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Different types of mold can show up unexpectedly, whether on bathroom grout, forgotten pizza, storage boxes, or even in hidden spaces like crawl spaces. While we’re acquainted with its presence, understanding what mold truly is and how to handle it when it appears in our homes might require a closer look.
Molds – What Are They?
Mold is any type of fungus that breaks down damp, decaying matter. There are many mold types. Their appearances can differ substantially as well. Most molds tend to have a slimy or fuzzy texture and may be black, gray, white, orange, green, brown, blue, or purple.
Some types of molds appear dark and perhaps unsettling, while others demonstrate brighter hues. It is remarkable the number of variations that molds can encompass.
Mold serves functional purposes in nature. It helps break down dead organic material so nutrients can be recycled into the soil. Some molds also have symbiotic relationships with plants, where both benefit. Believe it or not, molds are also used to make certain medicines.
However, when mold transitions from its natural environment to indoor spaces, it brings along certain disadvantages, such as:
- Provoking allergic reactions
- Causing structural damage
- Triggering infections in severe instances
- Aggravating pre-existing health conditions
Now that we’ve grasped the nature of different types of mold in homes, its benefits, and the risks it poses indoors, we can delve into arguably the most crucial question in any conversation about mold.
Are They Dangerous?
In small quantities, the majority of mold isn’t typically hazardous. When mold accumulates in large amounts, health risks escalate, affecting only specific individuals beyond mild discomfort.
There are three main mold classifications — allergenic, pathogenic, and toxigenic. Their risks to human and animal health increase with each category.
Allergenic mold produces spores that can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals, yet some might not exhibit symptoms upon exposure. They’re the most common but pose minimal threat.
Pathogenic mold is one of the types of house mold that blurs the line between allergenic and pathogenic types. It can cause more severe reactions and complications, especially for weakened immune systems. While common in specific homes, they’re less widespread than allergenic molds.
Toxigenic mold is the most concerning, but fortunately, it rarely appears in homes. These molds produce toxic compounds that can lead to illness or even fatalities. The notorious black mold is an example.
Identifying mold types by sight alone is challenging. Professional testing is necessary. Nevertheless, treating significant mold infestations in your home as a serious health issue is a prudent approach.
Top Five Molds Wrecking Havoc in Your Property
Different types of molds can grow in diverse locations, but they typically flourish in environments with temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees. Mold may appear in your home, car, office, or any structure where you spend considerable time. Knowing them and finding ways to keep them at bay is best.
Here are the most common mold types and details on where you can find them.
1. Aspergillus or Penicillium
Aspergillus and Penicillium molds are notable as they can increase in dry, moderate-humidity environments where other molds may not. Exposure to Aspergillus or Penicillium poses risks for allergic reactions and respiratory issues.
Both types of house mold have been associated with asthma, hay fever, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis in humans. Their ability to thrive in diverse conditions increases chances of contact, making remediation prudent wherever visible growth is detected.
Toxins created by molds, known as mycotoxins, present additional health concerns. Some mycotoxins are carcinogenic or immunosuppressive, even at deficient levels. Remediating mold situations where mycotoxins may be airborne helps safeguard at-risk individuals from potential toxic exposure.
With various mold types and their diverse impacts, this article aims to provide information to identify when professional remediation is necessary to protect public health.
They are widely recognized as one of the most prevalent molds globally. The effects of these types of household mold mirror Penicillium, causing symptoms like dry skin, hives, and postnasal drip.
It thrives on surfaces such as textiles, wood, and damp window sills (mainly where interior condensation occurs), displaying a broad tolerance for temperature ranges.
Colonies of Cladosporium can show a spectrum of colors, spanning from white to olive-green, brown, and even black.
Alternaria alternata, a common allergenic fungus, is, unfortunately, ubiquitous in the environment, much like many other molds. This species is frequently found in plants, particularly in spoiled plant-based foods.
Moreover, exposure to damp environments often indicates its presence in specific materials like textiles, canvas, cardboard, and paper.
Although these types of mold in a house don’t typically appear in building materials, Alternaria can infiltrate indoor spaces from outdoor sources, quickly spreading through a home’s central air conditioning system.
While non-allergic individuals may not react strongly to Alternaria, those with sensitive or compromised immune systems can face severe respiratory tract infections, similar to many other mold-related issues.
Stachybotrys, often highlighted in news reports as a “toxic mold,” grows on moist materials containing cellulose, like drywall paper, wicker, straw, and soil on decaying plant matter.
Like other types of black mold, Stachybotrys are frequently found in environments affected by moisture intrusion. Although they might not be inherently more harmful than other mold species, taking basic precautions to prevent their growth at home is essential.
If your home has experienced water damage, swift action is crucial to prevent the development of this greenish-black mold on materials such as fiberboard and gypsum boards.
While commercial products like bleach solutions or soap and water might suffice for black mold on hard surfaces, extensive mold in drywalls, cabinets, or other areas might necessitate professional assistance from a local restoration and mold cleanup company.
Chaetomium mold serves as an indicator of water intrusion, acting as a marker mold. The presence of these types of molds can lead to allergy-like symptoms such as hay fever, asthma, and a nail infection called onychomycosis.
Additionally, it may trigger symptoms like memory loss, balance problems, acid reflux, headaches, nosebleeds, and fevers.
Chaetomium can thrive on nearly any damp surface and is commonly found on moist sheetrock. It might manifest as a smudged appearance resembling dirt and display colors ranging from brown to black.
Keep Your Property Mold-Free With the Help of Mold Remediation Pros
Professional mold remediation specialists like United Restoration are invaluable when dealing with widespread mold problems beyond safe DIY handling. We possess the expertise to address such situations effectively.
Skipping inspection and testing might save time and some expenses. However, if you’re uncertain about the types of mold issues or dealing with health concerns, seeking professional guidance is advisable for a comprehensive solution.
Book an appointment with us today!