10 Most Common Types of Mold in Homes
Mold can be an unsightly and harmful problem that affects many households, particularly in Florida’s hot and humid subtropical climate.
Mold is a fungus that grows best in damp, humid, and warm environments.
Its spores, which are best compared to invisible seeds, can spread easily and contaminate the air, causing allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and other health issues. Even smaller than mold spores themselves are mycotoxins, a metabolic byproduct of certain molds that can be much more harmful to humans than mold itself.
There are 10 common molds found in homes, but more than 100,000 types of mold have been discovered thus far. These molds can be many different colors, and even the same type of mold can be more than one color.
Most importantly, some molds like more dry conditions, while the most dangerous of molds are typically found in areas that have been very wet for a very long time.
The 3 Classifications of Mold
The mold types most commonly found in homes may be either allergenic, pathogenic, or toxic molds.
- Allergenic molds can cause allergic reactions, such as sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes.
- Pathogenic molds can cause infections in people with weakened immune systems.
- Toxic molds can produce mycotoxins that can be very harmful to both humans and pets.
10 Types of Mold Most Often Found in Homes
|#||Name of Mold||About|
|1||Acremonium||Acremonium is commonly found in air conditioning systems, humidifiers, and drain pans. It can cause health problems such as immune system suppression and respiratory problems.|
|2||Alternaria||Alternaria is commonly found in damp areas such as showers, sinks, and basements. It can cause allergies and asthma.|
|3||Aspergillus||Aspergillus is commonly found in air conditioning systems, compost, and dust. It can cause allergies and lung infections.|
|4||Aureobasidium||This mold is commonly found on painted surfaces, wooden furniture, and wallpaper. It can cause allergies and eye, skin, and nail infections.|
|5||Chaetomium||Chaetomium is commonly found in water-damaged homes and buildings. It can cause allergies and infections.|
|6||Cladosporium||Cladosporium is most commonly found in damp areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. It can cause allergies and respiratory problems.|
|7||Fusarium||Fusarium is commonly found in water-damaged homes and buildings. It can cause allergies and infections.|
|8||Mucor||Mucor is commonly found in air conditioning systems, compost, and dust. It can cause allergies and respiratory problems.|
|9||Penicillium||Penicillium is commonly found in water-damaged homes and buildings, and it can grow on food. It can cause allergies and lung infections.|
|10||Stachybotrys||Stachybotrys is commonly found in water-damaged homes and buildings. It is also known as “black mold” and can cause allergies, respiratory problems, and neurological symptoms.|
List and Examples of the 10 Most Common Household Molds
Following is a list of the 10 types of mold most commonly found in homes, including where it appears and why, and what affects it can cause if left untreated.
Acremonium is a type of mold that is commonly found in soil, decaying vegetation, and on food. It can also be found in air conditioning systems, humidifiers, and cooling coils. This mold type is known to produce a toxin called trichothecene, which can cause health problems if ingested or inhaled.
When exposed to Acremonium, individuals may experience symptoms such as respiratory issues, skin irritation, and headaches. Long-term exposure to this mold type can lead to more serious health problems, including immunosuppression and cancer.
To prevent Acremonium growth, it is important to control moisture levels in indoor environments. This can be achieved by fixing leaks, using dehumidifiers, and ensuring proper ventilation. It is also recommended to clean air conditioning systems and humidifiers regularly to prevent mold growth.
Alternaria is a common type of mold found both indoors and outdoors. It thrives in damp environments and can be found on a variety of surfaces, including plants, soil, and food.
Exposure to Alternaria can cause allergic reactions in some people, including symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. It can also trigger asthma attacks in individuals with asthma.
Alternaria can be identified by its appearance, which includes a velvety texture and a dark green or black color. It produces spores that can spread easily through the air, making it important to address any areas of mold growth promptly.
Aspergillus is a common mold that is found both indoors and outdoors. It is a type of fungus that can grow on a variety of surfaces, including food, soil, and plants. There are over 200 different species of Aspergillus, but only a few of them are known to cause health problems in humans.
Aspergillus can cause a variety of health problems, depending on the species and the individual’s immune system. Some species of Aspergillus can cause allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems. In rare cases, Aspergillus can cause serious infections, such as invasive aspergillosis, which can be life-threatening.
