When you find out that you have a mold problem in your household, it can be very frustrating. No one wants to have to deal with issues such as this but you’re going to have to do your best to take swift action. You might be aware of the health risks that mold can cause and how mold can harm your house. For this reason, it’s crucial that you take things seriously and solve your problems expediently.
Mold isn’t something that is as simple as you might be thinking, though. There are actually several different types of household mold that exist. If you don’t know much about mold, then you might not even be able to identify it when your home has a problem. That is why I have created this article to help people learn about the different types of household mold.
If you recognize any of these mold types or if you know that you have a mold problem, then you should contact professionals to help right away. Handling mold is very dangerous and you don’t want your family to be exposed to mold. I’ve also compiled some information on the health risks of mold so that you can understand the signs of being exposed to mold a bit better.
Mold and Your Health
Before getting into identifying the mold types, I’d like to let you know about some of the potential ways that mold can negatively impact your health. Some people don’t understand how dangerous mold is and they will choose to ignore a mold issue due to not having all of the information. If you look into things a bit, you’ll see just how dangerous mold can be.
Certain people are more sensitive to mold exposure than others. There are those who have mold allergies and they might wind up having various symptoms when they’re exposed to mold. Symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest and nasal congestion, sore throat, skin irritation, dry or sore eyes, and headaches can all be associated with mold allergies. It can make life very uncomfortable for people.
Mold is particularly bad for people who are prone to having respiratory issues. It has also been known to cause respiratory conditions in people who normally don’t have these problems. Children are particularly at risk when they’re exposed to mold and it can cause people to develop asthma. Mold exposure can even cause more serious conditions than this, depending on what type of mold you’re dealing with.
The most dangerous mold types produce mycotoxins that can be breathed in or absorbed through your skin. If you’re exposed to these mycotoxins for long periods of time, then you could develop cancer, liver conditions, kidney conditions, pulmonary bleeding, heart problems, and immune disorders. This can even be very dangerous for pregnant women so you can see why it’s imperative to take mold issues seriously.
The Three Basic Harmful Mold Categories
Now it’s time to go over the three basic harmful mold categories that you will encounter. You know that mold can be dangerous but now you’ll learn how different types of harmful mold are placed in three specific categories. There is allergenic mold, pathogenic mold, and toxigenic mold. The classifications of these three mold categories differ based on how they can impact the lives of people who come into contact with them.
As you might expect, allergenic molds are characterized by being able to cause and produce allergic reactions. These types of mold can also cause asthma issues in people. Pathogenic molds are ones that can cause health problems in people who are dealing with illnesses. The worst mold category, toxigenic mold, refers to molds that can produce toxic substances that can cause dangerous or life-threatening health problems.
12 Types of Common Household Mold
After learning about the three basic harmful mold categories, it’s going to be time to take a look at the twelve different types of common household mold that you might encounter. These are the most typical mold types that you will see.
I’m going to go over some brief information about each type and then I’ll tell you how to identify these types of mold. This information should help you to have a better understanding of what types of mold you might be dealing with in your home.
Alternaria is known as the most common type of allergenic mold. People encounter mold such as this in bathrooms very often. It has been known to grow in showers, in bathtubs, and even below sinks that are leaking. This is something that you’ll usually only encounter when your home is dealing with water damage of some sort.
Identifying this type of mold is very straightforward. If you have mold in your bathroom, then there is a good chance that it is this kind. It is characterized by being a velvet-textured mold that has brown or dark green hairs. This mold can cause people to experience asthma-like symptoms and it also spreads very quickly.
If you discover that you are dealing with this type of mold, then you’ll want to take action swiftly. It could wind up spreading all over your bathroom if you don’t get things fixed. Alternaria isn’t the most dangerous mold type but it can be very frustrating. You might want to call in professionals to clean things up if you don’t have the proper equipment and cleaning products to take care of your mold issue.
Acremonium is a toxigenic mold type, meaning that it is significantly more dangerous than the allergenic mold listed above. This mold can lead to horrible diseases in your immune system, bone marrow, and even various other organs. It has been known to impair brain function and is something that needs to be taken very seriously. This mold type can also grow in conjunction with certain other types of harmful mold as well.
You can identify this mold by looking for different characteristics depending on where it is at in its growth cycle. In the beginning, acremonium starts out as a tiny but moist mold before becoming fine and powdery. This mold is often going to be white, pink, gray, or orange. It has been known to grow on humidifiers and other areas around household systems that might be prone to condensation.
Aureobasidium is another allergenic mold that you might find growing in your house somewhere. People often find this mold type growing behind wallpaper, painted surfaces, and wooden surfaces. This is a potentially harmful mold that has been known to cause eye infections. You might also get a skin rash or a nail infection due to coming into contact with this mold.
This mold starts out looking pink in some instances and then it gradually becomes darker brown or black. You want to avoid touching this mold if you happen to see it in your home. Even momentary exposure can cause you many problems. If this mold shows up on your walls somewhere, then you’ll want to get it removed swiftly.
If you’re looking for more common mold types, then aspergillus definitely fits that bill. This is another extremely common household mold variety. It’s an allergenic mold but it can also become toxic over time, depending on how it develops. This mold type has been known to lead to asthma issues and other respiratory problems.
