Have you ever personally dealt with the daunting growth of mold inside of your home? Mold is a rapidly growing fungus that has been known to develop and spread throughout a home, where ideal conditions are present, allowing the mold to inhabit your space and cause an array of potential issues inside of this environment. Often when we think about mold, our minds will immediately think of the “toxic” black mold that is a known hazard to not only the environment but to the health of those occupants of this environment that are greatly exposed to these hazardous conditions. Although black mold can be a potential threat inside of your home, there are other types of household mold that are specifically known to develop and thrive inside an indoor environment.
These different types of molds can vary based on a variety of factors within the indoor space such as temperature, humidity, moisture levels, darkness, and the presence of oxygen. As mold begins to develop, the process of identifying mold types and how best to remediate this type of mold will be your next course of action – and an action that may require the assistance of a mold expert to properly accomplish.
In this article we are going to dive deep into the world of household molds including the different types of mold that are prone to grow inside of a home, how you can identify mold growth, and the best ways to remediate this mold from both the surfaces of the home and the air space in the environment.
What is Mold
Mold can be a very toxic and dangerous living organism in your environment that will most likely spread rapidly (how fast does mold spread)throughout the space through the production of mold spores that travel in the air. These organisms are very versatile, growing both indoors and outdoors, wherever ideal conditions are present for the mold to exponentially grow. Typically mold that grows indoors will likely be found in places throughout the home that meet these ideal conditions such as basements, attics, crawl spaces, kitchens, and bathrooms – these locations will all contain the most important condition for mold, moisture.
As we discussed earlier, mold can come in an array of different forms and species that can all have different characteristics that will help aid in the identification of this specific type of mold. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they state the following about the number of species of mold, “Nobody know for sure how many species of fungi exist but it is estimated that the number of species ranges from tens of thousands to perhaps even three hundred thousand or more species of mold”. Therefore, identifying and understanding the difference of all these different types of mold can be nearly impossible for someone without extensive knowledge on mold species – and this is why we should rely on mold specialist to help in the identification process of mold in a home.
Is Mold a Fungus?
Did you know that mold is identified as a fungus? The group of fungi called hyphomycetes is the fungal group that mold is lumped into, which is characterized with having filamentous hyphae, and produces airborne spores into the air. According to the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency, they define fungi as the following, “Types of plants that have no leaves, flowers, or roots”, and these fungi can be labeled either poisonous or non-poisonous depending on the specific species of fungi in question.
When mold grow outdoors, this type of fungus will break down organic matter such as leaves, grass clippings, and dead trees, which will significantly aid the environment. Whereas the functions of mold growth indoors are less beneficial and will contribute to many health concerns for those in the home, and even potentially cause structural damage to the surface of your home.
What is Mold Made Of
The development of mold inside of a home is often something that people do not understand, as there are many questions as to why did the mold form and what is mold even made of that grows in your home. Mold is a fungus that develops from different plants, animals, and bacteria that produce spores into the air to promote growth throughout the space of the environment. The actual construction of mold, however, is hard to determine as each species of mold and condition of growth can be different which will contribute to the construction of the mold.
According to the Science Daily, the identified mold as being made of this, “Mold is a growth of minute fungi forming on vegetable or animal matter, commonly as a downy or furry coating and associated with decay or dampness”.
Mold in House Smell
Every home has a unique scent that is identified as the “home smell” in this environment. This smell is largely impacted by the environmental factors in this space, including occupants, pets, and even unwanted growths in the home like mold that will taint the odor in this air space. What is the mold smell in house that will be produced from mold? When mold begins to grow in your home, the smell that it produces will be one of the first signs of the mold in your home, as often the smell of the mold is identified first before discoloration of the surfaces of your home become noticeable to occupants.
That musty, moldy smell is often the first sign that something is not right in your indoor environment. As you begin to smell this distinctive odor in the air of your home, you will need to closely look around the surfaces of this environment for potential mold growth, since mildew/musty smells are a major indicator of mold growth. If you see any areas on the surfaces of your home that have moisture presence this may be the problem area that you need to quickly remediate before mold develops and grows on this specific area.
Signs of Mold in Your Home
Although mold is a fairly common issue for most homeowners, who will experience some form of mold growth in their duration of owning the home, the identification of this mold is anything but easy. Mold is a very sneaky type of fungus that will grow almost unknowingly in the environment, until certain signs start to appear in the home that together will help you to determine the growth of mold in this environment. These signs that will begin to become noticeable in the home will include the following;
- Visible Mold Growth on Surfaces: One of the most obvious signs of mold growth in a home is the visible discoloration of mold on the surfaces in the indoor environment. Mold comes in a variety of colors, depending on the specific species growing in the home, and any trace amounts of a tainted color appearance will trigger signs of mold growth.
- Musty/Moldy Smell in the Air: As we discussed earlier, as mold progresses and spreads in a home, it will create an unfavorable musty smell in the home that will be highly noticeable to those in the home. Many different species of mold have different odors that will be emitted from the mold and will stir the identification of mold indoors.
- Detectable Health Symptoms: Mold growth indoors can have a potentially significant health effects on those exposed to the mold, symptoms that will be highly noticeable and correlated to mold in the home. These symptoms can be extremely similar to that of a cold or flu, and thus at first an occupant may think that they are sick. However, if you find that these symptoms are only present when inside of this indoor environment, then mold is the most-likely culprit behind these symptoms.
