Best known for its beautiful beaches, weather, and freedom—and its fair share of memes—Florida is unfortunately also considered by several experts to be the moldiest state in the U.S.
Since humidity and mold go hand-in-hand, it should come as no surprise that the afternoon warmth and wetness that causes you to sweat and perspire can also wreak havoc on the health of your Florida home and your family.
Mold spores are everywhere and where there is wetness or moisture, there eventually will also be mold growth.
- Beneath leaky pipes.
- Inside the toilet bowl and tank.
- On wet carpet and on wet clothes.
- Inside of air ducts and air conditioning units.
- On wet carpet and on wet clothes.
- Inside wall cavities and behind the “drywall” in showers.
“Give me 24-48 hours of moisture, and I’ll grow you a thriving, colorful colony.” — Mold everywhere.
More than 100,000 different types of mold have been identified, and they can be almost any color you can imagine. What does color tell us about mold?
10 Most Important Basics of Mold Colors and Their Meanings
1. Mold can grow to be almost any color, and it can change color over time as the environment and the amount of available moisture changes over time.
2. Color alone won’t tell you what type of mold you’re dealing with, but it is one of a couple of indicators that can give you a pretty good idea of what you’re dealing with.
3. Microbial testing is the only way to know for certain what type of mold is present in an area. But seasoned mold remediation professionals don’t always rely on testing alone for a number of reasons.
4. The color of mold does not determine what type of mold remediation or removal is done. The type of mold and its location and volume do.
5. A mold colony can be a variety of different colors, whether it’s made up of one type of mold or many types of mold.
6. Classic mold colors include black, dark green, bright green, pink (in toilet bowls), and white (on foods.)
7. Toxic black mold isn’t always black. In fact, it is usually a dark green color, with spots or sections of blackness. The blackest areas seen in a black mold colony are the areas where moisture or water is most prevalent.
8. The #1 determining factor in what color mold is is its growth environment, because certain molds appreciate certain environments, temperatures, and moisture levels, etc. White mold for example, can grow with very, very little moisture. Black mold on the other hand requires a much greater volume of moisture in order to grow.
9. Mold is not classified by color, but by species and subspecies. The layperson’s “black mold,” is technically known as Stachybotrys. The layperson’s “white mold” is usually penicillium or aspergillus.
10. It’s not always the color that matters, but the size and location of a mold problem that should be most concerning to you.
The Many Colors of Mold: What They Are, What They Mean
As molds grow, they can take on different shades, colors, and hues, with some of the most frequent colors being green, black, white, purple, pink, brown, orange, and yellow.
Although the color of the mold is not always indicative of its danger level, recognizing specific colors can be a decent first step in identifying and addressing a mold problem.
Different types of mold can appear to be the same or a very similar color as one another, making it challenging to determine the probable species or its potential level of danger.
When to Call Mold Solutions
As a general rule, mold growth should concern you in the following instances.
These are indications that you are dealing with a mold problem that is large enough or severe enough to cause you actual harm and ill health effects, and that it would be in your best interest to call Mold Solutions for a free consultation.
Mold growth that is large or spread out is cause for concern. You should call us before dealing with any mold growth that’s larger than about a small window—10 square feet. Honestly, you are better off calling a mold professional than dealing with even this size of mold growth, as it is usually a sign of a wider spread problem. And, that mold will return if the source and cause of it is not corrected.
Mold in a bedroom, common space, or an air conditioning unit is a good sign you should call us. Mold that’s hidden and which you see only a small portion of is a reason to have us on speed dial. Humor aside, hidden mold is one of the most serious problems we deal with for most homeowners in Florida. The reason for this is simple: That mold has had all the time in the world to grow and affect the health of your home. Since it was hidden behind a wall, behind a shower, or under a bathtub, it is very, very likely to require professional mold remediation. Most homeowners are as equipped to deal with hidden mold growth as they are to do their own surgeries. It’s messy. And it has to be done correctly.
If you suspect that mold in your home or your air ducts might be causing problems for you or your family members, professional mold remediation is always best. The oldest and youngest members of a family, and the women of the family, are technically most likely to be the first affected by mold growth.
The color of mold is not necessarily a reason to call in a professional, unless the mold growth is large or hidden. Of course, if you suspect that something is “black mold” and you want it checked out by a professional for your own peace of mind, please, by all means, call us. We will be happy to perform a free environmental consultation in your home.
What Does the Color of Mold Indicate?
More than anything else, the color of mold is a reflection of its growth environment.
That’s true simply because different mold’s appreciate different environments.
Most black molds need plenty of water, so are usually found under bathtubs, behind shower walls, and under floor boards where plenty of water has had plenty of time to sit.
Most “pink molds” also appreciate plenty of water—in fact, they tend to thrive almost directly submerged in water—so you’ll typically find them in your toilet and toilet bowl. Simply clean it and flush the toilet, which is one of the very few places you can actually use bleach to get rid of mold. (Fun fact: So-called pink mold isn’t actually a mold, but a bacteria.)
Most white molds appreciate drier environments (but still require some moisture to grow), so you’ll usually find them on vertical surfaces in high-humidity areas, and on soft, moist foods such as bread.
More Mold Colors
Where You’ll Often Find Them, and What They Might Mean
Green molds such as Cladosporium and Aspergillus can be seen on walls, carpets, and damp areas. They may cause allergenic reactions, making it important to address the issue immediately.
Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly known as black mold, is a toxigenic mold that produces mycotoxins. It usually grows in damp areas with high cellulose materials like wallpaper, drywall, cardboard, carpet, etc.
Appears powdery or fluffy (cottony). Often grows on wood, drywall, and plants. Some white molds, such as Acremonium and Penicillium, can be allergenic or toxigenic.
Known as Serpula lacrymans, “yellow mold” is an allergenic mold that feeds mostly on wood. Can cause wood decay and damage to structures.
Blue mold, like Penicillium, grows in damp and cool areas. It is an allergenic mold that may cause sinus infections or breathing problems in sensitive individuals.
Include species like Pithomyces chartarum, Mucor, Aureobasidium pullulans, and Stemonitis. Most brown molds are generally safe to be around, with Mucor being an exception.
Usually forms in damp and poorly ventilated areas. It can appear slimy or powdery, and its presence suggests that there may be an underlying moisture problem.
Pink mold, despite its name, is not an actual mold but rather a type of bacteria called Serratia marcescens. Typically grows on damp surfaces like shower curtains and bathroom tiles.
Red mold is often found on wood or building materials. It can be allergenic and might cause respiratory problems if not addressed quickly.
Purple mold is less common but can still be found in homes. It may cause allergic reactions and should be removed promptly.
Call Mold Solutions
If you are concerned about the presence of mold in your home, call Mold Solutions for a free environmental consultation.