There are some species of this mold that can be deadly as well. This is due to being able to produce aflatoxins, which are a known deadly carcinogen. Identifying this mold is not always simple due to it coming in a variety of different colors. There are over 185 species of this mold but they do have flask-shaped spores that typically form thick walls of mold.
Cladosporium is another allergenic mold that you should be on the lookout for. This mold is actually capable of growing in both warm and cold weather conditions too. You might find this mold growing on some of your indoor materials such as fabrics, carpets, or other types of upholstery. It can potentially cause allergic reactions that will impact your eyes, throat, skin, and nose.
Trying to properly identify this mold shouldn’t be too tough. It is typically going to be either green, similar to an olive, or brown-colored. You can also identify it by looking at its texture. The mold usually has a texture that is similar to suede but keep in mind that it should not be handled or touched since it can cause skin problems.
Chaetomium is another mold type that is commonly associated with water problems. You might encounter this mold when you are dealing with water damage in your home. This mold type can have a negative impact on your health and has been known to cause both skin and nail infections. There are some bad cases where this mold can produce mycotoxins that could be dangerous to anyone with a compromised immune system.
Properly spotting this mold involves looking for its specific characteristics. The most common identifier for this mold type is its cotton-like texture. It is also known to change from its initial white to become black over time. Mold such as this even has a recognizable musty scent so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding this one.
Mucor is a type of allergenic mold that you might find growing in thick patches. It is often seen near air conditioning units or HVAC systems. It is produced due to the condensation that is present in these areas and it can even thrive in some venting ducts. You might also encounter mucor growing on old carpeting that has become damp.
This mold has been associated with respiratory problems and it can also cause people to have fevers. You might notice that you have difficulty breathing and that you’re experiencing flu-like symptoms. Prolonged exposure can even lead to a severe fungal infection that could become systemic, creating a serious situation. This mold is either white or gray in color and it has been known to grow quickly.
Fusarium is a mold type that can grow and spread very effectively in colder temperatures. It is simultaneously an allergenic and toxigenic mold. You might find this mold growing in your home if you have some type of water damage. It can grow in carpeting and other types of fabric materials.
Being exposed to this mold can cause skin infections and various types of allergic reactions. If you’re exposed to this type of mold for long periods of time, it can even cause life-threatening illnesses so it’s important to take this one seriously. It can spread quickly to other rooms if you don’t have the mold removed so you’ll want to identify it quickly. You’ll find that fusarium mold is most often going to be pink, white, or somewhat red in color.
Stachybotrys is a fairly famous type of mold and you might have heard this referred to as “black mold” at some point in the past. This is a particularly dangerous mold type that needs to be dealt with before it has the chance to cause you harm. It is a toxigenic type of mold that has been linked to severe health issues. Those who are exposed to stachybotrys might experience trouble breathing, fatigue, sinus issues, and depression problems.
Some who come into contact with stachybotrys have even experienced severe headaches, nosebleeds, fever, and chest tightness. It is known to be exceptionally dangerous for infants as well. This mold is either very dark green or black in color and it is going to have a slimy texture to it. It can grow on materials such as wood, wicker, cardboard, or paper, to name a few.
Penicillin is most famous as a type of mold that is used to produce antibiotic medications. You also need to be aware that this mold can cause big problems for people. It is well known for causing respiratory conditions when it is found growing in people’s homes. Penicillin is an allergenic mold and its spores can become airborne very easily, making it simple for everyone in the house to be negatively impacted by its growth.
Chronic penicillin exposure can even lead to long-term sinusitis complications. If anyone in the house has an immune disorder, then penicillin could be even worse than usual. You can recognize penicillin by its green or blue color. This mold also has a texture that is similar to velvet so you can use that information to determine whether you’re dealing with a penicillin problem or not.
Ulocladium is another type of mold that does well in water and wet environments. It has two different subspecies and both have the potential to cause you serious health concerns. People who are exposed to this mold often experience asthma-like symptoms. It can also harm people who have allergies worse than usual and some have reported symptoms that are somewhat similar to hay fever.
The problem with this mold is that it can be tricky to identify it. People wind up confusing it with other types of mold because it is usually black. It can even be found growing along with stachybotrys so you’ll really want to call for help if you notice any type of black mold in your home. You might encounter this mold in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements.
Lastly, trichoderma is an allergenic mold type that actually has five different subspecies to consider. This is another mold that has the potential for rapid growth so it can become an annoying problem more quickly than you might expect. This mold has been known to grow on wet surfaces and you might find it in damp carpeting. It could also become a problem near air conditioning filters or HVAC ducts.
Most of the trichoderma molds that you will encounter are not pathogenic but some of them are. The pathogenic ones are more dangerous and have been associated with pulmonary and liver infections. If this mold produces mycotoxins, then it could be just as dangerous as stachybotrys. You can recognize this mold by its white color with green patches and it has a wool-like texture.
After looking at the twelve types of mold listed above, it should be clear that there is a lot that you need to look out for. These mold types can be dangerous and you definitely don’t want to leave them be.
If you want to take care of things in the best way possible, then it is advisable to contact mold removal professionals. Coming into contact with many of these mold types can be dangerous so if you identify a particularly worrying variety of mold, then it’s a good idea to call in the experts immediately.
You may also like: Mold on Mattresses: Symptoms, Causes, and Removal