Technically, we don’t have complete knowledge about all the different types of mold and fungi out there in the world, though there are believed to be roughly 100,000 types of mold, many of which have a decent chance of appearing in your home. The good news is that there are a few specific species that are a lot more likely to appear in a home, whether they’re stemming from humid conditions, excess water damage, or flooding. Here are some of the key examples.
Aspergillus mold: This very common type of mold can be found just about anywhere and is known to cause allergic aspergillosis when its spores are inhaled. This generally causes minor allergic symptoms for healthy adults, but can lead to more pronounced issues in children, the elderly, or those recovering from surgery and serious illnesses.
Cladosporium mold: Another of the more common types of mold you can encounter in your home, Cladosporium is a black or green “pepper like” substance that is often seen on the back of toilets, as well as fiberglass air ducts and painted surfaces. This mold is non-toxic, but it can cause allergic reactions like a sore throat and rashes.
Fusarium: This mold is similar to Cladosporium and can survive in both warm and cold conditions. Generally, it is found in carpeting, wallpaper, and other types of fabric. The major difference is that in time, Fusarium can become toxic. This means that its impact is far more severe, including bone infections and even internal bleeding.
Aureobasidium mold: This allergenic mold is generally found behind wallpaper or on painted surfaces, which can make it hard to locate. When you do see this, it has a pink, brown, or black color that gets darker as it ages. It can lead to eye, skin, and nail infections.
We should take some time to discuss the concept of “toxic mold” as part of this conversation. To be clear, mold can be hazardous to your health, but there are a lot of misconceptions. For example, only 50 species of mold out there truly have components that can be considered to be “toxic.” Toxic, in this case, doesn’t necessarily mean that the mold is toxic, but that it creates toxic compounds known as mycotoxins.
The most prominent example of this is Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold. Black mold is commonly seen in flood-damaged buildings and areas. While some non-toxic molds can trigger allergic reactions, common symptoms of toxic molds include wheezing, chronic sneezing, coughing, eye irritation, and even regular serious headaches. Left unchecked, it can also cause issues like fatigue, depression, and breathing problems. Black mold is generally found in air conditioning pipes and ducts.
It can be difficult to identify different types of mold, and if you want to get technical, mold doesn’t have to be “toxic mold” to cause discomfort for any occupants. This is why, no matter what type of mold you are dealing with, it’s best for you to start mold remediation as soon as possible to avoid any health issues in your household. In addition, the quicker you act, the less expensive your remediation project could be.
If you have more questions about mold remediation, be sure to look at our all-purpose guide on the subject (Think You Need Home Mold Remediation?). The best way to start the remediation process is by using professionals like Total Care Restoration. Not only do we believe in doing the most for our customers in the Miami area, but we’re also IICRC-certified. We have the experience and expertise to figure out what type of mold you are dealing with and help bring it down from potentially dangerous levels.