- Moisture Presents or Leaks: Moisture that is found in a home can be one of the major players in the promotion of mold growth in this environment. Home’s that have a history of flooding or moisture presence are at a high risk of developing mold, and thus if you know there is any moisture problems or intrusions in your home, be sure to properly have this issue fixed before mold has the opportunity to grow.
What Color is Mold
Identifying mold in your home isn’t just black and white, it comes in a variety of colors that can range from orange, red, and even the dreaded black color that every homeowner hopes to not see in their home. The following colors of mold can be found in a home; white, pink, green, yellow, brown, orange, red, and black. The color of the mold will depend on the type of mold that is growing, as different species of mold are known to produce different discoloration colors on the surfaces where the mold is growing.
The color of mold can sometimes be an identifier of the risks produced from the mold, as black mold is known by many to be the toxic form of mold that can greatly affect the environment and the health of those exposed to this colored fungus. According to the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency, the color of mold can come in many colors including white, but the “toxic mold” black mold is a color of mold to be on alert for, “Toxic mold or black mold is a type of mold that may produce mycotoxins, this mold is known as Stachybotrys chartarum”.
Mold Identification & Types of Mold in Homes
Are you ready to learn more about the potential species of mold that can invade your home and contaminate the indoor air quality and health of those exposed in the environment? Each mold species is different, with different characteristics and a different bout of toxic effects that it can produce in the environment. These different types of household molds will be identified from a multitude of differences including color, appearance, and the effects it produces into the environment.
Below we are going to list the most common types of mold species that can be found indoors and learn more about each mold’s identifying factors for homeowners to analyze.
- Alternaria: A more common type of mold found indoors and outdoors, Alternaria is known to be a major species of mold that is allergenic and impacts those who suffer from allergies and/or asthma. Alternaria has a velvet-texture that appears as either dark green or brown on the surface. The likely place for this mold to form is near areas of dampness like showers, bathtubs, below sinks, etc.
- Penicillium: Another form of allergenic mold, penicillium is an easily recognizable mold that will have a blue or green colored appearance. Similar to Alternaria, penicillium mold is often found near water-damaged areas of the home like insulation, carpeting, wallpaper, and other water-damaged surfaces in the home. Exposure to this form of mold will exacerbate pulmonary inflammation and asthma, and even has the potential to lead to chronic sinusitis. This type of mold is actually responsible for important antibiotic production that is used in medicine.
- Cladosporium: Cladosporium is a versatile mold that can grow in both warm and cold conditions and is often found thriving in indoor materials such as fabrics, upholsteries, and carpeting. This species of mold usually has an olive-green or brown colored appearance that has a suede-like texture. For those who are exposed to Cladosporium, the typical symptoms will include skin rash, asthma, lung infections, and sinusitis.
- Aspergillus: Aspergillus is a common household mold that is capable of becoming more toxic depending on the species and the environment where it is growing. This type of mold has a long flask-shaped spore that can form thick layer or walls of the mold. When occupants in the home are exposed to this species of mold it can lead to symptoms such as asthma attacks, lung infections and even respiratory inflammation.
How Can You Effectively Remediate Household Mold
When it comes to effectively removing all types of household mold species from within your home, there will be several methods that can be used to go about this removal. The use of a mold remediation specialist, however, is one of the most effective method to implement, as these are trained specialists that are specifically trained to identify and remediate mold from the surfaces of your home.
Mold remediation specialists are professionals that are able to articulately explain the mold removal process to you and is able to effectively remediate any traces of the mold from the surfaces in your home. These professionals will seal off the area where the mold is growing and use professional equipment such as a HEPA air scrubber, HEPA vacuums, and commercial-strength dehumidifiers to effectively remove the mold from the surfaces.
Additionally, after you have had an experienced mold remediation specialist come into your home to properly remediate mold presence on the surfaces of your home, a homeowner can also help by placing air purification devices in their home. These devices will collect and remove mold spores from the airspace that can be tainting the indoor air quality and impacting the health of those exposed.
The EnviroKlenz UV Air Purifier is an effective air purifier that uses a patented earth mineral technology that contains and neutralizes harmful noxious and toxic odors and chemicals from the air, along with the use of a hospital-grade HEPA filter for particulate removal (including microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and mold spores) as small as 0.3 microns or larger from the air. Additionally, this air purifier contains UV-C lights that are located above the HEPA filter that shine on the collected particulate matter on the HEPA filter media. This collection side UV setup provides increased exposure to the collected particulate matter to the germicidal UVC, allowing this process to kill any collected mold spores found on the HEPA filter.
Adding the EnviroKlenz UV Air Purifier into your home before or after a mold remediation project will aid in the capturing and removal of mold spores that can be found traveling in the air, making the environment healthier for the occupants of the home.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Mold Basic Facts (link)
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Indoor Air Quality: Airborne Biological Contaminants – Fungal Categories (link)
- ScienceDaily.com: Mold (link)
- WebMD: Moisture and Mold Problems: Preventing and Solving Them in Your Home (link)
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Mold Course Chapter 1 (link)
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Mold Cleanup in Your Home (link)
Mobile UV System
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