Updated: Apr 21, 2020
Without our knowledge, we have made a home for several molds on the food that we have stored to date. But, we still don’t know how to identify them. (Guess what the Pumpkin and bread pictures posted here are from my kitchen!)
The article list the eight common types of mold that grow in our homes. Most of them being very similar in nature and appearance.
Mold is toxic, poisonous, and dangerous living substances that grow in specific conditions. Mold thrives on wet and dark environments, where the temperature ranges from 0-degree Celsius to 27-degree Celsius. They are in your car, vehicles, products stored in the refrigerator for a long time, and on the damp walls.
It is critical to identify and eliminate mold as soon as it begins to develop. Mold can be highly toxic and can have a long-lasting effect on human health, depending on the type of species and the extent of exposure.
Types of Mold
Mold is a fungus, and it grows virtually everywhere. Some of these different types aren’t dangerous to human health, while others lead to chronic and severe health conditions.
When addressing any mold growth in your home, it’s essential to understand which type of mold you’re going to deal with as each one has its characteristics, growth patterns, and health effects to be aware of. Check areas like bathrooms, basements, roofs, and window seals for malignant mold growth.
Harmful molds can be any of the following classifications:
Allergenic: Molds that cause and produce allergies and allergic reactions such as asthma attacks.
Pathogenic: Molds that cause health problems in those suffering from an acute illness.
Toxigenic: Molds that produce toxic substances that can lead to dangerous or even deadly health conditions. Also known as the “Toxic Mold.”
Acremonium grows in drains, rotten food, AC, and wet soil. They appear in pink, grey, white (cloudy) in color. Acremonium is very toxic and dangerous that can impact the bone marrow and impair brain organs.
Also known as the allergic mold, which grows typically on a damp area, especially in bathrooms, sewages, showers, bathtubs. It usually raises around the bathroom area. They are velvety in appearance and dark green in color. They spread quickly, and it is vital to take necessary actions before it’s too late.
There are many types of Aspergillus mold sp. There are around 185 species and can appear in different forms. They are usually green in color and most commonly found on food stored under wet conditions for a very long time without usage. Certain aspergillus mold species are capable of producing aflatoxins, a known and deadly carcinogen.
Aureobasidium is pink and black. They can often found on damp caulking and window frames. They can be on the wallpaper, wooden surfaces, and painted surfaces. It can cause allergic reactions in many people. Next time when you happen to touch a wall that is damp and black, you’re coming in direct contact with Aureobasidium.
Botrytis can often found in areas where the ventilation is inadequate. The humidity levels will be high in poorly ventilated areas. High humidity levels are ideal for this mold to thrive. It can trigger asthma, as well as cause allergic reactions.
Botrytis on Strawberries. Image Courtesy Google
On Basil Leaves. Image courtesy Google
Cladosporium found on carpets, wood surfaces, cabinets, and floorboards; it can cause several respiratory problems in human beings. It is unique in that it can grow in both warm and cold conditions. They are dark green and outlined with white cloudy in appearance. Cladosporium typically causes allergic reactions to the eyes, nose, throat, and skin. Exposure to Cladosporium causes skin rash and lesions, asthma, lung infections, and sinusitis. Cladosporium should not be handled directly due to its potential for causing skin and lung irritation.
Another mold that can grow and spread in lower temperatures similar to Cladosporium; they prevail on water-damaged carpets and other damp fabrics. People with weak immune systems are very much susceptible to this mold. It can cause allergic reactions, respiratory infections, and can trigger asthma. They are usually white cloudy in appearance.
The blue or green mold can be on damp carpets, insulation, wallpaper, and mattresses. They can spread from one part of the house to another very quickly. Exposure to this Mold can cause allergic reactions, inflammation of the lungs, and sinus infections. They are greyish-green in appearance outlined in cloudy white.
There are no particular remedy or prevention methods for mold. They grow in damp areas and long-stored food on wet conditions. Hence, we find Mold growth on bread, which has a shelf life of only seven days. (Remember use-by-date?).
Buy fruits and vegetables which are needed for the week and do not over-stock them in the refrigerator. The fridge is not going to be a savior by extending the shelf life of the products.
Make a proper time table and use the fruits and vegetables for the week in a scheduled manner.
If you notice any mold, immediately discard them. It is not safe to cut that portion and consume the rest. The spores are still alive in the food, which is not visible to our naked eyes.
Ensure your home is deep-cleaned thoroughly and quarterly so that you’re at least not letting any mold grown on the walls and coved corners of the floor.
Any broken tile, wall, or floor, fix and close them immediately.
Drainage/Sewage/ any bathroom-related issues, fix them as soon as possible to prevent unwanted leakage, and leading to mold growth.
Dry the wet areas immediately as the mold can’t grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away.
Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. Use AC units and dehumidifiers (especially in humid climates), but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer.
Ensure to equip your home with mold-resistant products. Building a new home or renovating an old one? It is always safe to use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. The traditional drywall is composed of a gypsum plaster core pressed between plies of paper. Mold-resistant drywall is paperless — the gypsum core is covered in fiberglass, making the surface highly water-resistant. Moisture-resistant drywall is especially valuable in areas prone to wetness, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and kitchens.
Keep a check on the humidity and shouldn’t exceed more than 65%. If you notice condensation, dry the surface immediately and address the source of moisture (for example, turn off a humidifier if water appears on the inside of nearby windows).
Keep mold off household plants. They’re good for us and help keep the indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house. Do not plant anything inside the house. Have a specific area where these can be planted and are not susceptible to mold growth.
Ensure there is fresh and proper airflow in your home. Lesser the temperature, the air can hold less moisture.Without adequate airflow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows, and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls and do not dump furniture and over-store things. Switch on the exhaust fan in the kitchen when necessary and ensure you leave the balcony doors always open for fresh air to come in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.