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9 Most Common Types of Mold in the Home

In this article, you will discover the 9 most common types of mold in the home as well as how they can affect your health. Household mold is an all too common occurrence that can cause major issues for anyone living with it. 

While many different types of mold can grow in many different places, they tend to thrive in environments where temperatures range from 60-80 degrees. Mold can happen in your home, your car, office, or any other structure that your family spends a lot of time in.

Whether you’re reading this for mold prevention purposes or you’re looking for mold remediation, this article will give you a deeper insight into the different types of mold, how they can affect you or your family, and how mycotoxins (toxic substance created by mold) can result in the need for mold remediation.

Effects of Mold on Human Health

It is absolutely vital to identify and eliminate toxic mold as early as possible. Mold can be extremely toxic and can have long-term effects on your family’s health, depending on the mold type and the intensity and length of exposure. Those with pre-existing conditions or with weaker immune systems are particularly vulnerable to the effects of mold.

3 Common Misconceptions About Mold

Mold Sensitivity

Mold sensitivity is a form of allergic reaction to mold spores. Allergic reactions are not unusual, but mold sensitivity is unique in that it can cause reactions long after the initial exposure. Mold allergies produce symptoms such as sneezing, watering eyes, runny nose, congestion, respiratory problems, and difficulty breathing when exposed to the spores that come from certain types of mold.

Mold sensitivity can be a particularly challenging form of allergy because the symptoms are so general and may not be noticed until they become severe. Many people with mold sensitivity also have more common allergies such as hay fever or respiratory allergies, which can make diagnosis difficult because they share many symptoms.

If you suspect that you might have a mold allergy or any type of respiratory allergy, consult your doctor for testing and treatment recommendations.

Common Types of Mold

Mold is a fungus and it can grow almost anywhere. Recently, mold has become a big topic because of the increased awareness about its potential effects on your health. Mold Exposure can be the result of mold growth in your home due to sitting water or leaks.

Mold Testing and Mold Remediation has drastically increased recently with more and more Mold Remediation companies opening up to handle the increased awareness of the impact on your health due to a mold problem.

 

Allergenic Mold: Molds that cause and produce allergies and allergic reactions such as asthma attacks.

Molds that produce allergies are called allergens. Allergens are the molds that cause and produce allergic reactions such as asthma attacks.

Allergens present in these fungi are airborne and can cause reactions to those who have an allergy to it. Allergic response to allergens can range from mild symptoms to severe asthma attack.

Pathogenic Mold: Molds that cause health problems in those suffering from an acute illness.

 

What are the 9 Most Common Types of Mold in the Home?

Here is a look at the 9 most common types of mold in the home, some of the most dangerous mold that you will never want to have in your home.

Penicillium/Aspergillus

While many molds require active water intrusion, penicillium /aspergillus can thrive either in dry conditions or with moderate humidity. The human impact from this mold may include allergy-type symptoms such as hay fever and asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and various respiratory irritations and infections. It is most commonly found growing on household dust, wallpaper and wallpaper glue, fabrics (including carpet), and moist building materials. Colonies may range in color from grey to white, plus various shades of blue or green.

Cladosporium

Generally considered one of the most common molds worldwide, Cladosporium produces the same symptoms as the penicillium/aspergillus cited above, in addition to symptoms such as dry skin, hives, and a postnasal drip. Cladosporium will grow on many substrates, including textiles, wood, and moist window sills (check windows for interior condensation), and has a wide temperature-range tolerance. Colonies may range in color from white mold to olive-green mold, to brown mold, to black mold.

Chaetomium

Chaetomium mold is a marker mold, meaning that it is an indicator of water intrusion. It will produce allergy-type symptoms such as hay fever and asthma, plus a nail infection known as onychomycosis. It may also produce symptoms such as memory loss, balance issues, acid reflux, headaches, nose bleeds, and fevers. Indoors, it will grow on virtually any substrate that may be moist and is commonly found on damp sheetrock. It may appear as a smudge of dirt, and can range in color from brown to black.

