Mold is something that many homeowners and business owners are familiar with. It is terrible for our homes and buildings and can be expensive and challenging to get rid of, but it also poses potential health risks to people of all ages. However, because mold comes in various types, some of which are more dangerous than others, knowing what you’re up against and which types are hazardous to your health is critical.
Mold is an all-too-common occurrence that can cause severe problems for those who live with it. Knowing which mold species are harmful to your health allows you to start the process of seeking professional assistance to reduce your exposure to them. In this article, we’ll examine what mold is and what causes it to grow, as well as the various types of molds and the health effects of being exposed to mold growth.
Continue reading below to learn more and find out why National Catastrophe Restoration, Inc. should be your first call if you discover mold growth in your home or building.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus composed of tiny organisms that can be found almost anywhere, regardless of climate and environment. Molds thrive in moist environments, typically on damp or decaying organic matter, and reproduce via tiny, lightweight spores that float through the air.
Although mold plays a vital role in nature by decomposing dead leaves, plants, and trees and is usually harmless in small amounts, when mold spores land on a damp surface in your home or building, they can begin to grow, resulting in spores releasing into the air. Too much exposure to mold growth can result in health problems, some of which can be potentially dangerous.
Common Types of Mold
While many may believe that all mold is the same, this type of fungal growth is extremely diverse and comes in a wide range of shapes, colors, and varieties. While no one wants to experience a mold problem in their home or building, mold is sometimes unavoidable. As a result, knowing which types of mold you might be exposed to and which kinds are hazardous can help you avoid serious health risks in the future.
Here are some of the more common types of mold that, if left untreated, can pose serious health risks to you and your family.
Acremonium is a common mold found in small moist areas, such as humidifiers, cooling coils, drain pans, window sealants, and in homes or buildings that have experienced water damage. This type of mold growth spreads slowly, making it easier to catch than other molds.
Alternaria is commonly found under sinks, in bathtubs, and along shower bases where moisture can accumulate. You can also find it in carpets, wallpaper, textiles, window frames, and air conditioning systems. Alternaria spreads quickly and often requires a professional air test and surface sampling to determine if this type of mold is present in your home or building.
Aspergillus is another common mold that can grow on any damp surface, as well as walls, paper, and clothing. It quickly spreads throughout the house or building via the HVAC ducts, especially when the heat is turned on. Luckily, most Aspergillus strains are harmless and can be removed with a chemical or antifungal treatment.
Aureobasidium is a common indoor mold found in bathrooms, kitchens, tile grout, window frames, caulking, textiles, and air conditioning units. This mold can also grow on bare wood, painted surfaces, and under wallpaper when removed from the walls. It’s critical to keep any home or building clean to prevent the spread of Aureobasidium, an allergenic mold, as inhaling the spores can result in typical symptoms like sneezing and watery eyes.
Chaetomium is a mold that you can find on old or damaged wood, as well as on water-damaged drywall, wallpaper, carpets, and window frames. Because this mold thrives on humidity and darkness, Chaetomium spores frequently begin growing within interior wall stud spaces and may go undetected until the mold spreads to the exterior of the wall.
Chaetomium is extremely dangerous for people with weakened immune systems and requires professional mold remediation services to remove.
Cladosporium is one of the more hardy molds, able to grow in any temperature, and is often found in places that don’t get much sunlight and have poor ventilation, such as basements or attics. It can also be found beneath sinks and inside cabinets, as well as textiles, wood, and moist window sills. Because Cladosporium can cause serious infections, it is best to leave its removal to a professional.
While many molds require active water damage to grow, Penicillium can thrive in dry or humid conditions. Although it needs consistent moisture to grow, it can quickly spread through damp wallboard, wallpaper, and carpeting. Professional mold remediation is recommended once Penicillium has spread.
Trichoderma is a mold commonly found hiding in carpets, wallpaper, wooden furniture, and flooring. It also thrives in damp environments and can be located near a leaky window or around a shower base. If your property has been contaminated by Trichoderma mold, professional mold remediation will be required, and some areas may require repairs.
Another type of mold that appears after flooding or water damage is Ulocladium. To get rid of this mold in your home or building, you’ll need to thoroughly clean with antimicrobial chemicals and consider installing a dehumidifier to prevent the mold from returning. However, if you suspect the presence of Ulocladium mold, the best course of action is to contact a mold remediation expert.
Stachybotrys, also known as “black mold” due to its black color, is a toxic mold that thrives in wet conditions and is most commonly found on cellulose-type materials such as wood and drywall. It can cause various physical symptoms, including severe headaches, nosebleeds, upper-respiratory discomfort, and fatigue. If your property is infested with black mold, contact a mold removal professional who can test the mold strain and remove it.
Adverse Health Effects of Household Mold
Depending on the type of mold and the intensity and length of exposure, mold can be highly toxic and have long-term effects on your family’s health. While many people do not consider mold exposure an emergency, if you have a severe health condition, mold exposure puts you at a higher risk of health complications.
Long-term mold exposure is linked to severe respiratory infections, chronic coughing, headaches, watery eyes, fatigue, and asthma. Repeated mold exposure can also increase a person’s sensitivity to fungal growth, resulting in more severe allergic reactions.
When touched or inhaled, mold spores can cause hay fever-like symptoms such as congestion, sore throat, eye and lung irritation, and skin rash. Additionally, under certain conditions, certain molds can produce mycotoxins, resulting in more severe illnesses. These health issues are exacerbated in indoor settings, where mold can cause poor indoor air quality.
Contact the Mold Remediation Specialists at NCRI
Mold growth is something that is not to be taken lightly. If your family has been exposed, whether you were able to eradicate it early or are unsure how long it has been present, it is critical to see a health professional as soon as possible. It may also be in your best interest to seek the assistance of a mold remediation professional to help you resolve the mold problem in your property.
At National Catastrophe Restoration, Inc., we understand that mold damage is a complicated problem that requires the services of a professionally trained team. Our highly-trained crew members and supervisors have over 50 years of disaster response experience and specialize in a wide range of mold remediation services.
Whether your home or building is experiencing visible or unseen mold damage, you can count on NCRI’s 24/7 mold remediation services to take immediate and effective action. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our residential and commercial mold remediation services, contact National Catastrophe Restoration, Inc. today and speak with one of our specialists about how we can help solve your mold problem.