There are over 100,000 known species of mold, the most common types of indoor mold are Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus.
Understanding the different types of mold and how to identify them by color and texture is essential for keeping your family safe.
There are three main categories of mold: allergenic, pathogenic, and toxic molds. Each type has its own unique characteristics that help you identify it quickly.
In this article, we will discuss the most common molds found in homes and provide an overview of each one including where they can be found, their category, appearance, and level of danger.
Understanding the Three Different Types of Mold Categories
When it comes to mildew and mold, understanding the differences between allergenic, pathogenic and toxigenic mold is essential for safety and health.
Allergenic molds can cause allergic reactions in humans, such as a runny nose, watery eyes, or skin rashes. Pathogenic molds can cause more serious health issues such as infections, while toxigenic molds produce toxins that are dangerous to humans.
|Mold Category||Threat Level||Prevalence||Symptoms||Examples|
|Allergenic Mold||Low to Moderate||Common||Allergy symptoms, such as runny nose, itchy eyes, and skin rash, musty smell||Alternaria, Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Penicillium|
|Pathogenic Mold||Moderate to High||Common||Respiratory infections, such as asthma, pneumonia and bronchitis, as well as other systemic infections||Aspergillus, Fusarium, Penicillium|
|Toxigenic Mold||High||Rare||Neurological symptoms, respiratory issues, immune system suppression, as well as possible cancer risk||Stachybotrys, Chaetomium, Aspergillus, Penicillium|
How To Identify Different Kind Of Mold Based On Color And Texture
When looking for mold spores, it’s important to remember that color is only one way to determine the type of mold. The texture is also an important factor in identification as some molds have a cottony, velvety, or granular texture.
Knowing what type of mold is present, and the potential health risks associated with it is essential for keeping your home and family safe.
Below are some of the most common types of mold you may find in your home and how to identify them by color and texture.
|Chaetomium||Dark green or brown||Cottony||Chaetomium globosum|
|Black Mold (stachybotrys)||Black, gray, or greenish-black||Velvety||Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus niger|
|Trichoderma||Dark green||Cottony||Trichoderma viride|
|Serpula||Orange or yellow||Velvety||Serpula lacrymans|
|Mucor||White or gray||Slimy, cottony||Mucor circinelloides|
|Aspergillus||Black, brown, or green||Granular or powdery||Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus|
|Penicillium||Blue-green||Granular or powdery||Penicillium chrysogenum|
|Aureobasidium||Pink, brown, yellow, or black||Velvety or waxy||Aureobasidium pullulans|
Penicillium is a white-colored mold that is famously important to medicine and saving human lives.
It’s less known that these properties are only manifest in a very controlled and concentrated state. In the wild, it can be a pest on your property and pose a risk to your health.
Where Penicillium can be found?
Penicillium grows in all sorts of environments but mostly prefers to grow on nice moisture and smooth surfaces in damp conditions.
The insides of air ducts, walls of bathrooms, wallpaper materials, and wood surfaces of support beams are all ideal places for it to fester and spread.
Health Problems of Penicillium
The health issues of this particular species of mold are less significant to humans. It rots food, weakens support beams, and signals conditions for other more serious varieties; however, on its own, it isn’t necessarily causing an immediate panic.
Keep in mind that identifying a mold species without chemical testing is also impossible, so it’s hard to say whether it’s one of these less harmful kinds or not.
The safest option is always to call the experts, and we have them here at The Duct Kings of Dallas.
Cladosporium is among the most common indoor and outdoor molds. It comes in olive green colors or even black.
It’s one of the most common species of mold to be mistaken for the infamous black mold and is not nearly so deadly.
Where Cladosporium can be found?
Cladosporium is among the most resilient of mold breeds, able to survive and thrive in pretty much any sufficiently humid environment.
It’s also the most susceptible to mold treatment plans, and rarely re-contaminates the same area continually.
Health Problems of Cladosporium mold type
Cladosporium itself is rarely a threat to humans, but they’re still have been cases of skin infections as well as respiratory infections.
As with most species of mold, it poses a severe threat to immunocompromised persons as well as anybody with a history of respiratory illness.
Aspergillus Mold Type
Aspergillus itself comes in hundreds of subspecies, many of which are important to the medical community and even to the production of some commercial goods; however, it can also be a major pest and health concern.
Where can Aspergillus be found?
This is one of the classic molds that likes to live in warm, damp, humid areas. They can be commonly found around bathroom windows and sinks, carpets, and wood materials but even more shockingly in your bed or pillow.
In fact, according to the University of Manchester, millions of people around the world are living with this mold growing in their pillows at this very moment.
Health Problems with Aspergillus Mold
Aspergillus leads to a disease named “Aspergillosis.” The symptoms include fever, a cough, chest pain, and even breathlessness.
Additionally, people with already present lung diseases can be made worse or sicker because of this disease.
Read here to know more about the symptoms of mold in the house.
Chaetomium is a dark-colored mold (sometimes a dark green, sometimes brown, sometimes even black) that is found in this area.
While not the most prolific of molds, it serves as a real problem on account of the issues it causes.
Where Can Chaetomium be Found?
This mold is predominantly found in natural environments. Soil and plant matter are its main hosts, so if you’re getting food from an organic source or from your own garden, this is one you need to be aware of.
Health Problems Chaetomium Mold
Chaetomium can break down your immune system making it more susceptible to other infections.
It’s not only an allergen but also can cause brain abscesses and severe foot fungal growth. In some extreme cases, the infection has gotten so severe that it killed the affected person.
Black Mold – Stachybotrys Chartarum
This most is far more well known by its common name, “Black Mold.” This beast is far too big to give full justice in this summary, but its reputation is well-earned.
If you have black mold inside your property you should give us a call right away so our black mold removal Dallas team will check your home or business.
Alternaria is among the most severe species of mold in terms of its effect on the environment, including in regard to human life.
It is responsible for around 20% of crop loss in the United States, and can even infect open wounds and respiratory tracts.
Where can Alternaria be found?
Alternaria is a pale grey mold, though sometimes green or even black. It can be found almost anywhere, either in manmade or natural environments.
The spores float through the air in tiny chains, clinging to surfaces and decomposing them voraciously.
As such, they present the most serious threat when present in your air ducts, as they spread through your house and land on perishable substances, rotting them quickly.
Health Problems With Alternaria Mold
This mold is responsible for a slew of health problems. In immunocompromised individuals, it can cause extreme infections in the lungs or on any open wounds, a disease known as “Alternariosis” named for the Mold. Additionally, it causes annoying allergic reactions.
Fusarium is mostly harmless to humans through physical contact but is still extremely dangerous in a few key environments.
It has a distinctive yellowish color that manifests both micro and macroscopically.
Where can Fusarium be found?
While this mold does like to grow around plant matter, especially grains, it’s infamous for plaguing the air ducts of several high-profile locations.
In the Lascaux caves, for instance, the installation of an Air Conditioner has led to a series of mold infections.
Health Problems with Fusarium Mold
Fusarium is mostly harmless through just physical contact, aside from individuals with allergies. However, it can be very lethal if ingested.
There was a case where grain shipments in the Soviet Union were contaminated, leading to the deaths of thousands of people.
If you find Fusarium in your kitchen, it’s absolutely pressing to address the problem as soon as possible.