You may not have noticed it yet, but chances are mold is already growing inside your home.
Different types of mold can get indoors by traveling on your clothing, grocery bags, and especially on your favorite furry friends. Mold can also find its way in through window gaps, under doors, and through the insulation in your roof.
Once mold spores settle on their preferred surface, they start to reproduce in as little as 24 hours. If you’re a homeowner, you need to know the most common kinds of mold found in homes and how to get rid of them.
Types of Mold Found in Homes
Mold is a type of fungi whose growths are known as mildew. But the term mold is used to describe a variety of micro-organisms that thrive when they have access to moisture and a sufficient food source.
There are thousands of strains of mold. They fall into three categories: allergenic, pathogenic, and toxigenic.
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, allergenic molds can trigger those allergic reactions. Even people who don’t have allergies or asthma can experience slight allergic reactions to allergenic mold.
Pathogenic mold triggers reactions in people who suffer from immune system disorders. They also affect people who have or are recovering from serious illnesses.
Toxigenic mold is the most dangerous form of mold in homes. It can cause serious health problems in both sick and healthy people.
Within these three categories of mold are thousands of different strains. Let’s take a look at the most prevalent strains of mold found in homes.
Stachybotrys mold is toxigenic. You will find it on cellulose materials like wood, drywall, and ventilation systems.
Commonly known as black mold, it is black in color with a hint of green. Stachybotrys thrives in wet conditions. It will appear as small black spots at first, then grow and spread.
Stachybotrys causes severe headaches, nosebleeds, upper-respiratory distress, and fatigue.
Mucormycetes are allergenic molds. You will find them in soil, on plants, and on decaying fruits and vegetables.
Mucormycetes look like light gray fuzz with long hair initially. They grow deeper gray in color as they spread.
Mucor spores can cause asthma attacks and breathing difficulty in both asthma sufferers and healthy people. People with allergies can develop a fungal infection called mucormycosis from inhaling mucor.
Alternaria is an allergenic mold. You will find it in tile bathrooms, under sinks, and inside showers and bathtubs.
Alternaria appears as if it were made of velvet. It has brown filaments that look like little hairs. Alternaria spreads quickly, but it usually doesn’t affect people who don’t have allergies or asthma.
For people with allergies, inhaling Alternaria can trigger an asthma attack and cause respiratory distress.
Acremonium is a toxigenic mold. You will find it in wet areas like condensation lines and the drainage pains of HVAC systems. You may also find it in your humidifier.
Acremonium comes in a variety of colors from white to pink to grey. As it matures, the mold turns dry and powdery. It can be difficult to diagnose.
Exposure to Acremonium spores can cause eye irritation, difficulty breathing, pneumonia, arthritis, and fungal infections.
Chaetomium is a type of allergenic mold. You will find it in water-damaged homes. It starts to grow inside walls before spreading to the exterior. By the time you notice it, Chaetomium has usually covered large portions of the wall.
If you inhale Chaetomium spores, you will likely experience watery eyes, sneezing, and an itchy throat. But in people with weakened immune systems, Chaetomium spores can cause serious respiratory distress.
Cladosporium is an allergenic mold. You will find it growing on textiles like carpet and upholstery. It also grows beneath sinks and inside cabinets.
Cladosporium looks soft to the touch and is usually brown or green in color. It grows rapidly in indoor areas with high humidity levels.
Inhaling Cladosporium spores causes respiratory distress and will irritate your sinuses. It also causes sore throats. In pets, symptoms of inhaling Cladosporium spores include runny eyes and sneezing.
What Are the Signs of Mold?
Often you can smell mold before you can see it and by the time you see it, mold is a much larger problem to take care of.
If you notice a musty odor in your home, it is likely you have a mold infestation. Once you smell mold, you need to take action to remedy it immediately.
Tips for Getting Rid of Mold
There are four types of household and chemical cleaners capable of getting rid of mold on household surfaces. These include chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide, distilled white vinegar, and a combination of baking soda and borax.
If you notice mold on your furniture or upholstery, take it outdoors and try to brush off as much of the mold spores as possible. If it’s safe to wash the fabric, use hot water and a disinfectant (as recommended on the care label).
If mold stains linger, you can mix a solution of oxygen bleach and water and apply it to the fabric or let the fabric soak in it for eight hours.
When to Call a Mold Remediation Expert
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends hiring a mold remediation expert if the growth of the mold in your home is greater than ten square feet.
They also recommend a mold remediation service if your home has experienced water damage.
Household Mold Solutions
There are thousands of strains of mold that can grow inside your home. They can cause everything from mild irritation to allergic reactions to serious respiratory issues like pneumonia.
If you’re feeling powerless to battle the types of mold that might be growing inside your home, relax. Towers Restoration and Cleaning has got you covered. Contact us today to request a free estimate!