What Are The Most Common Types and Varieties of Mold?

What Are The Most Common Types and Varieties of Mold?
One of the objectives of mold remediation professionals is to determine what type of mold is present in a property. This is important because it will help the professional and the property owner determine the relative health risk that the mold poses and how best to remediate it. Unfortunately, not all molds are the same, in fact there are over 1.5 millions species of mold in the world. However, only about 100,000 have been identified.
Mold is a fungus, as are mushrooms and yeast, and has a biologicial function as nature’s recycler consuming dead organic matter. Understanding it’s biological importance is essential to understanding why it poses health hazards. For the purposes of mold inspections and remediation, one of our goals is to identify whether or not the mold is allergenic, pathogenic, or toxigenic.
1. Allergenic Molds
Allergenic Molds: Not usually life-threatening but are most problematic for individuals with allergies or asthma. The challenge is figuring out what mold is triggering the reaction. Children are particularly susceptible to mold allergies.

Allergenic Molds

Not usually life-threatening but are most problematic for individuals with allergies or asthma. The challenge is figuring out what mold is triggering the reaction. Children are particularly susceptible to mold allergies.
2. Pathogenic Molds
Pathogenic Molds: Produce an infection of particular concern if your immune system is weak or compromised.  This type of mold can cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an acute response resembling bacterial pneumonia. An example is Aspergillus fumigatus, which can grow in the lungs of immune-compromised individuals.

Pathogenic Molds

Produce an infection of particular concern if your immune system is weak or compromised. This type of mold can cause hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an acute response resembling bacterial pneumonia. An example is Aspergillus fumigatus, which can grow in the lungs of immune-compromised individuals.
3. Toxigenic Molds (aka “toxic molds”)
Toxigenic Molds: Toxic molds produce mycotoxins that will make anyone sick. Possible reactions include immune suppression and cancer. Mycotoxins are chemical toxins present within or on the surface of the mold spore, which can be inhaled, ingested, or touched. An example of this is aflatoxin, one of the most potent carcinogens known to mankind. Aflatoxin grows on peanuts and grains, and on some other foods.

Toxigenic Molds

Toxic molds produce mycotoxins that will make anyone sick. Possible reactions include immune suppression and cancer. Mycotoxins are chemical toxins present within or on the surface of the mold spore, which can be inhaled, ingested, or touched. An example of this is aflatoxin, one of the most potent carcinogens known to mankind. Aflatoxin grows on peanuts and grains, and on some other foods.
In order to determine the exact species of mold, mold inspectors will usually recommend that a tape or swab sample is taken. Sometimes, air quality tests may also be recommend because air borne mold spores are not visible to the eye; such a test will enable the inspector to report back on the concentration of indoor spores. Samples are then sent to accredited laboratories who analyze them to determine the exact species. Over the years, we have received many lab reports that have identified these five most common indoor molds.
1. Alternaria
Alternaria is commonly found in your nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract and can cause allergic responses.

Alternaria

Alternaria is commonly found in your nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract and can cause allergic responses.
2. Aspergillus
Aspergillus is usually found in warm, extremely damp climates, and a common occupant of house dust.  This mold produces mycotoxins which is a poisonous chemical compound.

Aspergillus

Aspergillus is usually found in warm, extremely damp climates, and a common occupant of house dust. This mold produces mycotoxins which is a poisonous chemical compound. This mold variety can cause lung infections, aspergillosis.
3. Cladosporium
Cladosporium is a very common outdoor fungus that can find its way indoors and grow on textiles, wood and other damp, porous materials.  This mold triggers hay fever and asthma symptoms.

Cladosporium

Cladosporium is a very common outdoor fungus that can find its way indoors and grow on textiles, wood and other damp, porous materials. This mold triggers hay fever and asthma symptoms.
4. Penicillium
Penicillium is a very common species found on wallpaper, decaying fabrics, carpet, and fiberglass duct insulation. It is known for causing allergies and asthma.  Some species produce mycotoxins, one being the common antibiotic penicillin.

