types of mold and their dangers

9 Common Types of Mold Found in Homes

Have you got mold? It might be harder to identify than you think!

Mold is one of the most challenging and common problems we face as house owners. Once you find it, you face an uphill battle trying to remove it. This problem can affect new and old homes alike, even in dry climates.

No one wants mold, but a surprising amount of people don’t even know what to look for to identify it.

Luckily, you don’t need to be a biologist to detect the mold in your home. Arm yourself with the knowledge to combat it so that if you find yourself with a mold problem, you can protect your home, health, and your family.

The Most Common Household Mold Types

No matter how clean and tidy you keep it, your home is full of damp and moist areas for mold to thrive. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Unseen spores can spread and lead to many health problems and structural issues for your house that can get expensive quickly.

The best way to tackle mold in your home is to understand what you are dealing with so that you can detect it before the problem gets out of control. The spores you might find on old food could be vastly different from those underneath your kitchen sink. Read on to discover more about the most common varieties of household mold.

1. Acremonium

Found most often in humidifiers, cooling coils, and drain pipes, Acremonium is one of the most common forms of household mold. At first, Acremonium appears as regular moist spores but later evolves into a fine powder. This powder can appear in many colors, such as white, orange, pink, or gray.

This mold grows slowly and is found in many water-damaged buildings, but left to grow, it can lead to many health problems and is almost impossible to remove without expert remediation.

2. Alternaria

You are most likely to run into Alternaria in your bathroom, in areas such as your sink and shower. This notable species is known for its fluffy look and velvety texture. Usually, this mold is covered in tiny green or brown hairs and can spread very quickly in damp areas.

Alternaria is the most widespread allergenic mold globally, and it can sprout up in any water-damaged area left unattended. This mold species causes asthma-related allergies and is hard to remove once it has already spored.

3. Aspergillus

One of the most common molds found across the entire United States, Aspergillus, is usually found in stored food. When tracked into the house on shoes or after a serious infection, it can quickly grow in a carpet or damp spot. Before you know it, this species can spread quickly across water-damaged houses.

As there are many species, over a hundred to be exact, Aspergillus can come in various colors. The best way to identify Aspergillus is through the long chains of growth. Depending on the species, it can be either toxic or allergenic.

4. Aureobasidium

This species is commonly found in houses and grows in highly damp, moist, or humid areas. Aureobasidium can appear either black or pink and survive extreme high and low temperatures. It is infamous for being difficult to remove once the colony has begun to grow.

Aureobasidium can cause many reactions but is particularly bad for those with asthma or other allergies. The reason is that its sporing process establishes itself throughout the house and spreads. This species is particularly stubborn and difficult to remove, so the best way to get rid of it is to prevent getting it in the first place.

5. Chaetomium

Found in the dark and dank areas of your house, Chaetomium is notable for its distinct and particularly awful odor. In its infancy, the cotton-like structure begins as a white color but will eventually turn darker. This kind of mold is easy to miss, as it thrives in areas without sunlight.

Chaetomium can be responsible for symptoms including skin infections and adverse effects in immunocompromised persons. It is almost impossible to kill this mold. Temporary solutions may remove the surface mold but will do nothing for the spores born deep within the material of the affected area.

6. Cladosporium

This species flourishes in both warm and cold conditions, and it is easily identifiable by its olive-brown color and distinct colony pattern. Cladosporium prefers materials such as carpets and fabrics.

This particular species is allergenic, which means it can cause various issues that can be especially bad for asthmatics. It can also cause skin irritation, lung diseases, and irritation. This species is tricky to remove and may require total removal of the affected area.

7. Fusarium

You most commonly find Fusarium in your garden, food products, or plants, but this fungus can also get in the house. It manifests in various colors, and this mold can grow in both warm and cold conditions. When detecting it in your house, remove it as quickly as possible, as this variety spreads quickly.

Due to this fast growth rate, this mold spores quickly, and people in affected houses can suffer from many health conditions. These include minor symptoms such as skin irritation, but it has also proven to cause damage to the brain and bone marrow after prolonged exposure.

8. Mucor

You recognize Mucor as the white fluffy-looking mold that grows on food products, but unfortunately, you can find it in your home. These thick patches pop up anywhere that is damp or wet, and it isn’t long before it spreads.

Getting on top of this mold early is crucial as it has links to various health problems. Along with fever and breathing problems, ongoing exposure can lead to mucormycosis, a fungal infection that can create problems throughout the body, including the skin, brain, lungs, and sinuses.

9. Penicillin

Its distinctive blue color makes this variety easy to spot. While more often found in food products, you can also find this on fabrics such as carpets and old mattresses. While penicillin might be familiar for its medicinal properties, this is by no means harmless when it takes hold in your home.

Prolonged exposure to this variety can cause breathing irritation, pulmonary infections, and chronic sinusitis. It also causes issues for people with asthma and should be eradicated from the home when found.

How to Prevent Common Types of Mold

Once mold is in your home, it can be tough to get out. Cleaning it with household products or covering it up will not eliminate it. The best step to solving your problem is to prevent it from appearing in the first place. Knowing where mold is likely to appear and what to do to stop it is vital when trying to keep your house free of mold or spores.

Start by making sure your house is dry, checking for areas around pipes and appliances for damp areas or potential leaks. Be sure to clean these high-risk areas regularly and keep the home dry as much as possible.

When there are signs of mold or spores, try to remove them quickly and look for mold-proof products that help kill any remaining spores. For the most thorough treatment, call mold remediation experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Mold Is Harmful to Humans?

The three most harmful species of mold are Stachybotrys, Chaetomium, and Aspergillus:

  • Stachybotrys: Otherwise known as Black Mold, these fungi are an extremely dangerous type of mold.
  • Chaetomium: Like Stachybotrys, this mold can cause anything from a mild allergy to neurological damage.
  • Aspergillus: This mold is not uncommon, but at a high level can cause respiratory conditions.

Conclusion

Mold can be scary, but the first step to overcoming your issue is to know what you’re dealing with and how to prevent it. Thankfully, when dealing with a mold-related problem in your house, you’re not alone!

All Dry USA brings over ten years of experience to your home. We are equipped to rid your home of any mold-related problem safely and effectively.

To find out more, check out our services for water damage, mold remediation, and more to book your next job!

Ben Suiskind
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