If there’s one thing you don’t want growing in your home, it’s mold.
Mold comes in many different varieties and species, which can all have adverse effects on your home and health if not properly taken care of. While there are many different reasons to investigate the growth of mold in your home, here are the most common types of household molds and a guide on how to spot them.
This mold is commonly found in fiberglass insulation, heating vents, drain pans, and other moist areas. It can cause pulmonary infections and can harm people with weak immune systems.
This form of mold is a common allergen for humans. It can cause major respiratory issues and is the most common mold associated with asthma. Luckily, this form of mold is more commonly found outdoors than indoors, but it can still be present in a home in damp carpets, leaky pipes, or other moist environments.
This type of fungus releases spores that are common in the air, and most people breathe them in every day. It does not usually cause illness, but people with preexisting respiratory problems or a weak immune system can begin coughing from exposure, experiencing shortness of breath, headaches, and other health symptoms.
Aspergillus grows on substances with high concentrations of sugar or salt. It is common to spot on bread, starches (such as potatoes), or even your indoor plants.
If your home has experienced water damage, it has likely experienced the growth of chaetomium. This mold is common in water-damaged buildings. It grows on cellulose-containing materials, meaning it can commonly be found on wood, drywall, and wallpaper. It will eat away and deteriorate these structures and can cause adverse health effects.
Fusarium is a species that grows in extremely damp areas. It cannot thrive without high levels of moisture, but it can grow and spread even in cold temperatures. Fusarium can cause eye infections as well as infections of the skin and nails.
Mucor can cause health issues for those suffering from diabetes or burns and those with weak immune systems. It can also cause issues with the sinuses, eyes, lungs, skin, and brain.
If the name of this mold sounds familiar, it is because penicillin was derived from this mold (saving millions of lives). However, the presence of this mold in your home can induce allergic reactions from its production of mycotoxins. It is found in damp areas of the home and is the most common mold species found indoors.
More commonly known as black mold, strachybotrys may be the most well-known form of mold, due to its frequency and harmful nature. It is also known as toxic mold because of its adverse health effects. It releases harmful spores into the air that can harm a person’s respiratory tract. Black mold is commonly found in the grout and tile of your shower or in other damp areas.
Trichoderma is a green fungus that is non-pathogenic (does not cause disease or death to its host). This mold actually helps protect plants from other molds or bacteria. But it can cause health issues within humans. It can also cause problems with building materials like drywall and wood. Trichoderma requires large amounts of water to grow, so you are most likely to find it in areas where water damage is or was present.
How to Spot Mold in Your Home
Mold most commonly thrives in dark and humid areas, making bathrooms one of its most prominent hiding places. To minimize mold’s presence, regularly clean your shower and hire a professional clean your grout and tile.
But showers are not the only places it may be lurking. Common areas to find mold in your home are:
- Tile and grout
- Under the sink
- Around toilets
- In the walls (especially around plumbing or where previous water damage has occurred)
- Refrigerator or pantry
- Air ducts/HVAC
- Wet carpet
So, now that you know some common places to look, it is important to know the signs that your home may be experiencing mold growth.
Look for physical growth in the above areas. If you notice black, blue, green, or pink growth appearing in water-prone areas (most commonly your grout), it’s a sure sign you have mold issues. Mold will also grow under tiles, weakening their hold and lifting them. Loose or uneven tile can be another sign of mold.
If you notice leaking areas from a faucet, around a tub, or near a toilet, it’s a good sign that mold may be growing. This can also be true for water discoloration on a ceiling or walls from a leaky roof. Any water problem will eventually lead to mold.
Molds produce a musty smell. If you notice a moldy smell when you walk into a room, trust your nose. There is likely a mold problem.
Irregular Health Issues
If you experience irregular respiratory issues (for example, you never experience breathing problems but suddenly have trouble breathing), your home may have excessive amounts of mold.
If you find mold in your home, take immediate action. The CDC provides valuable information regarding how mold affects people and what you can do to decrease mold exposure in your home. Make sure to provide a thorough grout and tile cleaning in your bathrooms and other moisture-prone areas.
Say Goodbye to Mold with a Professional Grout and Tile Cleaning
Discovering mold growth is the first step to ridding your home of these pesky fungi. The second step is properly removing the mold. As a professional grout and tile cleaning company, Groutsmith Tulsa can help completely eliminate the mold in your bathrooms and get your home looking like new again. See our grout sealing services for more information on how we can preserve your grout and tile. Contact us to get a free in-home estimate and demo.