Mold is a scary thing. It can spread quickly and harm us. Knowing which kinds are out there and most common in our homes is important. Alamance Insulation and Gutters is here to help! Alamance Insulation and Gutters is a leader in the insulation and home performance industries. Serving customers throughout North Carolina, from Greensboro, Burlington, Elon and Mebane to Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh, we can help with all your insulation and gutter needs.
There are eight types of mold to be on the lookout for in your home:
In the summer, the warm, dry wind carries alternaria indoors. Once it’s in, it runs rampant through the home. It ranges in color from black to dusky olive green, and it might look like suede or like fluffy cotton. Like all molds, you’ll find it in damp places, such as the shower stall or under the sink with the leaky pipe. Sometimes it hides around window frames; sometimes it settles into water-damaged carpets and other fabrics
Alternaria is notorious for causing allergic reactions and asthma attacks. It has large spores (microscopic reproductive cells) that actually infiltrate your nose, mouth and upper respiratory tract.
Aspergillus is the yellow-green mold that you’ll find on food, but it also likes household dust on walls, paper and clothing. It travels easily throughout the house via the HVAC ducts, particularly when you turn on the heat.
This mold is so common and causes so many health problems that it has an illness named for it: aspergillosis, which includes everything from mild sinus problems and ear and eye infections through bone pain, chest pain and vision problems through major lung, heart and kidney diseases.
Chaetomium starts off white and cottony, then later turns olive green or gray. It has that odor that we usually refer to as “musty.” You’ll find it on old or damaged wood and water-damaged dry wall, wallpaper, carpets and window frames.
This mold can be olive green, brown or black and enters the home through the HVAC system or any airflow entrances. It is one of the hardier molds and can grow in any temperature, including bitter cold. You will find it primarily on damp porous areas, such as fabrics (e.g., carpets) and wood (e.g., cabinets and floorboards).
Cladosporium is less toxic than many other molds, but the spores are definite allergens that affect asthmatics and people with respiratory diseases. It also can infect the skin, nails and sinuses.
The amazing thing about penicillium is that it naturally produces an antibiotic (pennicillin) that has saved millions of lives. No matter, you still don’t want it hanging around your house. Penicillium comes in shades of blue, green and yellow and can be found on areas damaged by water, such as wallpaper, carpets and insulation.
It commonly causes allergies, hay fever, asthma, sinusitis and inflammation of the lungs.
This mold’s major diet is wood. It can destroy walls, floors and furniture and, literally, eat up your whole house. It might even make a snack of the masonry. It is rusty-red and spreads so that large areas of your home will be covered with what looks like red dust.
Like many molds, serpula lacrymans causes respiratory problems, including sneezing, sore throat, labored breathing and asthma—right up to very serious scarring of the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis).
This is the feared “black mold.” Look for black and slimy with a musty odor. Stachybotrys requires a lot of moisture (such as running water) and places that are always damp: air-conditioning ducts, leaky pipes. Also look for it on particleboard, cardboard, hay, wicker and drywall.
The airborne toxins can cause some serious problems: breathing difficulties, sinus infections, allergic reactions, asthma attacks, loss of hearing or memory, dizziness, fatigue, and depression.
Ulocladium may be brown, gray or green-ish black with a suede-like texture. It grows fast after a home has been flooded or sustained significant water damage. It has the odd quirk (for mold) of not wanting to be alone and often joins chaetomium and stachybotrys in bathrooms, basements and kitchens, on both wallpaper and painted surfaces. Once ulocladium sets in, it’s there to stay.