Many homeowners tend to think of all molds as the same, and we refer to them all as simply “mold.” However, knowing their differences can be important for your health and the safety of your home as some molds are more serious than others. Learn about some of the different types of molds and how to treat them if you come across them in your home.
There are three main types of molds that you might encounter:
- Allergenic Molds
- Pathogenic Molds
- Toxic Molds
These classifications help identify and distinguish types of molds from one another. Allergenic molds are ones that we’re often allergic to and commonly show up on allergy tests. On the other hand, toxic molds and pathogenic molds are more serious and can cause symptoms much more severe than allergies.
Common Types of Molds
Now that you know the basic differences between mold classifications, keep reading to learn some specific examples of mold types in action.
Alternaria is a type of allergenic mold. You’ll often find this type of mold in bathrooms near the sink, bathtub, shower, toilet, and other water sources. This is because Alternaria mold is a common sign of water damage. This mold will spread quickly under the right conditions when water damage occurs. If you’ve experienced plumbing issues or an overflowing bathtub or sink, you may have Alternaria mold in your bathroom. You should also note its dark green or brown color and velvety texture. Because Alternaria is an allergenic mold, exposure to it can cause sneezing, watery eyes, and other allergic reactions.
How To Treat
While Alternaria mold can spread quickly, if you’re able to catch it early enough, it won’t have time to form a large colony. While this mold is smaller, you can safely remove it with proper cleaning supplies and methods. Use strong mold-killing products such as bleach, hydrogen peroxide, or white vinegar solutions. When cleaning mold in small, contained spaces like the bathroom, make sure to ventilate the area, especially while using strong cleaning products.
To prevent mold from returning, make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated by using fans or your HVAC system. This will keep humidity and moisture levels in check and prevent mold-thriving conditions.
Aspergillus is a type of toxic mold that you can commonly find indoors. Aspergillus mold produces mycotoxins that are toxic to humans and animals, which creates a dangerous environment when found indoors or in your own home. There are many species and types of Aspergillus mold, which makes it difficult to identify at times. Aspergillus is typically classified by its thick gray or green spores, but it can also appear in a variety of colors. You’ll often find this type of mold on building materials such as wood due to its absorbent properties.
How To Treat
Proceed with caution when you discover Aspergillus mold in your home. Because this species is classified as a toxic mold, it can be dangerous to address without the right safety equipment. Aspergillus mold may strongly affect those with mold sensitivities or allergies. If you have a weakened immune system or a similar condition, avoid exposure to this type of mold. Unless you’re dealing with a small spot of this mold, we recommend calling in the professionals. Getting a mold removal team’s help is the safest and most efficient way to remove toxic mold like Aspergillus.
Cladosporium is a type of allergenic mold that grows in some unique conditions. While many basic types of molds prefer warm environments, Cladosporium mold grows in both warm and cold settings. For example, you might find Cladosporium mold growing on spoiled food in your refrigerator or cold storage unit. Another cool place this mold can grow is in your HVAC unit due to high moisture levels. This type of mold also has a unique appearance—you’ll notice Cladosporium mold has a suede-like texture and an olive or brown color. Look for this type of mold in your ventilation system, under floorboards, and even on carpet and other fabrics.
How To Treat
Just like Alternaria mold, you can safely treat small, contained colonies of Cladosporium mold yourself. However, if you notice Cladosporium in your ventilation system, HVAC, or in larger quantities throughout your home, play it safe and call a professional.
Mucor mold is another allergenic mold that you can find indoors. One of the dangers of Mucor mold is how quickly it grows. You can identify Mucor mold through its white or gray coloring that grows in thick patches. This type of mold is another moisture-lover, as it grows in wet places that experience lots of condensation. Bathrooms with leaking pipes, HVAC ductwork, and air conditioners are all common examples of places where Mucor mold thrives.
How To Treat
Because Mucor mold spreads so quickly, it’s advisable to have a professional inspect it at the source. If you have a weakened immune system or a mold allergy, stay away from the mold cleanup process and hire a professional. However, small patches of Mucor are treatable with home remedies such as bleach or other mold-killing mixtures. Avoid DIY mold cleanup on tricky, hard-to-reach areas like your HVAC unit or air conditioning. These systems need to be shut off immediately and addressed by a professional to avoid spreading mold spores.
Stachybotrys is the full name behind the infamous “black mold.” This type of toxic mold is incredibly dangerous and leads to several severe health conditions. This toxic mold can affect your respiratory system or even your central nervous system. Stachybotrys mold has a dark green or black coloration and a slimy texture. Look for black mold in damp, moisture-filled areas of your home; this mold thrives in humid conditions and areas that have been exposed to water. For example, Stachybotrys mold often grows behind walls and ceilings on the wooden beams throughout your home.
How To Treat
You should never attempt to perform DIY cleaning on Stachybotrys or any type of toxic mold. If you suspect you have a black mold problem at home, contact your local mold removal professionals immediately. You don’t want Stachybotrys to linger and spread throughout more areas of your home.
When it comes to treating the different types of molds you might find at home, your best bet is to call a professional. You never know what’s lurking beneath the surface of your home, but a professional mold removal service will be able to identify the issue to its fullest extent. If you’re in need of mold removal in Palatine or surrounding Chicagoland areas, contact Aloha Restoration Co. today to address your mold problems as soon as possible.