Penicillium

Penicillium is a very common species found on wallpaper, decaying fabrics, carpet, and fiberglass duct insulation. It is known for causing allergies and asthma. Some species produce mycotoxins, one being the common antibiotic penicillin.
5. Stachybotrys
Stachybotrys is extremely toxic “black mold” that produces mycotoxins that can cause serious breathing difficulties and bleeding of the lungs. This mold can be found on wood or paper.

Stachybotrys

Stachybotrys is extremely toxic “black mold” that produces mycotoxins that can cause serious breathing difficulties and bleeding of the lungs. This mold can be found on wood or paper.
If you have questions or suspect you have mold issues, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.

Where Should I Look For Mold?

Where Should I Look For Mold?
Spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dryness, that do not support normal mold growth. In fact, many spores can lie dormant for decades until favorable conditions allow them to spring back to life.
Molds can be found almost anywhere and can grow on virtually any substance, provided moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, tile, dry wall, insulation, leather, fabrics and foods. Molds survive by digesting what they are growing on.
There is no way to eliminate all mold and mold spores from your indoor environment. The only way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
Here is a list of the most common areas where you will find mold growth:
1. Bathrooms and kitchens, especially under sinks–check for leaks and other moisture.
2. Behind or under appliances that hide slow plumbing leaks (refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, etc.)
3. Leaky roofs
4. Around windows where condensation collects
5. High humidity areas of your home, such as basements
6. Closet corners of exterior walls because humidity is attracted to the cold spots where the vapor barrier may be broken and/or a lack of insulation may be present. This causes humidity to be trapped behind clothing and/or other items, such as boxes and could cause mold to grow.
The first sign of a mold problem is a “musty” or “mildewy” odor. Other signs of mold include buckled floorboards, discolored carpet, a new water stain on your wall, or black or white specks—these are all signs you could be developing a mold problem.
If you find mold, we recommend that you do not disturb it because you could release more spores which will make the problem worse. The key to control mold growth is to contain it and prevent it from spreading to more areas of the home. Best piece of advice we can offer is to just Do Not Disturb the mold and then contact a professional to assess the concern further.
If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.

Don’t Spray Mold!

Don’t Spray Mold!
There seems to be lots of mis-information on the Internet recommending that you spray chemicals on mold. This article explains why spraying mold will in fact make the situation worse.
WHAT IS MOLD?
Molds are a type of fungi and are neither plant nor animal. There are over 100,000 types of mold with at least 1,000 types found in North America and live in colonies growing on food, fabric, bathroom walls, construction materials, and soil. Mold proliferates through the release of spores into the air we breathe and are not visible to the naked eye.
Indoor molds cause two key problems.
1. They destroy the material that they feed on, including bathroom walls, carpets, insulation, and ceilings.
2. Exposure to high concentrations of certain types of mold creates health problems. For this reason, materials that are infected with mold need to be removed. In fact, mold is like a cancer, unless it is dealt with and removed, it will continue to grow. The only way to deal with mold is to eradicate it.
HOW DOES MOLD GROW?
Most homes and buildings have mold because they offer the three ingredients mold needs to grow:
1. Food, which includes materials high in cellulose content such as paper and wood. Drywall, wallpaper, carpet, ceiling tiles, dust, and dirt, are also food sources for mold.
2. Temperatures of 5 degrees to 38 degrees present the perfect environment for mold.
3. Finally, water is the key ingredient. Mold can not grow without moisture. Where there is moisture, you will find mold. This is one of the reasons that leaking pipes, roofs and ceiling, sewer backups, floods, and condensation end up causing mold issues.
Mold is a growing concern because we spend up to 90 percent of our time indoors, creating a situation ripe for health issues.
KILLING MOLD IS NOT THE ANSWER!
Getting rid of mold by applying bleach or chemicals is NOT the answer to the problem because dead mold spores are just as harmful to the human lung as live spores. You may have read or heard about the myth of the “Mummy’s Curse” in which all of the Archaeologists that discovered King Tutankhamen’s Tomb eventually died. They, in fact, died from dead aspergillus mold spores that laid dormant for centuries!
In addition, mold spores like Aspergillus and Stachybotrys (black mold) are toxic in both a live form and a dead form. The key to proper mold removal is to remove all of the mold spores.
Mold is toxic and can cause many health issues. In fact, mold produces mycotoxins that are pathogenic to animals and humans. In 2011 we posted an article on the uses of mold as a biological weapon to illustrate just how toxic mold is.
In the words of our founder and President, James C. Watson:

