Types Of Mold And How To Remove Them From Your Household

There are many common types of mold that can threaten your household. If you aren’t prepared, indoor mold can hurt your home and family as it spreads quickly.

Types Of Mold

Preventing or removing mold from your home isn’t hard, you just need to know what to look for and how to wipe out its sources.

If you need to remove even the most common types of indoor mold immediately so you won’t need to hire a professional.

Is Mold Dangerous?

Yes, mold is dangerous. If not handled properly, it can damage nervous systems and cause inflamed lungs. The most common kinds of mold can cause serious health problems including memory loss when exposed for prolonged periods. For those with allergies, mold can especially troublesome. 

Is Mold Dangerous?

It’s better to be safe so you should treat any mold colony as if it were severe. Even if you’re tackling wooden surfaces, it’s important to know what you’re up against.

Note: there is a difference between mold and mildew. To learn more about their differences follow this link: mold vs mildew guide. 

12 Types Of Mold In The Home

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The mold we are addressing here is household and primarily found indoors.

Although there are still many other types of mold, here are the most common:

1. Acremonium

Color: Pink, grey, orange, or white

Texture: Packed and moist when growing 

Dangers: Immune system diseases like mycetoma, onychomycosis, and keratitis

This mold is known as Cephalosporium. It is found in moist areas in indoor environments, especially around humidifiers or air conditioners

2. Alternaria

Color: Brown or green

Texture: Hairy

Dangers: Allergic reactions, asthma symptoms, hay fever, itchy eyes, eye irritation, nail infections

This is one of the most toxic molds and dangerous for those with allergies or asthma. If you already have respiratory issues, it can be quite troublesome. Keep bathrooms and basements clean and windows open to prevent them from spreading quickly. 

3. Aspergillus Fumigatus

Color: Many colors

Texture: Flask-shaped pores 

Dangers: aspergillosis, respiratory issues 

Aspergillus mold is a pathogenic mold and a member of the genus family that has a few hundred different species worldwide. As one of the more common molds, it includes certain types of mold that help age cheese and sausage. 

4. Aureobasidium

Color: Clear before turning dark brown

Texture: Smooth and flat

Dangers: Allergy symptoms, pulmonary infections

Another mold that is a common allergy is most often found on wooden surfaces. It’s pink, brown, or black at first but turns darker as it gets older.

With gray mold, you have time to remove it before you’ll need to call a professional. The mold thrives in poor ventilation environments and wooden surfaces.

5. Chaetomium

Color: White before turning darker

Texture: Thin and bumpy

Dangers: Respiratory issues and other health effects

Chaetomium mold grows in water damaged areas. Unless you’ve had leaks, floods, or other types of water problems, you should be fine. When you smell a musty odor, it’s probably due to chaetomium mold. Prolonged exposure can lead to serious health risks as it produces toxins that attack immune systems.

6. Cladosporium

Color: Green, brown, or black

Texture: Suede or leather 

Dangers: Asthma, lung infections, 

This mold  looks smooth and nice. The mold is found is commonly found in carpets. If you have carpet, you should clean it regularly to prevent mold growth. The mold can produce toxins or release toxic fumes that attack the respiratory system.

7. Fusarium

Color: Pink, white, or red

Texture: Yeast-like

Dangers: Produce mycotoxins

This is a light mold found on food. If you don’t see or smell mold, the food is usually safe. Though this mold isn’t fatal, it does provide serious health risks and respiratory problems.

8. Mucor

Color: White

Texture: Thick and fluffy

Dangers: mucormycosis 

This thick white mold is found in carpet or near softer areas prone to condensation, like air conditioning units. Always check for this mold and different molds when conducting mold tests in your home.

9. Penicillium

Color: Blue-green

Texture: Smooth

Dangers: mycotoxicosis, respiratory infections, internal bleeding, pulmonary bleeding, bone marrow infection

Penicillium is a non pathogenic mold and most common in water damaged areas and environments with excessive moisture. If there are signs of water damage in your home or musty odors, then check for this mold as it can lead to lung inflammation.

10. Stachybotrys

Color: Green or black 

Texture: Slimy

Dangers: Breathing, allergic reactions, fatigue, and depression

This type of mold is probably what you’re looking for in your home. Otherwise known as “black mold” it’s a toxigenic mold and one of the more common indoor molds. You’ll need to keep your house dry to prevent it from spreading quickly. 

11. Trichoderma

Color: White and green

Texture: Wooly

Dangers: Respiratory issues 

This wooly white and green mold can be found in wallpaper and fabric alike. But it is most often found in or near HVAC units because of the high moisture content and on water damaged materials. 

12. Ulocladium

Color: Green or black 

Texture: Suede like texture

Dangers: Few allergic symptoms

This is a black mold, although it’s black in color, it’s not “black mold.” It’s not as dangerous, but to the untrained eye, it looks like black mold, so leave it alone and call a professional. 

How To Prevent Mold

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The best mold prevention method is to keep your home clean and dry. One way to do this is to get an air purifier or dehumidifier

Air purifiers and dehumidifiers can prevent mold and reduce the musty smell that comes with mold. An air purifier cleans the air better than air conditioning system. HVAC ducts, where mold is found, can be a health hazard.   

Dehumidifiers, on the other hand, keep your indoor air dry in humid climates and reduce mold exposure. If you already have a mold problem, a humidifier will not help.

