Types Of Mold
Did you know that there are literally thousands of molds that have been identified by scientists so far to date? And even though many have been scientifically classified, we really don’t always know which are good or bad. Some are dangerous while others can actually be helpful.
But one thing we do know, it’s not fun to have mold or mildew growing in your home. Even if they are not dangerous, the staining that mold causes can also cause a lot of money in order to get rid of the mold and then repair the damage it caused. The last thing you want to do is start ripping out walls or replacing carpets due to mold.
But of course the first thing is the safety of your family. That’s why I have started this article by quickly explaining which mold are which and what the differences are as far as how safe they are.
The most common types of mold are those that lurk in our homes are:
Alternaria – Alternaria is an allergenic usually found in soil, plants and in homes around window frames. When inhaled the airborne allergen can cause asthma, hay fever and many other common allergy symptoms.
Cladosporium – Cladosporium is a black or dark green powdery fungus that is found both indoors and outdoors. It grows on dead plants and food. It can also be found in some air ducts. The fungi can become airborne and cause asthma, hay fever, skin rashes and nail fungus.
Penicillium – Penicillium is one of the most common molds found in homes. It’s found in soil, food, rotting food and dust that can accumulate in the air. Penicillium can cause allergies, infections and even serious health problems in some people.
Memnoniella – Memnoniella is a fungus generally found on wood, paper and cotton. Most often it can be found where the toxic fungi known as stachybotrys is lurking. Because it is associated with the toxic fungi, memnoniella is considered dangerous.
Mucor – Mucor is a fungus that is generally found in animal feces, soil and dust accumulated in the home. Mucor is considered a minor allergen, but people with a weak immune system may develop a lung infection when exposed to the fungi.
Stachybotrys – Stachybotrys is a black mold that is known as a toxin. This dangerous fungus can be found where moisture lurks in the home. Stachybotrys can cause serious health problems such as headaches, asthma, respiratory infections, memory loss and even death in infants.
While the above are only a few of the many types of mold that are dangerous to our body’s health, not all are bad. Some molds have been used in medicines while others are even edible. It’s just a matter of knowing which is which and keeping them from doing any damage to your home.
Black Mold and Mildew
Did you know that there is a difference between toxic black mold and mildew? While both are a type of fungus (mold), mildew is not generally toxic, but it can cause allergy problems in some people. Toxic mold (aka toxic black mold) however, can be quite serious and when left undisturbed it can cause a wide arrange of health problems.
Yet despite their differences, both types of mold and mildew should never be left undisturbed for obvious health reasons and I honestly don’t know anyone who loves looking at a nasty fungus problem. And speaking of looking at them, the first thing you need to do is find them.
That means doing a comprehensive home inspection including any areas that no one normally uses like the basement and your attic. Check crawl spaces, places that have pipes that may be leaking, anywhere that is dark or damp.
However, before you run out and buy a mold and mildew remover or hire a professional for mold removal, you should keep in mind that black Mold is a toxin that requires special attention. A simple cleaner will not kill this type of fungus. You need to purchase a product that is designed for toxic mold.
While mildew is generally not dangerous, it’s a good idea that you wear protection when cleaning any fungus. You’ll need a pair of rubber gloves, goggles and a paper (surgical) mask for the job.
Both types of fungus rely on moisture. To minimize growth, repair and seal any leaks before you try to clean up the mold, even between tiles in your bathroom. Otherwise the mold will be back within a few weeks.
Keep things dry to prevent future fungal growth. Wipe down walls after bathing or showering, run exhaust fans and open windows when possible.
Don’t try to do it yourself when materical contaminate with toxic molds are more than 10 square feet. Instead, hire a professional black mold removal company to get the job done safely. If you’re worried about your budget, talk to your insurance company to see if the costs are covered. If not, find out if your city or county offers help for homes that have been invaded by mold.
If you can, invest in an exhaust fan for the laundry room, bathroom and kitchen. If you can’t afford to do so, consider investing in a few dehumidifiers to help reduce the moisture in your home.
Keep in mind that you cannot remove all mold from your home. There are literally hundreds of thousands of different molds that live among us and it is impossible not to have some of those molds inside of our home.
Don’t try to salvage anything that has been contaminated by black mold. It’s almost impossible to save wallpaper, drywall, paperwork and other delicate items. If it’s replaceable and non-salvageable, seal it in a plastic bag and throw it away.
And finally, don’t ignore the problem. It’s not going to go away and when black mold and mildew get out of hand, there’s no stopping it. At the very least, you may have to spend hundreds of dollars repair your home and at worst, you could end up losing your home or your life to the toxic mold. Black mold is nothing to play around with.
Always be prepared because your and your family’s good health could very well depend on it.