It is not uncommon to find mold growing in older homes and buildings. While some mold is not harmful to be around, if left untreated, mold can become a hazard within the home.
The best way to treat any type of mold is to first try to prevent it.
The most common mold usually develops as a result of water damage or wet surfaces that are not regularly cleaned and dried.
Do your best to fix any leaking pipes, dry out wet areas in the home and to regularly clean carpeting, wooden floors and walls. If you purchase an old home, make sure there is a thorough check throughout the house for any growing mold problem.
If you are trying to eradicate a mold problem inside a home, a good product to use during clean up is an air purifier. Air purifiers that uses special technology are excellent at removing the mold spores from the air and preventing them from recontaminating the room. To learn more about how an air purifier can help in this situation, take a look at our dedicated article on how to find the best air purifier for mold here.
Common Household Molds
Hopefully you will never encounter a mold problem in your home, but sometimes mold is unavoidable. Here are some of the more common kinds of mold that can present serious health risks for people if left untreated.
One of the more common molds found outdoors and indoors is alternaria. Alternaria usually appears in areas that are damp like the sink, shower, or dark and dimly lit areas outside the home. Health problems associated with alternaria include asthma attacks and allergic reactions.
Another common indoor mold is aspergilus. This mold incredibly common and does minor damage to those that inhale it. Severe reactions include respiratory infections, allergic reactions, and inflamed lungs.
The aureobasidium mold is most often found on wooden furniture, surfaces, painted walls and wallpaper as well as around windows and in caulk. If you notice a spotty substance that is pink and black in color in those areas, it’s probably this type of mold. Since aureobasidum is so common, most people do develop allergic reactions to it and it has been known to cause more severe reactions than other molds.
Chaetomium mold is found in drywall that has experienced water damage. People typically identify its presence when they smell a musty or old odor in their home.
Homeowners often find the cladosporium mold inside both cool and warm areas like carpet, wood floorboards, wooden cabinet and older fabrics. Being around the cladosporium mold can leave homeowners with breathing problems and respiratory issues.
Fusarium is a mold that tends to grow in colder, wetter areas. The typical homes for the fusarium mold are carpeted areas and similar fabrics. Fusarium can cause the standard allergic reaction as well as respiratory infections and inflammation.
Penicillium is a mold that can found indoors inside insulation, furnishings, water damaged furniture, carpeting and more. Penicillium is known for spreading quickly throughout the home and can cause homeowners to have sinus infections, lung inflammation, as well as allergic reactions.
Black mold or stachysbotrys chartarum is also called toxic mold. This is due to the fact that this type of mold creates toxic compounds known as mycotoxins. The compounds cause those that breathe the mold in to develop breathing issues, sinus infections, depression, fatigue, asthma attacks and more. This type of mold can be identified by its musty smell and is found in areas that stay damp, like air conditioning pipes and ducts.
The serpula lacrymans mold is commonly found outside but can also grow inside on wooden surfaces. This mold leads to dry rot within wood as it feeds solely on wooden surfaces. It’s most noticeable by its yellow appearance.
Trichoderma is another damp area mold. Homeowners often find the trichoderma mold within damp carpeting, wallpaper and similar surfaces. The harm with trichoderma comes from the production of mycotoxins that can cause sinus infection, allergic reactions, and more.
The Ulocladium mold is found both outside and inside. Ulocladium is typically found in areas that have been severely damaged by water like in the floors and walls of homes that have experienced a flood. This kind of mold causes many homeowners to develop allergic reactions and infections.
Treating Common Molds
Once you identify a mold growing within your home, treating the problem is fairly simple. A homeowner can typically take care of common molds with the help of household products. Go through the home and search for any wet or damp surfaces or crevices. Make sure to protect yourself with a breathing mask and gloves. It is important to seal off the area where the mold is to prevent the mold from traveling throughout the house. Moldy surfaces should be washed with a solution containing detergent and warm water. After the surface dries, use a bleach solution on the surface. And wash and repeat three times. Following the third wash, create a borate detergent solution and scrub the surface.
Once your mold problem is gone, do your best to clean regularly and inspect for any returning mold. While molds are a natural part of life, they do not need to be a part of your home. Knowing how to identify, treat and prevent mold will keep you and your home healthy and happy.