Aspergillus is commonly found in damp indoor environments, such as bathrooms and kitchens. It can also be found in soil, compost piles, and decaying vegetation. To prevent Aspergillus growth, it is important to keep indoor environments dry and well-ventilated, and to avoid creating conditions that promote mold growth.
Aureobasidium is a type of mold that is commonly found on damp walls, wallpaper, and wooden surfaces. It is known for its black or brown color and velvet-like texture. Aureobasidium can cause allergies and respiratory problems, and it is especially harmful to people with weakened immune systems.
Aureobasidium can grow in both indoor and outdoor environments, and it thrives in areas with high humidity and moisture. It is often found in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements, as well as in areas that have experienced water damage.
To prevent the growth of Aureobasidium, it is important to keep indoor spaces dry and well-ventilated. This can be achieved by using dehumidifiers, fixing leaks, and ensuring proper ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens. In addition, it is recommended to regularly clean and disinfect surfaces that are prone to mold growth, such as shower curtains and bathroom tiles.
Chaetomium is a common type of mold that can be found in water-damaged homes, especially those that have been flooded or have experienced water leaks. It has a cottony texture and usually appears white, gray, or greenish-black in color.
Chaetomium can cause health problems, especially for people with weakened immune systems or allergies. Exposure to chaetomium can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and eye irritation. Some studies have also suggested that chaetomium may be linked to neurological problems.
To prevent chaetomium growth, it is important to address any water damage or leaks promptly. Proper ventilation and humidity control can also help prevent mold growth.
Cladosporium is a type of mold that can be found both indoors and outdoors. It is one of the most common types of mold and can grow on a variety of surfaces, including wood, paper, and textiles.
While Cladosporium is generally not harmful to healthy individuals, it can cause respiratory problems in people with weakened immune systems or allergies. Symptoms may include coughing, wheezing, and eye irritation.
Cladosporium can often be identified by its olive-green or brown color and its characteristic “velvety” texture. It typically grows in colonies and can produce a musty odor.
To prevent the growth of Cladosporium, it is important to keep indoor spaces clean and dry. This includes regularly cleaning and drying surfaces, fixing any leaks or water damage, and maintaining proper ventilation.
Fusarium is a common type of mold that is found in soil, plants, and grains. It can also grow in humid and damp environments, such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.
Exposure to Fusarium can cause health problems in some people, especially those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms may include respiratory problems, eye irritation, and skin rashes.
Fusarium can also produce mycotoxins, which are toxic substances that can cause illness in humans and animals. These mycotoxins can contaminate food and feed, and cause health problems when ingested.
To prevent Fusarium growth, it is important to keep indoor environments dry and well-ventilated. Any water damage or leaks should be repaired promptly, and humidity levels should be kept below 50 percent.
Mucor is a type of mold that is commonly found in soil, plant surfaces, and decaying organic matter. It can also be found in indoor environments, especially in damp areas such as basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.
This mold can cause health problems for people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy. It can also cause allergic reactions in some people, with symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
Mucor is a fast-growing mold that can quickly spread to other areas if not properly contained. It thrives in warm and humid environments, making it important to control moisture levels in indoor spaces. Regular cleaning and proper ventilation can also help prevent the growth of Mucor.
Penicillium is a type of mold that is commonly found in soil, food, and indoor environments. It is also the mold that is used to produce the antibiotic penicillin.
Penicillium can grow on a variety of surfaces, including food items such as bread, cheese, and fruits. It is also commonly found in damp areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
Exposure to Penicillium can cause respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. It can also cause allergic reactions in some people.
Prevention of Penicillium growth includes keeping indoor environments dry and well-ventilated, promptly cleaning up any water damage or leaks, and properly storing and disposing of food items.
Stachybotrys is a type of mold that is commonly referred to as black mold. It is a greenish-black mold that grows on materials that are high in cellulose, such as paper, fiberboard, and gypsum board. Stachybotrys is known for producing mycotoxins, which are toxic substances that can cause health problems in humans and animals.
Stachybotrys is often found in areas that have been affected by water damage, such as leaky roofs, pipes, or windows. It can also grow in areas with high humidity, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Stachybotrys can cause a variety of health problems, including respiratory issues, allergies, and headaches.
Stachybotrys can be identified by its greenish-black color and slimy texture. It can also have a musty odor. If you suspect that you have Stachybotrys in your home, it is important to have it professionally removed as soon as possible to prevent health problems.