The devices are great in dry climates because dry climates are immune to mold. Another option would be to install exhaust fans next to any water damage in your home. 

DIY Mold Removal Methods 

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The process to get rid of mold involves donning protective gear, washing the area down, and keeping it dry. The good news is, there are many household products you can use to help reduce mold growth or wipe it out entirely.

When washing, we recommend that you use one of the following substances: 

Bleach

Of all DIY household products, bleach is the strongest and most effective solution to remove mold. Bleach is strong, so it can’t be used on every surface. When using a bleach solution, your first step should be to dilute it before applying it to a surface, especially on wood products and furniture.

When using bleach, wear gloves and a face mask. If you can’t get rid of the mold with diluted bleach then call a professional because you have a serious problem.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a non toxic remedy that doesn’t require protective clothing when you use it. The substance has the same tendencies as mold but is safer.

You can use hydrogen peroxide on your skin to fight serious infections, so if it gets on your skin you won’t have any problems.

Over all, it’s an effective way to kill mold and you won’t have to worry about having severe reactions after you use it.

Vinegar

Vinegar doesn’t always work, but it’s non toxic and the safest way to get rid of mold in your home. It can damage some surfaces but if you take it slowly and test it first then you won’t have any problems with vinegar. 

Not only does vinegar attack mold but it also works as a disinfectant. If you have a moisture problem, then pathogenic molds and toxigenic molds will be a concern if you have wet areas that go unprotected.

Baking Soda And Borax

This may not be the most effective way to remove mold in your home, but if you mix baking soda and borax with water and scrub you’ll be surprised. The solution can work with small problems but won’t be effective when fighting other molds. 

The substance scrubs the mold while lifting it and then cleaning the underside. 

When To Hire A Professional

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It is almost better to hire a professional to get rid of mold. While some problems are safe to take care of alone, mold can be a serious problem and with serious problems, professionals are necessary. 

While bleach can help remove mold, you won’t know if you’ve taken care of the problem or delayed it

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What Are “Sick Buildings”?

Office buildings that cause illness among those who work inside them. Building materials that can cause sickness are organic compounds otherwise known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

What Are Exposure Methods?

Possible routes of exposure are inhalation, if the contaminant is present in the air, ingestion, through food, drinking, or hand-to-mouth behavior, and dermal absorption, if the contaminant can be absorbed through the skin.

What Is The Main Objective Of Exposure Assessment?

The major objective of exposure assessment is to estimate the risk caused by exposure of a chemical contaminant to an individual and ecosystem. In office buildings, an exposure assessment test will be performed after it has suffered water damage. 

What Are The Three Ways One Can Consider Exposure?

The exposure pathway of a hazardous substance helps determine emergency response actions. An exposure pathway is how an individual can encounter a hazardous substance. The three categories for basic exposure pathways are inhalation, ingestion, or direct contact.

How Long Do You Have To Be Exposed To Mold To Get Sick?

If you’ve been exposed to mold, side effects include shortness of breath, coughing, muscle pain, body chills, fever, and heavy fatigue. Symptoms can appear between two to nine hours after initial exposure and last for one to three days.

What Happens If You Eat Mold?

Mold on spoiled food can be dangerous when consumed. If you develop symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, a high temperature, or diarrhea, you should seek medical attention immediately.

What Happens If Mold Gets On Your Skim?

If you’ve touched or inhaled mold or mold spores, you could have an allergic reaction. Common side effects include runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, watery eyes, skin rash, and itching. Those who have asthma should avoid mold at all costs.

Can A Dog Get Sick From Mold?

When dogs inhale mold spores, problems can arise. Symptoms to watch out for include difficulty breathing, wheezing, sneezing, or coughing.

Why Does The Smell Of A New Home Cause Migraine Headaches?  

For some people, the interior smell of a new home often irritates them. The reason is because of a chemical known as urea formaldehyde, a volatile organic compound (VOC) found in home construction material and other things. The compound produces a toxic mold that causes allergic reactions and even skin infections.

Urea-formaldehyde is a toxic mucous membrane that adds color and texture to fabrics that have thick layers. For example, new carpet, sofas, and curtain drapes contain urea formaldehyde. The chemical is also found in particleboard, plywood, cabinets, and fiberglass insulation.

Types Of Mold Conclusion

If you have mold inside your home, you need to remove it immediately as it’s a serious health risk. Buying an air purifier for your home would be a good place to start. You’ll also want to check your air conditioner as different types of mold are often found in moist areas.

If you wanted to avoid mold, don’t live in climates with high humidity levels. Warm environments would be better as mold isn’t typically found in hot or dry climates.

Should you experience any allergic reactions or have health problems like a sore throat, hay fever, stuffy nose, itchy eyes, or skin irritation, you might need medical attention. Mold can also cause pulmonary bleeding, bone infections, and different types of breathing problems.

Mold problems should be taken seriously so it’s a good idea to test your home and see if it doesn’t have a mold problem.

To safeguard your home and protect your family members against mold spores, keep your food source protected. Also, open windows will reduce the threat of mold, so keep them open whenever possible.

Also, before enlisting a professional, see if you can use a bleach solution or another DIY solution to get rid of the mold.  If you have mold on wooden furniture, there’s a good chance you can get rid of it without hiring a professional. 

Most people know how to recognize mold and prevent it from growing in their homes. If you’re not sure how to prevent mold spores, reach out to a professional who can help. You should keep your indoor environment free of mold regardless of effort or cost.