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How Do I Know What Kind of Mold I Have?

What Kind of Mold - Mammoth Restoration

How Do I Know What Kind of Mold I Have?

Mold colonies grow in many textures and colors from green, white, bluish, black, brown, fuzzy, gritty, dirt-like, etc.. The truth is that it is not possible to determine mold types by looking at them. The only way to find out what type of mold you may have in your home is to hire an independent hygienist. They will test the air, swab surfaces and send the samples to a laboratory where they will tell you the count and types of mold present. This is an important step for mold remediation as it is the only way to know if the treatment worked. Samples are taken from the suspected affected areas and compared to a control such as an outside reading. If the affected area has higher concentrations then the control then remediation is necessary, if not then a treatment or good cleaning may be all that is needed.

Common Mold Sources, Types, and Health Effects:

With over 100,000 species of mold in the world and over 1,000+ in the United States, here are the most common in the USA.

  • Cladosporium – Most commonly found on dead or rotting plants and trees. Cladosporium is an indicator of wood rot from sever long-term water damage. Can cause allergy symptoms in high concentrations such as a runny nose, itchy throat, coughing, sneezing. Most common near wooded areas.
  • Aspergillus – Commonly found in soil and organic debris such as mulch, dead or decaying plants. Aspergillus can create low-level mycotoxins that can inflame allergy systems such as a runny nose, sneezing, coughing. Sever concentrations can cause fever and respiratory infections. This is a water damage indicator.
  • Penicillium – Close to the same genus as Aspergillus, this fungus can be found on wet or damp building materials such as drywall, framing, and behind wallpaper. This has the same health affects as Aspergillus and is also a water damage indicator.
  • Stachybotrys – (also known as “Toxic mold” or “Black mold”) – This is the most dangerous of the molds we can have in our properties as they produce mycotoxins that lead to stronger health effects from common allergy symptoms to fever, respiratory infections, and can lower your immune system. While this is the most harmful of the common molds, it is also the least common.
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