Most people have a strong reaction to mold, and rightfully so! Even if you don’t know the exact side effects, you know to stay far, far away from these tiny spores. Though small in size, mold can do some severe harm to your health. The worst part about them? They love to lurk around in the nooks and crannies of your home, quietly rearing its ugly head and attacking your immune system. According to the CDC, exposure to moldy environments can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing, eye irritation, or worse. Our experts at Big Guys Restoration take the health of you, your family, and your home very seriously, which is why we’re here to help you understand the most common types of household molds. We hope you never have to encounter this toxic substance, but if you do, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with.
Categories of Mold
- Allergenic mold is the most common type and least damaging to your health. Although that’s not to say they’re completely harmless, as they can cause you to break out in hives or irritate your respiratory system.
- Pathogenic mold should be taken more seriously when it comes to one’s well being. If anyone with a low immune system comes into contact with this type, it can pose a serious health risk to them.
- Toxigenic mold release toxic and deadly substances that you must stay away from.
This is a toxigenic mold that typically lives inside drywall, insulation, humidifiers, window seals, and air conditioners. They can be challenging to identify because they are odorless, extremely small, and their appearance evolves. While they start moist, they become powdery over time. They also vary in colors, coming in gray, white, pink, or orange, which can make it challenging to classify. They produce carcinogens that can destroy the immune system, internal organs, bone marrow, and brain.
Alternaria is the most common type of allergenic mold out there. It causes asthma-like symptoms and can irritate your respiratory system. You might find this dark green or brown, hairy substance growing in your bathtub, shower, or below the sink. Unfortunately, finding this mold in your home might signify water damage too.
Aspergillus is a common type of allergenic mold, but they can be potentially toxic, especially if you have a weakened immune system. They like to reside in areas with extreme dampness. Since there are more than 200 species, they vary in color, but some are yellow-green or red-brown.
This allergenic mold typically grows behind wallpaper, underneath painted surfaces, or on wooden furniture. If you notice a pink and black spotted substance in these areas, then you probably have Aureobasidium mold. They are known to cause eye, skin, and nail infections, so you should never touch it directly.
Chaetomium mold is commonly found in homes with water damage. If you’re experiencing a leak in conjunction with a musty odor, then you’ll most likely find this cotton-like substance lurking nearby.
Cladosporium mold can grow in both warm and cold environments and likes to live in carpets, floorboards, and cupboards. Since it is an allergenic mold, exposure can cause rashes and make it difficult to breathe. You’ll be able to distinguish it by its olive-green color and suede-like texture.
Fusarium is a fast-growing mold that tends to thrive in cold, wet areas and likes to dwell in carpet, wallpaper, and upholstery. You can distinguish it by its pink, white, or red color. It is both an allergenic and toxigenic mold, so prolonged exposure can lead to more damaging results to the nervous system. Since they breed so quickly, it’s essential to make sure other areas of your home weren’t affected.
Mucor is an allergenic mold that often grows near or inside HVAC systems from excess moisture. They cause several issues with your respiratory system and can even induce flu-like symptoms. Moreso, there have been severe cases of people developing a fungal infection.
Many people know penicillin as the antibiotic that treats infections, but did you know it’s derived from a group of mold called penicillium? Despite this, they are dangerous when grown indoors. If you discover a blue-green substance with a velvety texture in your carpet, wallpaper, or air ducts, you should stay away and call in professional help immediately. They thrive in moist areas, which means there may be a leak somewhere. This type of mold is especially alarming because their spores can become airborne.
10. Stachybotrys Chartarum
You may be more familiar with its common name- black mold. This black slimy substance thrives in areas with high levels of moisture for an extended period of time. You have probably heard your fair share of warnings when it comes to this toxic substance and with good reason. They produce mycotoxins that cause severe health complications ranging from breathing difficulties, sinus infections, fatigue, asthma attacks, and even depression.
This is another allergenic mold that dwells in damp areas. Homeowners can typically find Trichoderma in carpeting, wallpaper, air ducts, and other areas with high levels of moisture. Certain species of Trichoderma produce mycotoxins, which give off similar side effects as black mold. It is also extremely destructive to buildings and can rot structures.
Ulocladium mold is typically found in areas that experienced severe water damage. Skin infections and breathing difficulties are the most common effects of this exposure, and some have even contracted hay fever.
There’s no way to eradicate mold; it has been on Earth for millions of years, and it’s here to stay. Plus, without it, we wouldn’t have Brie cheese or Penicillin. However, the problems start when spores breed in your home and go undetected. These preventative steps will help ensure your home remains mold-free:
- Keep the humidity levels in your home as low as possible by using a dehumidifier or your air conditioner.
- Locate any problem areas and fix them immediately. Got a leaky pipe in the basement? Does your HVAC system have extra condensation? These are the perfect breeding environment for mold, so you must address the issues before they spread.
- Make sure your home has proper airflow. You can increase the circulation by using fans and letting fresh air in.
Contact Big Guys Restoration
One thing is clear about mold: It doesn’t belong in your home. At Big Guys Restoration, our IIRC-certified technicians are ready to take on mold inspection and removal. Our experts will inspect your property, then develop and implement a methodical management and removal strategy. We will do everything we can to restore your home to previous conditions and prevent further damage, saving you time, effort, and money. If you suspect mold, call (972) 362-9081 or schedule an appointment with us online.