3 Types of Mold that May Be Hiding Inside your Home

3 Types of Mold that May Be Hiding Inside your Home

It is a commonly held belief that mold only affects older homes, but that’s far from the truth. Mold can grow anytime and anywhere, regardless of whether it’s an old home or a new one. It mostly thrives in damp, humid, and moist environments, which make the bathroom, kitchen, and basement the ideal places in your home to be affected by mold infestation.

While not all types of mold are harmful, it can become a serious health risk and hazard if it’s left untreated for a really long time. For effective mold removal, it is essential to be able to identify the type of mold that’s lurking inside your home. Mold tends to grow at a very rapid pace, so it is imperative that you quickly recognize the type of mold and be well-informed on its health risks so that you can deal with it immediately.

To help you with that, here are three of the most common types of mold that may be hiding underneath the kitchen sink or the basement ceiling.

1.     Alternaria

This type of mold is commonly found indoors and is likely to grow in damp and dark spaces such as below leaking sinks, showers, and bathtubs. Some of the many health risks associated with Alternaria are adverse allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and numerous asthma-like symptoms.

How to Identify

Alternaria is a type of allergenic mold with a velvety texture and brown or dark green colored little hairs.

2.     Aureobasidium

This is another type of allergenic mold that you are likely to find growing on wooden surfaces, painted areas, or behind wallpapers. Some other less common places include in caulks and around the windows in your home.

Aureobasidium is known to cause more severe reactions as compared to other types of mold eye and nail infection, as well as dermatitis, which is a very serious type of skin rash.

How to Identify

This type of mold initially develops in black, pink, or brown colors and then gradually transforms into a darker shade of brown if it’s left untreated for a long time.

3.     Fusarium

Known as both a toxigenic and an allergenic type of mold, Fusarium commonly grows in wet and cold areas. It most commonly grows in homes with some kind of water damage and tends to target things like the carpets, wallpaper, and other warm fabrics that are similar to a carpet.

In case of exposure to this type of mold, you are likely to experience allergic symptoms such as skin rash, runny nose, cough, itchy eyes, and a sore throat. However, if you are exposed to it for a very long time, it can lead to deadly conditions like brain abscess and bone infections.

How to Identify

This mold adopts numerous colors such as pink, dark red, or white and can have a variety of textures like cottony, flat, or wooly.

Final Word

This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are so many other types of mold that can grow inside your homes.

Regardless of the type, the best to ensure effective mold removal is to call mold remediation services such as EE&G Restoration Services in Tampa that have the best mold-control team and experts on board.

Do Air Purifiers Ensure Effective Mold Prevention?

Effective Ways to Remove Mold from Your Walls

Mold infestation is one of the most common problems faced by many homeowners for which you need to take effective and immediate measures. The best way to get rid of mold spores is to call mold remediation or mold removal service; however, in case of a delay, you should always have tools and supplies ready at home.

Moist, damp, and humid areas in your home are ideal breeding grounds for mold and bacteria, which makes places like your bathrooms, kitchen, and basement the most prone to a serious mold infestation.

In case of a mold problem in your home, the first place you should inspect is the walls in your bathroom. This is because the bathroom, particularly the shower area, is usually always moist and damp, which is practically an invitation for mold, bacteria, and fungus.

Two of the most common signs of mold growing on your walls are cracked, peeling, and bubbling paint, or the growth of brown, black, orange, and green spots or patches.

If you notice either of these signs on the walls in your home, here are some quick and effective ways to remove mold from walls.

Vinegar

This is a common ingredient found in most households and is usually always available. Vinegar works as an excellent deodorizer or disinfectant, which makes it a very effective mold-killer. Take some vinegar and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray it all over the mold patches on the walls and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes. Once the moldy areas are entirely saturated, use a scrubbing brush and vigorously scrub the vinegar. Repeat the process and let the vinegar sit for an additional 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water and wipe the area clean with a piece of cloth.

The double-action will help remove and kill the bacteria effectively, and will also prevent it from growing again.

Vinegar, Borax, and Water

If you have painted or wallpapered walls, prepare a mixture of vinegar, water, and borax for mold removal. Borax is a powdery white mineral that has been used as a cleaning agent to remove mildew, stains, and mold for decades by a majority of homeowners.

Take 1/4th cup of vinegar, two tablespoons of borax, and mix it with 2-3 cups of hot water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it evenly all over the affected areas on your walls. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes and then gently scrub with a brush. After scrubbing, wipe the area dry with the help of a clean cloth.

Bleach and Water

Like vinegar, bleach is also very effective for mold removal; however, you should never use it alone to kill mold. The best way is to mix one part bleach with about three parts of water in order to deeply saturate the moldy areas on the walls.

Spray this mixture on the affected areas and allow it to soak for a few minutes. Use a scrub brush and work it all over the walls in rigorous, circular motions. Make sure to open a window or switch on the fan while doing this because bleach tends to produce very unpleasant fumes.

