Mold is a common type of fungus that thrives in warm, moist conditions. Not only can mold threaten the structural integrity of a building, but it can also be highly toxic and dangerous for our health. Mold sensitivity, respiratory conditions, and weakened immune system are some of the many effects of mold on health and wellbeing. However, not all mold is the same. It’s crucial to identify and eliminate mold properly to protect the living environment and health.
This post focuses on different types of mold everyone should know about.
How many types of mold are there? There are over 100,000 different types of mold known to exist. However, we can classify them into the following categories:
Even though mold is present everywhere, some types are more common in homes than others. Below we’re going to list some of the most common mold types found in the home environment.
Aspergillus species are among the most prevalent mold types in the world. This mold has long flask-shaped spores that tend to form thick layers or walls of the mold. As they spread, the aspergillus molds create long chains of mold on surfaces where they grow. About 185 species belong to this family, and they vary in color, but being an allergenic mold, aspergillus can contribute to asthma attacks, respiratory problems, and inflammation. In some cases, it can become toxic.
Like Aspergillus, Cladosporium is an allergenic mold. While some mold types can grow only in warm or cold environments, Cladosporium thrives in both. It can grow on any surface in our homes ranging from upholsteries and fabrics to cupboards. Cladosporium is recognizable thanks to its olive-green and brown color and suede-like appearance. Exposure to Cladosporium can cause allergic reactions targeting eyes, nose, throat, and even our skin. Most people usually have breathing problems as a result of Cladosporium.
Also known as black mold, Stachybotrys is a toxigenic type of mold that can also induce allergic reactions. It can also appear dark green, and it’s easy to identify Stachybotrys for its slimy texture. Areas where this mold thrives are damp and wet places with high humidity. Preferred targets of this mold in homes are porous materials like wood, paper, and cardboard. It can cause flu-like symptoms, headache, diarrhea, memory problems, and even severe respiratory damage.
Alternaria is the most common allergenic mold in the world. Dark green or brown in color, Alternaria is well-known for its velvety texture. Alternaria likes damp areas and grows mainly in bathtubs, showers, and under leaking sinks. Alternaria also thrives in buildings and homes that have dealt with water damage. It causes asthma-like symptoms. Since it spreads quickly, it’s crucial to detect and eliminate Alternaria in a timely manner.
Chaetomium is a toxigenic mold that thrives in water-damaged places, but also basements, leaky pipes, and roofs. This mold changes color as it spreads from white to black with a cotton-like texture. Chaetomium can cause infections of skin and nails. Since it produces mycotoxins, Chaetomium mold can harm people with weaker immune systems.
Mold is everywhere, and there are thousands of different types that can harm us and cause health problems ranging from allergic reactions to respiratory conditions. A regular home inspection, especially around damp areas, is important to spot mold and get rid of it immediately.