Most Common Types of Mold Found in Buildings

common types of mold

Mold is not a strange problem to have among building owners or residents. There are common types of mold that grow in almost anywhere in the world, sporting familiar signs. However, some people fail to recognize the signs, causing them to neglect the problem until the mold becomes too big and troublesome.

Some mold types are benign, but others are toxic or considered as allergens. Make sure you understand the characteristics of common molds so that you can recognize and remove them quickly.

1. Types of Black Mold

Black mold is probably the biggest scare among building owners and residents. It creates mycotoxin and spores that can be harmful to people and pets. Some of the most popular black mold types include:

  • Aspergillus niger

Aspergillus niger is a species that often appears as black spots with the white or yellowish base. Unlike many mold species, it can grow with a minimum amount of nutrition. It is often found on damp walls.

  • Stachybotrys chartarum

This mold loves cellulose-based materials, which makes it common on plant or soil. Indoor, it is often found on wood, paper, or wicker surfaces.

  • Memnoniella echinata

This mold looks similar to other black mold types. However, you usually find it on wool, linen, and fabric materials.

While the danger of black mold is often exaggerated, its mold spores are known for triggering symptoms in vulnerable people, such as those with asthma, allergies, and low immune system.

2. Types of Green Mold

The green mold may appear as green, fuzzy/slimy streaks in your house. Some green mold types are so dark; people often confuse them for black mold. The most common ones include:

  • Aspergillus

Many Aspergillus mold species have green colors, but some of them may appear blue or black. Aspergillus exposure is known to affect people with respiratory and lung problems, such as asthma, whooping cough, and TBC.

  • Cladosporium

Cladosporium is a mold that can grow in cold and warm environments. It has a wide range of habitats and can be found on floorboards, walls, or upholstery. The spores can irritate the lungs and trigger skin allergies.

  • Penicillium

Penicillium is useful in the medical world, but it can also act as allergens when found in buildings. Some Penicillium mold types are blue instead of green, but all of them can irritate lungs and trigger asthma when the spores are inhaled.

Green mold is often confused with moss, but mold emits a musty smell that lasts for hours and even days.

3. Types of Blue Mold

Blue mold is commonly found in household settings. It can grow on furniture, house structures, and even foods. Unlike many other mold types, blue mold can grow without much moisture, which is the common main requirement for mold to thrive. Therefore, you can find blue mold growing on foods in the fridge.

Aspergillus and Penicillium are fungi genus that have blue species, although they are commonly associated with green color. However, some mold types can have bluish green shades, or even turn black when they grow larger.

4. Types of Brown Mold

Many brown mold types grow in bathrooms or any rooms with plumbing problems. Here are several common brown mold types found indoor:

  • Chaetomium

Chaetomium may appear as grey, yellow, or brown patches, but brown is the most common color. This mold loves damp and moist places, and often found near cracks, leaks, or gaps in bathrooms and sinks. It can trigger skin allergy and cause nail infections.

  • Stemonitis

Stemonitis is a type of mold that often appears in the bathroom. You may see it as brown streak near wet spots such as faucets and shower heads. Large mold growth will emit a musty smell.

  • Aureobasidium pullulans

This type of mold is not toxic, and the only danger it poses is unsightly look. However, the spores may trigger allergic reactions on sensitive people.

Different types of mold may show brown colors at certain stages of their life. Some black mold types may show brown color before turning dark with age.

5. White Mold or Efflorescence? Telling the Differences

Most white mold appears as fuzzy patches on both hard and soft surfaces. However, unlike other mold types, a white mold that grows on concrete or cement is easy to confuse with efflorescence. The latter is a term for salt accumulation on the stone-based surface, which crystallized into white spots.

Despite their similar looks, telling the difference is easy. You can spray water on the white spots and see if it disappears or not. Mold will stay in its place while efflorescence disappears. Odor also distinguishes their appearances, since efflorescence does not emit odor while mold smells musty.

6. Which Mold is the Most Dangerous?

What kind of mold is dangerous from these color-based mold types? The truth is, you cannot tell unless there are professional mold inspection and testing.

These services are done by mold inspection companies, using sophisticated tools to collect spore samples and study them. The companies help to find the types of mold, the locations in the building, and the infestation levels.

Identifying mold types cannot be done without a lab study, which is a part of mold inspection service. You can get information about the type of mold that invades your building, and whether it is dangerous or not. Knowing the result will help you determine the health hazard and the best removal solution.

When you see strange patches on certain spots in the house, especially in a dark or moist room, it is best to identify them quickly. The musty odor that refuses to leave after 48 hours should also be your cue to call professional mold inspection service.

As a type of fungi, mold comes in various types, and many of them are distinguished by their colors. The colors of mold are not the only ways to inform you about their types and health hazard levels.

However, they are good visual clues about poor condition in your building. To determine the mold types and their risks, call professional service as soon as possible. Knowing the mold types that you face determines your success in removing them.

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