What To Know About Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew do not belong in any home. It looks and smells horrible, spoils our food, invades our living spaces, and sometimes even causes health problems due to the toxins it contains. Although mold is a major concern for homeowners and potential buyers, many people are still unsure of where and how to look for mold.
Mold grows on many surfaces, including walls, cabinets, curtains, clothing, furniture, and carpets. It is most often found in bathrooms, basements, and crawl spaces. Learn everything you need to know about mold by reading on. You’ll also find out how to identify the types of mold you’re most likely to encounter.
Mold vs. Mildew
It is most common for mold and mildew to thrive in moist, warm environments. Mold can harm your health and your home and is much more difficult to remove than mildew. Most of the time, a scrub brush and store-bought cleaner are all you need to remove mildew. Professional assistance, however, is necessary for mold remediation.
Mold and mildew appear differently in color and appearance. They can therefore be distinguished relatively easily. Mold grows on surfaces as gray or white patches. Depending on its appearance, mold may be dark blue, green, black or yellow, as well as rough, fuzzy, smooth, or slimy. Unlike mildew, mold grows beneath the surface of moist areas. This is why the scent of mold is often detected before homeowners actually see it.
Mold and Mildew Types
The term “mold” refers to a fungus that can grow in almost any dark environment containing moisture and organic matter. Mold spores can travel through the air and grow once they come across something moist to land on. Therefore, household mold can often be found wherever there is moisture accumulation. It can be found near pipes, roofs, walls, basements, crawlspaces, and kitchen cabinets..
Mold and fungi are found in homes in thousands of different species, but some are more likely to be found than others. Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Cladosporium are the most common types of indoor mold, according to the CDC. The most dangerous type of household mold for human health is Stachybotrys Chartarum, or “black mold.”
In the US, Aspergillus is the most common type of household mold. It often grows on dust, powdery food items, drywall, insulation, clothing, and paper. This substance can appear in various colors, such as black, brown, grey, green, or yellow.
When exposed to Aspergillus continuously, people are more likely to develop allergic reactions, lung infections, asthma attacks, and other immune responses, especially if they have preexisting medical conditions. Keep your home as dry and ventilated as possible to prevent this kind of mold from growing. Keeping bathroom and kitchen fans on and wiping down water-collecting areas helps prevent mold from growing.
The genus Penicillium consists of over 300 species. Humans benefit from some species and they are used in cheese production and medication production. Others are toxic and can cause health concerns that can worsen with time and exposure.
Mold associated with this type of food is almost always green, spreads easily, and is usually associated with spoiled food. Carpet, insulation, furniture, and wallpaper can also become infected. In contrast to most molds, it can flourish in places with low humidity.
Cladosporium can grow in cool temperatures, unlike many other types of mold. Molds of this type are typically dark, forming clusters of black, yellow, or green dots. Cladosporium thrives both indoors and outdoors, so it’s common to see it in basements, bathrooms, and around faucets. It can also be found on upholstery, fabric and in attics.
As a result of prolonged exposure to Cladosporium, allergies and asthma can develop or worsen. Extreme cases may also lead to ear, sinus, or eye infections.
Stachybotrys Chartarum (“Black Mold”)
In the home, black mold typically grows in humid environments and in places that accumulate moisture. It is often found in basements, air conditioning ducts, crawl spaces, insulation, and drywall. Generally, it appears black and carries a strong musty scent.
Even though black mold isn’t the most common type in households, it’s the most well-known. Toxins produced by it are responsible for a number of health problems, including respiratory problems, allergies, headaches, and fatigue. Experiencing prolonged exposure to black mold can lead to allergic reactions that include bleeding in the lungs and vomiting.
Different species of mold require different conditions for growth and have varying impacts on your home and family. Regardless of the type of mold you have in your home, it’s critical to detect and get rid of it as quickly as possible.
Health Effects of Mold
The health effects of mold vary based on the species, the quantity, how long you’ve been exposed to it, and whether you suffer from allergies, asthma, or any other pre-existing conditions.
Healthy adults are not at risk of dying from mold, but they can experience a number of unpleasant symptoms. It is imperative not to ignore these symptoms. Mold allergies and sensitivity symptoms commonly include:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Chest and nasal congestion
- Sneezing and a sore throat
- Eye and skin irritation
Molds that produce mycotoxins can cause severe symptoms and lead to mold poisoning in humans and animals. Those with pre-existing health conditions such as allergies, asthma, and immune disorders may be at risk of death if exposed to these toxins in serious cases.
The most effective way to prevent and address symptoms of mold allergies is to reduce or eliminate your exposure. Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience congestion, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, or any other symptoms. This is in addition to removing the mold from your home.e mold from your home.
A Guide to Identifying and Eliminating Household Mold
Mold identification is not always straightforward. Some mold can be easily seen, but others can be more difficult to identify. Educating yourself on mold will help you identify it correctly.
In addition to green and black, mold can also appear white, blue, yellow, or pink. Mold can look different depending on the conditions in which it grows. If you suspect mold is growing in your home, you need to get in touch with a mold remediation professional right away.
Keep an eye out for these mold warning signs:
- Discolored or stained walls.
- Black or green spots or blotches.
- Smells of dust, dampness, or earth.
- Places where water or moisture collects regularly.
- Consistent symptoms of colds or the flu.
- Consistent headaches and respiratory problems.
- Water damage or flooding in recent weeks.
It’s critical to keep in mind that mold is a symptom of a moisture or water problem. It is not enough to remove the mold only from the surface. To prevent the mold from growing again, whatever is causing it needs to be addressed.
The most effective way to make sure that your home and health are not at risk is to have professional testing done at the first signs of mold. Mold testing should only be performed by experts who are familiar with mold, who understand correct protocols, and who can interpret results.
A mold test can provide valuable information about the type or types of mold you may be dealing with, but can also point to solutions when the surrounding conditions are taken into consideration.
Are you worried that mold is growing in your home?
With all the information you have now about mold, you will be able to identify it much easier. You may have noticed a strange smell, seen mold growth, developed cold or flu-like symptoms, or have trouble breathing. Mold can grow in homes of all sizes, so it’s wise to have a professional inspect your house to determine the type and severity of mold.
If you need any help, call us at (636) 699-0449.