In case these methods don’t work for you, immediately call a mold removal service without any delay because mold grows very quickly and can lead to serious health and structural problems.

Different and Innovative Mold Removal Gadgets In Atlanta, GA

Different and Innovative Mold Removal Gadgets In Atlanta, GA

Mold spores are found almost everywhere, but they are usually in small amounts, so they are basically harmless. However, if there’s mold growing inside your home, you must take immediate, serious action.

From walls and books to clothes and toys, mold can grow in a variety of areas and spaces in your home. The worst part is that once it starts growing, it never stops and continues to grow at a rapid pace until and unless you do something about it.

There are numerous mold removal and mold remediation services that you can call for assistance. These services have so many experts and professionals on board that will help remove a mold infestation from your home. However, it is ideal to be prepared and well-equipped with mold removal tools and supplies at home in case you are dealing with an unexpected mold problem and have to get rid of it urgently.

Apart from amazing natural mold removal ingredients and products, you can now get your hands on handy gadgets and devices for not just mold removal, but also mold prevention.

Take a look at the most useful devices that will make it very easy for you to deal with a mold problem in your home.

Dehumidifiers

These are popular machines for balancing humidity levels in your home, but interestingly, they also a great help with mold prevention.

Mold is highly attracted to damp and moisture-filled areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, basement, and attic. Apart from leaking pipes or an obvious sewage problem, high moisture is also often caused by high humidity levels in the atmosphere. Dehumidifiers do a great job of maintaining indoor humidity levels, which, in turn, helps prevent the growth of mold by keeping the surroundings dry and moisture-free.

Mold-Resistant Drywall

This is quite a new product that has been proven to be fairly effective for preventing the growth of mold. It claims to be highly mold-resistant and works by preventing from moistening the walls in the bathroom or the kitchen, for instance. Areas like bathrooms are kitchens in your home are ideal for using mold-tough drywalls primarily because these two spaces often have the most of water compared to the rest of the house.

Air Purifiers

As the name suggests, Air purifiers are mainly used to purify and filter the air around so that you can breathe in hygienic air. It traps all the dust, mold spores, and bacteria from the surroundings and prevents them from re-entering any indoor space inside your home. Simultaneously, air purifiers also greatly thwart the growth of mold, further preventing any kind of allergies or airborne illnesses. The best kind of air purifiers is the ones that come with an Activated Carbon filter and germicidal UV-C light. The latter stops the reproduction of mold spores while the former helps eliminate mold doors from the environment.

Bottom Line

These devices are extremely helpful, and you need to install either of these in all the mold-prone areas of your home if you really want to prevent a serious mold infestation problem from occurring.

Is Mold in Your Home

Is Mold in Your Home Putting Your Health at Risk?

It smells, it's unsightly, it can cause health problems, and it's just plain creepy. Mold—a general term that includes a variety of fungi—is one of the most common fears of homeowners. But is it really as terrifying as it seems? Learn more about mold and when you should really be concerned.

Why is it here?

Like mushrooms, mold reproduces through spores. Mold spores are infinitesimally small—roughly one-tenth the width of a human hair—and are pretty much everywhere. Mold thrives particularly in damp, warm environments such as your bathroom or basement.

If I find mold in my home, how worried should I be?

It depends. Those tiny mold spores, when inhaled, can induce allergic reactions in some people. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, these reactions include sneezing, red eyes, a runny nose, and skin rash. Mold can also provoke asthma attacks in asthmatic people. Those with underlying health conditions such as hypersensitive pneumonitis can also be at risk. Severe allergic reactions, including fever and shortness of breath, usually occur in people who have been exposed to lots of mold.

What about black mold?

You have probably heard of the dangers of black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum), but studies linking it to life-threatening health conditions in children and serious health problems in adults have been called into question for flawed methodology. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s best to treat all molds equally regarding their health risks and cleanup.

Can mold damage my home?

In most cases, no. Mold is simply a growth that can be removed with the proper procedures and equipment. However, if your house has suffered extensive water damage, mold can grow in your walls; it will require a complete renovation.

The presence of mold usually signals another problem. For example, a mold spot on the ceiling usually indicates a leak.

How about my property?

Mold will not necessarily destroy your items, but it can be a real hassle cleaning up. For example, if you have moldy books, you will need to carefully clean both the covers and the pages with a fine brush or cloth and with denatured alcohol. Rugs and mattresses need to be cleaned with as little water as possible and dried thoroughly in the sun.

Also, don’t just paint over mold spots. It won’t get rid of the mold, and the paint can peel.

I think I have mold. Now what?

Don’t worry—mold is common. Unless it’s a severe case of mold, like after a flood, you can usually clean up the mold yourself. If there is a lot of mold, or if you are highly allergic to it or have an underlying health condition, hire a professional.

To clean mold, the Center for Disease Control suggests using these items:

  • An N95 mask
  • Rubber boots and gloves
  • Goggles
  • Bleach mixture (1 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water)
  • A stiff brush or mop

While cleaning, be sure to ventilate the area. Scrub down the affected areas with the bleach mixture, rub down with clean water, and then air-dry using fans or sunlight.