Stachybotrys

Commonly known as toxic black mold, this mold has achieved infamy in the media, and with good reason. Like chaetomium, Stachybotrys requires live, active water intrusion to commence growth. Indoors, it is commonly found on wet materials containing cellulose, such as sheetrock, jute, wicker, straw baskets, and other paper materials. Unlike chaetomium, the symptoms produced by Stachybotrys range beyond allergy-type symptoms to dermatitis, rhinitis, confusion, dizziness and disorientation, anxiety, depression, aggression, shaking, seizures, and an itching or burning sensation in the mouth, throat, nasal passages and eyes. It is known to produce severe brain fog and mental impairment. As its common name implies, Stachybotrys is black in appearance. (Please note that not all black mold is Stachybotrys. There are many molds, some quite benign, that present with black color. If you’re unsure, have a professional test your home.)

With a better understanding of the signs and symptoms of mold, you have a significantly greater chance of catching it early and avoiding major health issues, thereby protecting yourself and your loved ones. Mold Zero’s mold removal services will eliminate the threat mold poses in your home so you can enjoy a happy, healthy mold-free life.

ACREMONIUM

Mold may seem harmless at first glance, but prolonged exposure to certain species of mold can potentially result in a substantial medical bill. Several members of the Acremonium genus certainly fall into the category of molds that can lead to serious health issues if too much time is spent in their presence.

This is a group of molds that can frequently be found indoors and several of its species are known human pathogens. They have worldwide distribution and can be found in soil and on decaying plant material in nature. However, they are well suited to indoor environments and are amongst the most common fungal colonizers of homes and offices.

ALTERNARIA

With over 250 known species Alternaria molds are extremely common and widespread. The spores are found in high concentrations during dry, windy conditions, which make them extremely airborne. As such, susceptible individuals can develop allergies upon exposure to mold spores. Upon reaching a suitably moist environment, the spores develop into mycelia which can be observed with the naked eye.

Alternaria is typically found outdoors, on dead plant material, cereal grains, grasses and soil. It can grow on a variety of other high-cellulose substrates and needs a certain amount of moisture to develop. Alternaria molds require water activity values above 0.85. The impact of water activity increases with temperature – the same increase in water activity that doubles the growth rate at 10°C will result in a fivefold increase in growth rate at 25°C [3].

Indoors, Alternaria can be found in carpets, wallpaper, textiles, window frames and air conditioning systems. However, Alternaria spores identified indoors often originate from the outdoor environment.

FUSARIUM

You wouldn’t want to get any Fusarium species in your home. Fusarium is incredibly fast-growing, and not only can it look unsightly, but it can also cause severe structural damage.

If there is a damp spot in your home Fusarium molds are going to love it. Although most commonly found outside, namely on crops and other plants, it can find its way into the home on occasion.

AUREOBASIDIUM

The Aureobasidium genus comprises of over 15 species or varieties. The taxonomy of the Aureobasidium genus is still an area of dispute, with species often being reclassified as varieties and vice versa [1, 2]. One thing everyone can agree upon is that A. pullulans is the most widely known and most studied species. With worldwide distribution, it is very common in moist environments and usually grows on plants, soil, fruit, wood, and freshwater.

Aureobasidium is also a very common indoor mold, especially in highly moist, damp, and humid areas like bathrooms, kitchens, tile grout, window frames, caulking, textiles, and air conditioning units.

Aureobasidium colonies may be pink mold or black mold. A. pullulans, in particular, is initially cream to pink in color with a flat, smooth, and moist texture. Over time, it gets darker and becomes velvety. Its spores can be distributed by wind upon drying. It grows in a wide range of climates and may appear alongside Cladosporium.

STACHYBOTRYS CHARTARUM

Stachybotrys chartarum is a greenish-black mold. It can grow on material with a high cellulose content, such as fiberboard, gypsum board, and paper. Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth.

Over the past 15 years in North America, evidence has accumulated implicating this fungus as a serious problem in homes and buildings and one of the causes of the “sick building syndrome.” In 1993-1994, there was an unusual outbreak of pulmonary hemorrhage in infants in Cleveland, Ohio, where researchers found S. chartarum growing in the homes of the sick infants. This incident increased the awareness of home/building molds and brought this fungus to the immediate attention of the medical community. In recent years there has been a cascade of reports about toxic molds in the national media.

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Now that you know the 9 most common types of mold in the home, you know that mold remediation is absolutely vital. If you believe there’s a chance that toxic mold is negatively impacting your health, whether it’s a common mold or an entire mold infestation working with experts such as Mold Zero, will help you to get back on your feet.

Household mold is an all too common occurrence that can cause major issues for anyone living with it. While many different types of mold can grow in many different places, here are a few common ones to watch out for in your home. These are some of the most common types of mold in homes and how to identify them.

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