At some point in your life, if it hasn’t happened already, you will likely encounter mold growing in your home. As such, you may be wondering how common it is to get ill from mold exposure and what to do if you find mold somewhere in your house.
What Mold Is
Mold is a type of fungi that thrives in dark, damp places and has thousands of different species. Mold floats around the air in single-celled spores waiting to land on a suitable surface for growth. These spores are typically too small for the naked eye to see, though once start growing in clumps they typically appear fuzzy or even slimy. Mold spreads across surfaces, breaking down material to provide nutrients for it to grow.
Some types of mold are more dangerous than others, though if you have any sensitivities or allergies to mold any of them can cause a reaction. The five most common types of mold in homes are:
- Aspergillus – the most common indoor mold and appears blue-green or gray in color, though sometimes it is white or yellow in color
- Aureobasidium – thrives on painted surfaces, wood, and even behind wallpaper and is normally pink, black, or brown in appearance
- Cladosporium – a black or green mold with a speckled coloration that occurs on toilets, painted walls, and other smooth surfaces, as well as in rugs and other fabrics
- Stachybortrys – typically black or green color, commonly referred to as “black mold,” and grows in damp areas with high humidity
- Ulocladium – another black mold that thrives in wet areas, such as areas that have water damage
Dangers of Mold
Of course, if you have a sensitivity to mold due to allergies or other health issues, mold is something to be cautious of. However, some molds (such as black mold) are very toxic and can make anyone ill if exposed to them- including your pets. Symptoms can include rashes, a cough, itchy eyes, fatigue, a sore throat, and sinusitis.
What to Do About Mold
If you find mold in your home, it is important to get to the root of the problem. High humidity often results in mold growth, so utilizing dehumidifiers or implementing better air circulation could be a solution. Leaks are also another cause of mold. To make sure that any mold you find isn’t dangerous to your family’s health, you could invest in a home testing kit. These aren’t always completely accurate though, so if you suspect you have a big problem, it is always a good idea to get a professional out. They can analyze the mold in your home to find out what type it is and come up with a plan to get rid of it.