While black mold is one of the common types of mold found in buildings, it’s certainly not the only growth you might run across. Different types of mold have specific colors and textures and may cause different health concerns. Here’s how to identify various types of common household molds you need to know about.
Stachybotrys Chartarum (Black Mold)
- Where does it grow? Stachybotrys Chartarum typically grows in places that are constantly moist, such as shower tiles, around leaky pipes, or on areas that produce a lot of condensation.
- What does it look like? Black mold, as you may have guessed, is black in color and has a slimy texture. It also produces a noticeably musty odor, which is a warning sign that black mold is growing somewhere nearby.
- What health problems are linked to black mold? Of all household molds, black mold is linked to the most health problems. Exposure can cause hay fever-like symptoms (including runny nose, nasal congestion, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, itchy throat and sinus pressure), asthma attacks, sinus infections, and even fatigue and depression. Young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems or immune system disorders are particularly susceptible to health problems caused by exposure to black mold.
- Where does it grow? While it’s considered one of the most common outdoor molds, Alternaria also grows indoors. It likes damp spots, such as showers and under leaky pipes, but Alternaria also thrives in areas with minimal moisture, such as in ductwork or upholstery.
- What does it look like? The mold is dark in color and has a downy or woolly texture.
- What health problems are linked to Alternaria? This mold is one of the most likely to cause allergic reactions in people. Hay fever-like symptoms typically follow exposure to Alternaria and it may even cause you to develop asthma.
- Where does it grow? Usually, Cladosporium begins growing outside on plant material and enters the house through open windows and doors. Once inside, Cladosporium colonies may form on wooden surfaces, carpeting, insulation, bathroom ceilings, wallpaper, foundation walls and other surfaces in rooms with poor ventilation.
- What does it look like? This is another type of black mold, though it’s not the toxic Stachybotrys Chartarum. In fact, the color ranges from olive green to black depending on the species and has a powdery texture.
- What health problems are linked to Cladosporium? Respiratory problems such as coughing and sneezing plus itchy eyes and runny nose are common symptoms. In addition, Cladosporium can cause problems with your skin and nails if you make physical contact with the mold. However, Cladosporium is really only a problem if you are specifically allergic to this type of mold.
- Where does it grow? This mold loves to grow on rotting foods and fabrics, from bread and cookies to mattresses and couch cushions. It also feels at home growing on insulation, carpet and wallpaper and spreads rapidly from place to place. As one of the most common types of mold, Penicillium is actually what penicillin is made from.
- What does it look like? Penicillium is green or blue and has a fuzzy texture.
- What health problems are linked to Penicillium? Exposure to Penicillium can cause chronic sinus infections, lung inflammation and hay fever-like symptoms.
Testing mold samples in a lab can uncover which types of mold you have growing in your home, but it doesn’t really matter. If you find any mold growth at home, it’s important to have it removed. For help assessing and removing mold growth, please contact Rainbow International® today.