black. This mold is commonly found in water-damaged buildings, particularly in areas with high moisture levels. They also grow on materials that have cellulose, such as drywall, wallpaper and wood.
Some species of Chaetomium can produce mycotoxins, which may cause health issues such as allergies, respiratory problems, and skin irritation. It’s extremely recommended to avoid prolonged exposure to Chaetomium spores.
Fusarium can be found indoors and outdoors in various colors, including pink, white, or reddish. It typically thrives in damp environments and can colonize multiple materials, including carpets, wallpaper, and plant debris.
Curiously, fermented fusarium is edible and used as a meat substitute by vegetarians and vegans. However, the house fungi may lead to health problems when inhaled or ingested. Exposure to Fusarium can cause allergic reactions, eye irritation, and respiratory issues.
Homeowners can recognize mucor because of its yellow or white cotton texture. Like fusarium, mucor grows in damp environments, particularly with organic matter such as decaying plants or food. You can find it on ceiling, walls, insulation, and food items.
Mucor is known for posing a risk to food safety and can contribute to the spoilage of stored food items.
Rhizopus is a humid-environment mold recognizable by its fuzzy colonies with a black or grayish color. It’s known for spreading and growing fast on organic materials such as fruits, vegetables, and bread.
While Rhizopus is generally considered non-toxic, it can cause allergies, aggravate existing respiratory conditions, and contribute to food spoilage.
The white and green Trichoderma mold is found in indoor and outdoor environments, usually damp areas with high cellulose content. Its colonies grow on surfaces like wet drywall, wood, or carpeting. You can also find it in the soil of your garden.
Trichoderma is also considered non-toxic to humans. However, it doesn’t excerpt from allergic reactions in some individuals with respiratory problems or skin irritation symptoms. It can also contribute to the deterioration of building materials.
How To Identify Mold
If you’ve just suffered any water damage, people in our house suffer from respiratory issues, or you live in an aged building, identifying mold will be useful. Some tips on identifying fungus include the following:
- Learn how they look. Mold often appears as discolored patches or spots on surfaces. Depending on the species, it can be black, green, yellow, brown, or white.
- Recognize their odor. A strong, musty odor often accompanies mold growth. If you notice a persistent musty smell in a particular area, it could indicate the presence of hidden mold.
- Beware of allergic reactions. As mentioned earlier, if you or other occupants of the house experience unexplained allergic reactions, such as sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, or respiratory issues when spending time in a specific area, it could be a sign of mold presence.
Tips For Preventing Mold Growth
Sometimes, prevention can take a lot of work. However, it’s the best way solution to future mold problems. Here’s how to prevent mold from growing in the first place:
- Fix water leaks. Fix any possible leaks in roofs, windows or pipes. You can also ensure proper drainage around your home’s foundation to prevent water accumulation.
- Improve ventilation. Ensure proper ventilation in areas with high moisture (bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms) and install vent fans or range hoods to remove excess moisture and odors.
- Clean and inspect regularly. Disinfect areas susceptible to mold growth, such as bathrooms (showers and tubs), kitchens, basements, air conditioning drip pans and refrigerator drip trays.
Although there are many DIY ways to get rid of mold, like chlorine bleach and distilled white vinegar, it is generally advisable to contact a professional mold inspector, especially if someone in the house is prone to allergies.
Professional inspectors can thoroughly assess your property, take samples, and provide expert guidance based on the type of mold. Contact a mold inspector near you if you want to start checking your property.