“There is no chemical that should be sprayed on mold as the dead mold spores are just as harmful as the living mold spores. All standards and reference guides including the IICRC mold removal guideline frown upon spraying mold. It is all abut removal, air filtration and proper cleaning. When you spray stuff on mold it will release its spores into the air and the air is the last place you want a large contamination of mold spores“.
Well stated James! 🙂

Killing Mold Is Not The Answer

Killing Mold Is Not The Answer
There seems to be a misconception that getting rid of mold by applying bleach or chemicals is the answer to the problem. This is actually not the case because dead mold spores are just as harmful to the human lung as live spores.
There is actually a historical anecdote about the toxic nature of dead mold spores. You probably have heard of the myth of the “Mummy’s Curse” in which all of the Archaeologists that discovered King Tutankhamen’s Tomb eventually died. In 1922, a team of British archeologists in Egypt found the tomb and by 1929, the eleven people associated with the tomb died of early and “unnatural” causes and this is how the myth of the “Mummy’s Curse” evolved. In reality, the actual cause of death of was the result of inhaling dead Aspergillus mold spores and this is the reason that Archaeologists today wear respirators and suits when they are on a dig site.
In addition, mold spores like Aspergillus and Stachybotrys (black mold) are toxic in both a live form and a dead form. The key to proper mold removal is to remove all of the mold spores. This is what Got Mold? does and the reason we follow an Eight Step Process on all of our projects. Our ultimate goal is to provide Health & Longevity to our clients, their friends, and family.
If you discover mold in your home, don’t take this issue lightly and review one of our earlier articles on Mold Do’s and Don’ts. We give you straight forward information to help you stay healthy and to prevent further spread of spores in your home or business.
Mold is toxic and can cause many health issues. In fact, mold produces mycotoxins that are pathogenic to animals and humans. In 2011 we posted an article on the uses of mold as a biological weapon to illustrate just how toxic mold is.
If you discover mold in your home or business, just remember that some molds can be toxic and that it is best not to disturb the mold which could inadvertently release spores in the air and create even more problems. We recommend that you contact us for a professional assessment. Our goal is to provide you with peace of mind.

Mold and Miscarriage, Is There a Link?

Mold and Miscarriage, Is There a Link?
There are countless stories of women being exposed to mold during pregnancy and suffering miscarriage or birth defects. However, there is not yet any solid hard scientific evidence that exposure to mold directly causes birth defects. Studies with animals have shown that there is a definite link between black mold and pregnancy, but animals are different than humans, so the results are somewhat inconclusive.
According to Fit Pregnancy, the primary reason that there is no empirical scientific evidence on the link between black mold and pregnancy is the fact that, “nobody in their right mind is going to test toxic substances on a pregnant lady,” not to mention that it would probably be difficult to get volunteer test subjects.
There are three distinct types of mold: allergenic, pathogenic, and toxic. It is believed that black mold exposure will cause the most harm to a pregnant woman because it is toxic. Numerous studies have linked health issues with toxic mold exposure, so it does make logical sense that a pregnant woman should be concerned.
In addition to the link between miscarriages, birth defects, and black mold, there is some evidence that asthma and SIDS may be caused by mold exposure during pregnancy as well. Both asthma and SIDS are caused by breathing issues and it is believed that this may originate in the womb because black mold attacks the respiratory system.
If you have some questions or concerns about this article, feel free to comment below or visit our facebook page and leave your comments. Got Mold? is here to help. If you or someone you know is pregnant and you suspect that there is mold in the home, we encourage you to give us a call.