How To Battle Common Household Molds

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • June 19, 2018

Stop these common household molds from growing in your home and endangering your family.

Mold is one of the biggest threats to your safe and healthy home.

Molds are fungi that grow in warm, damp, and humid conditions both indoors and outdoors. They reproduce by making spores–spores can survive extremely harsh environmental conditions (even dry conditions) that normal molds cannot.

It is unknown just how many types of fungi exist but it’s estimated that the number ranges from 10,000-300,000, this is according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Of those, are the common indoor molds which include: Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Alternaria, Stachybotrys, and Memnoniella.

These common household molds vary in characteristics, where they grow, and their potential health effects.

Generally, molds come in shades of green, black, white, and orange but differ in texture, odor, and things they need to grow.

Most household molds are found in areas of our home that are prone to leaks and accumulate dampness like basements, attics, bathrooms, and heating/cooling systems, but they can also grow in carpets, ventilation ducts, and crawl spaces.

In addition to their musty odor and ugly appearance, molds can take a major toll on your health. Know the mold-related health symptoms to protect yourself from the potentially deadly illnesses associated with mold.  

The most common household molds include:

Cladosporium

Characteristics: Powdery green, brown, or black appearance in a wide variety of sizes and shapes

Where: Textiles, wood, moist window sills, and refrigerated foods

Health: Has the potential to cause a severe allergic reaction and is especially harmful to people with asthma, allergies, and weakened immune systems

Aspergillus

Characteristics: Grey, brown, yellow, green, white, or black color with the ability to grow very quickly

Where: Walls, insulation, and clothing in humid areas of the home

Health: Can cause infections in people with weak immune systems. Also, produces a carcinogen called aflatoxin.

Penicillium

Characteristics: Green, white, or blue color with a fuzzy appearance

Where: Food, walls, insulation, and moist organic matter

Health: Irritates the stomach if ingested. Airborne spores can cause congestion, coughing, and eye irritation.

Alternaria

Characteristics: Dark green, grey, or black with long, velvety hairs. Doesn’t need too much water to grow (like other molds do.)

Where: Carpet, clothing, around windows, and damp areas (flooded basements)

Health: Can lead to respiratory problems, asthma, or hay fever

Stachybotrys (AKA “toxic black mold”)

Characteristics: Dark green or black color and usually slimy

Where: Wet materials containing cellulose like walls, ceilings, floorboards, wicker and straw baskets, etc.

Health: Has the ability to cause cancer, headaches, asthma, dizziness, joint pain

Memnoniella 

Characteristics: Dark gray to black color. Very closely related to Stachybotrys

Where: Cotton, canvas, wool, ceilings, walls, and damp areas (like basements)

Health: Can lead to respiratory problems, headaches, and coughing

Avoiding these household molds can be simple. 

Mold spores needs certain elements to begin their growth, spread, and further reproduction. By ridding your home of the things that trigger mold spores, you’ll prevent mold problems all together. 

Mold needs:

  • A food sources 
  • Darkness 
  • Warmth
  • Oxygen 
  • Moisture 
  • Time (24-48 hours in the right conditions) 

To further prevent mold problems in your home, take precautionary measures such as these:

Water damage and mold growth typically go hand-in-hand. When you’re in need of water restoration and mold removal services, call the experts at Killingsworth who are available to assist you 24/7.

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