Types of Mold: Common Types of Mold That Cause Damage and Pose Health Risks in Your Home or Business
Mold is a general term that covers a wide variety of airborne fungus that occurs naturally all around us. Most types of mold aid in the decomposition of organic material like leaves, wood, and fruits and vegetables in the presence of moisture. Carpeting, drywall, and many other building materials are made of organic substances very similar to the natural compounds they decompose. If those items remain wet for even just a few hours, it’s possible that mold can move in and thrive.
How Mold Damages Your Property
Mold spores actually exist all around us, but they thrive in the presence of cellulose-based materials and moisture. Whether it’s a pile of damp leaves in a forest or section of wet drywall in your basement, mold from the air will land on those materials and begin to break down those substances. Leaves are significantly less complex than the gypsum material in drywall, but the end result is the same.
The mold will continue to reproduce, slowly decomposing the material until it is completely gone. The process leaves a dusty, dirt-like material behind. In nature, that mineral-rich substance mixes in with actual dirt and helps new plants grow. In your home or business, it will slowly consume your walls, carpeting, or ceiling, leaving a mess behind.
Common Types of Mold Found in Your Home and Business
Certain molds are more likely to cause damage or pose a health risk than others. Since there are more than 100,000 species of mold, this is by no means an exhaustive list. However, these are the most common types of mold you will find in your home or business.
Absidia is commonly found in carpeting, mattresses, potted plant soil, and bird droppings. Some species pose the risk of infection, especially to those with weak immune systems or intravenous drug users.
Acremonium is usually found in fiberglass insulation, windowsills, carpeting, mattresses, drywall, and wallpaper. It grows in especially wet conditions, where cellulose-base materials remain constantly wet. It poses little risk to healthy individuals, but those with immune deficiencies may experience pulmonary infections and fungal infections of the nails or cornea.
Alternaria is a type of mold know for its large spores. It is usually found in carpeting and other textiles, dust, plant soil, window frames, and showers. It can cause an allergic reaction if it enters the mouth, nose, or upper respiratory tract. Symptoms vary from mild to severe depending on the individual.
A common component of dust, Aspergillus is typically found in warmer climates. This specific type of mold prefers wetter conditions and is usually found in areas with high humidity or levels of moisture.
This includes compost piles, fall leaves, wet building materials, and areas where water damage is not resolved quickly. It can produce severe allergy symptoms or even disease in both humans and animals.
Another common type of mold is Cladosporium. It commonly appears a dusty, powdery substance that appears from olive-green to brown and black. It is commonly found in HVAC systems and airways, as well as in carpeting, fabrics, wood, and other porous materials. Cladosporium may cause nail fungus, asthma aggravation, as well as pulmonary issues and skin rashes or other irritations.
Memmoniella is another common type of mold, usually found in canvas, woolen fabrics, cotton, and hardboard. Similar to Stachybotrys, it produces similarly slimy heads but forms thread-link chains.
Commonly found in wet drywall and other types of gypsum board, it can pose a significant health risk to humans and animals. Symptoms include severe allergies, with the young, elderly, and those with chronic respiratory or immune issues prone to even more acute issues.
Another common mold is Mucor, which is found in soil, animal waste, digestive systems, and plant surfaces. A fast-growing mold, Mucor species typically appear white, beige, or grey.
While most species of Mucor will not grow at body temperatures, a few strains may cause infections in the eyes, respiratory systems, skin, and, in extremely rare cases, the brain. Those with extensive burns, diabetes, and immune deficiencies, as well as intravenous drug users, are most likely to develop infections from Mucor exposure.
Penicillium is one of the most famous types of mold, having helped produce the antibiotic penicillin. It causes food to spoil and is often found in leather, carpeting, drywall, mattresses, wallpaper, and upholstery.
Despite the relationship to penicillin, it can cause allergic reactions and other symptoms in some individuals. Some species may cause more severe symptoms in immunocompromised individuals
Commonly called the deadliest and most dangerous type of mold, Stachybotrys is better known as black mold. While Stachybotrys does pose health risks, they are commonly overstated.
Despite being linked to the death of infants in the early 1990s, scientists have been unable to definitively confirm black mold was the root cause of these deaths. Still, sensational news reports and opportunistic marketing has perpetuated these rumors. These reports and market often take advantage of the fact that many species of mold appear black and cause adverse health effects.
Stachybotrys can be found in soil and cellulose-rich materials like grains, plant debris, hay, straw, wood pulp, paper, and cotton. In buildings, it is likely to grow on walls, carpeting, wood, and paneling that is wet for an extended period of time.
Call Now for Mold Removal and Water Damage Restoration
Since it requires cellulose-based materials and moisture, mold is common after a water event or water damage. The easiest way to prevent mold in your home or business is to clean up water damage immediately. This includes extracting the standing water as well as completely drying out the affected materials.
If you have water damage or suspect you have mold, Restoration Local can help. The trained and experienced mold removal and water damage restoration companies in our network will remove the water, treat for mold, and restore your property to its original condition.
Call 1-888-443-3110 now for a free, no-obligation estimate. We always offer 24-hour emergency service and a 30-minute response time. Let our compassionate and dependable restoration specialists give you peace of mind in an emergency.