Preventing mold

  • Mold likes humid environments, so eliminating moisture is the first step. Use ventilation fans or crack open windows in the bathroom when taking a shower, and be sure to draw the shower curtain when done.
  • In other humid areas, such as the basement, use a dehumidifier. According to the EPA, humidity levels should be below 60%.
  • If you spot a leak or spill, clean it up quickly. Mold won't typically grow if the liquid is cleaned up and dried within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Ventilation prevents moisture buildup. If you have mold in the kitchen, open windows or run ventilation fans when doing activities that increase temperatures, like cooking and running the dishwasher.
How to Clean Mold in my bathroom

How to Clean Mold in my bathroom

If you’ve never experienced bathroom mold, perhaps you aren’t looking deep enough into the corners of your bathroom. It’s one of the most common problems in any house; it’s also one of the easiest to prevent and cure — as long as you haven’t let it get out of hand.

Common Causes of Bathroom Mold

  • Lingering moisture caused by lack of ventilation
  • Leaky toilets, sinks, and plumbing pipes
  • Damp cellulose materials such as rugs, paper products, wood, wallpaper, grout, drywall, and fabric
  • So how do you know if you have a mold problem? Matt Cinelli, owner/operator of AERC Removals in North Attleboro, Mass., says, “If you can see it or smell it, you’ve got it.”

Finding the Mold in Your Bathroom

Bathroom mold isn’t always obvious. Check out hidden areas, such as under sinks, access doors to shower and bath fixtures, around exhaust fans, even in crawl spaces and basements underneath bathrooms.

“It could be starting in the bathroom but actually forming in another room,” says Cinelli, adding that lack of proper ventilation is the biggest culprit for mold growth.

Here are some tips for Preventing Mold

  • Use your bathroom ventilation fan when you shower or bathe, and leave it on for 30 minutes following the end of your bath; if you don’t have an exhaust fan, install one.
  • Keep household humidity levels below 50%; an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help.
  • Use a mildew-resistant shower curtain, and wash or replace it frequently.
  • Don’t keep bottles of shampoo or shower gel, toys, or loofahs in the shower, as they provide places for mold to grow and hide.
  • Wash your bathroom rugs frequently.

Getting Rid of Mold

What do you do if mold growth is already a problem? As long as the infestation isn’t large, you can take remedial measures yourself:

  • Strip away and replace any caulking or sealant that has mold growth.
  • Clean your bathroom with mold-killing products, such as bleach, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide. Just don’t mix those products; mixing can cause toxic reactions.
  • Open windows and doors while cleaning to provide fresh air and help dry out the mold.

If you have a problem area bigger than 10 square feet, refer to guidelines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or call in a professional.

“When you see it creeping into walls and insulation, you need a professional,” says Cinelli, who notes that tearing out walls (which may be necessary for a big problem) can release mold spores into the rest of the house and create an even bigger issue.

“The idea is to kill it and then remove it,” he says. “And the most important thing is to figure out why you have it before you clean it up.”

Can a color be used to identify the type of mold

Can a Color be Used to Identify the Type of Mold?

Can a color be used to identify the type of mold?

You cannot positively determine the exact type of mold based on the color. To determine the specific type of mold, you’ll need mold testing. However, color can be used to rule out certain types of mold. For example, Stachybotrys is always black. If you find white mold growth on a pair of shoes, you can rest assured it is not Stachybotrys. The same is true of chromium and a number of other mold types.

Unfortunately, many types of mold such as Cladosporium and Penicillium/Aspergillus come in a variety of colors. These molds can appear in everything from white or green to brown and black. This limits our ability to determine the exact type of mold by simply assessing its color. To fully identify the species or genus of the mold a sample must be collected and sent to a lab for analysis.

A tape lift sample is often the best method for determining the type of mold growth. In the photo below a sample of white mold is being taken from attic sheathing. Lab testing determined the growth was Acremonium.

Tape lift sample of white mold growing in the attic.
Tape lift sample of white mold growth.

Is white mold dangerous?

Many molds can provoke allergic responses in sensitive individuals. No area of significant mold growth within the home should be considered safe. Proper identification of the underlying cause, removal, and cleanup should be performed regardless of the color of the mold growth.

What tests are used to identify white mold?

Direct mold sampling can be used to identify the species of white mold. Types of direct sampling include tape lift, swab, and bulk samples. These samples are collected by a technician and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The lab will first determine if the suspect’s growth is mold, and if so, what species of mold.

Are there any special concerns for mold remediation when dealing with white mold?

Your approach to mold cleanup should remain the same regardless of the color. Remember, many types of molds, even non-toxic molds, are capable of causing an allergic response. Because of this, the color of the mold is inconsequential. Many non-allergenic molds are white, as are a number of allergenic molds. Confusing the issue, even more, is the fact that we simply don’t know the allergenic capabilities of the vast majority of molds. Conclusion = treat them all the same.