If you suspect you have unsafe levels of mold in your home, call Mold Solutions for a free environmental consultation.
Mold Hotspots in a Home
Mold can be found in various places in a home, but what they all have in common is that there is water or moisture present, and there is an organic material of some kind that the mold can live off of. Mold can grow in 24-28 hours, but if left alone long enough, mold will consume and destroy the surfaces it grows on.
Well before it does that, however, it will be impacting and affecting the health of a home’s occupants—both people and pets, some of whom will be affected more obviously than others.
Treatment methods for mold vary depending on the severity of the problem—not on the type of mold—and solutions to mold usually include cleaning, drying, and physically removing affected building materials. Collectively, these actions are called “mold remediation.”
Mold is a type of fungus that grows in damp and humid environments. It can be found both indoors and outdoors, and it can grow on almost any surface, including wood, paper, carpet, and food.
Mold spores can travel through the air and can be found in almost any environment. The air ducts and A/C system of a home is one of the most common sources of mold problems that our technicians find in Clearwater, Palm Harbor, Tampa, and other areas around the Bay..
While mold is a natural part of the environment, it can cause health problems when it grows indoors.
Exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and other health issues.
Mold can also cause damage to the structure of a building and can lead to expensive repairs.
Shortlist of Potential Health Effects Caused by Mold
- Allergic reactions: Mold can cause allergic reactions in some people, including hay fever-like symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash.
- Asthma: People with asthma may experience asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath, when exposed to mold.
- Lung infections: People with weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases may develop lung infections when exposed to mold.
- Headaches: Some people may experience headaches when exposed to mold.
- Fatigue: Exposure to mold may cause fatigue in some people.
- Irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat: Mold can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, causing symptoms such as burning, itching, and redness.
- Dizziness: Some people may experience dizziness when exposed to mold.
- Memory problems: Exposure to mold may cause memory problems in some people.
- Anxiety and depression: Some people may experience anxiety and depression when exposed to mold.
If you suspect that you have a mold problem in your home, please do yourself and your family the favor of having it properly treated. Call Mold Solutions for a free environmental consultation.
Parts of a Home Most Likely to be Affected by Mold
Air Conditioners and Ducting
Air conditioners and ducting are often overlooked when it comes to mold growth. They can be—and in Florida, usually are—a breeding ground for mold if not properly maintained. Mold can grow on the coils, drip pans, and air ducts of air conditioning units. This can lead to the spread of mold spores throughout the home via the air conditioning system.
To prevent mold growth in air conditioning units, it is important to regularly clean and maintain them. This includes changing air filters, cleaning coils and drip pans, and having ducts professionally cleaned on a regular basis.
Mold can grow behind walls due to water leaks or high humidity levels. This can be a difficult area to detect mold growth, as it is not visible. However, signs of mold growth behind walls can include a musty odor or visible mold growth on the surface of walls.
To prevent mold growth behind walls, it is important to address any water leaks or high humidity levels in the home. This can include fixing plumbing leaks, using a dehumidifier in areas with high humidity, and ensuring proper ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens.
Bathrooms are a common area for mold growth due to the high levels of moisture and humidity. Mold can grow on shower curtains, tiles, grout, and in the corners of the bathroom.
To prevent mold growth in bathrooms, it is important to regularly clean and maintain them. This includes wiping down shower curtains and tiles after each use, using a fan or opening a window to reduce humidity, and regularly cleaning grout with a mold-killing solution.
Areas of Poor Airflow
Areas of poor airflow, such as closets, basements, and attics, can be a breeding ground for mold. This is because stagnant air can lead to high humidity levels, which can promote mold growth.
To prevent mold growth in areas of poor airflow, it is important to ensure proper ventilation. This can include installing vents or fans, opening windows, and using a dehumidifier in areas with high humidity.
Attics, Crawl Spaces and Basements
Attics, crawl spaces, and basements are often dark, damp, and poorly ventilated, making them a prime location for mold growth. Mold can grow on insulation, walls, and floors in these areas.
To prevent mold growth in attics, crawl spaces, and basements, it is important to ensure proper ventilation and moisture control. This can include installing vents or fans, sealing any leaks or cracks, and using a dehumidifier in areas with high humidity.