6 Types of Harmful Mold You Could Find in Your Home

harmful types of mold in home

Mold is a porous substance that can grow quickly, if the conditions are right. If this fungus continues to spread, it will be more difficult to contain. While there are over 100,000 strains of mold, not all are toxic. Some are useful in medicines and medical treatments.

How dangerous is mold? 

Some types are extremely harmful to your family or pets. In severe cases, hospitalization or death may occur. It is important to understand the types of mold that can be toxic to your loved ones. Once you have a growth, you should test immediately. Most will be clear of toxins.

If you do not properly clean the infected area, damage to your structure could be permanent.

Here's the 6 Types of Mold:

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Mold type number one: ACREMONIUM

Acremonium is a common toxic mold that can be found in decaying plants and soil. Inside dwellings, this fungus can be at the center of a flood or massive pipe leak. Most of these strains are not harmful and categorized as saprophytes. Nine kinds of acremonium are categorized as human pathogens. Pathogens can cause ailments or diseases to humans.

These types of mold can attach to concrete, wood, and even fiberglass. First, clean up any standing water and fix any leaks. If you have had any water damage, check the surrounding areas for this. You may need to check often as acremonium can grow quickly and not always visibly present until it is too late. You may not even know the fungus is present until you begin feeling sick.

People that are immunocompromised could be at greater risk for this mold. Even though healthy individuals can be affected by this as well. The main issue is localized infections. Depending on the species of acremonium, more serious complications can occur. These include mycetoma (inflammation of tissues), osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bone, or bone marrow), and arthritis.

chaetomium mold in home
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Mold type number two: CHAETOMIUM

Chaetomium is the mold that you may have seen that looks like a white cotton-candy material. It is fluffy and can grow quickly. Typically, this type of mold is from decaying plants or wet soil The surrounding area of your dwelling could be infected and you may not be aware. If your walls or foundation is wet, or you have some type of water damage, this fungus is sure to form. Over time, the color of the cotton-like fungus changes colors, beginning with white and ending in black.

This mold attaches to low-end building material, such as drywall or wood. You may smell a musty odor before you see the actual pores. If you experience roof or basement leaking, you will want to test the area for mold. Even if no visible leaks or wetness is present and you smell the faint musty odor, get your dwelling tested.

The complete health risks for chaelomium is still unknown as more testing is being done. However, this mold does pose a greater health risk to immunocompromised individuals. Infections can occur in your nails, lungs, and your brain. There is a link between chaetomium and permanent neurological damage. 

Additionally, higher rates of autoimmune diseases and cancer are found among individuals that have been exposed to this fungus.

alternaria mold in home
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Mold type number three: ALTERNARIA

Alternaria mold attacks plants and trees. This type latches on to healthy crops and slowly kills them. Even though this is a spring and summer fungus, it can be present throughout all seasons. The pores are small and a slight wind can carry the mold for miles. It multiplies in warm and humid conditions. 

This mold is different than the previous versions because it is strictly a plant fungus. It doesn’t grow on structures. However, since it is easily airborne it can latch onto your clothing without you noticing. Then when you go home, the pores get all over your furniture, carpet, and even houseplants. Once it has found a damp and humid surface, it can begin to grow on walls or other building materials.

It is mainly a severe allergenic. Children develop signs of asthma shortly after they breathe in the pores. Additionally, people with immunocompromised systems tend to establish symptoms as well. Healthy individuals may get allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose, headache, and cough. However, the mold is toxic as certain strains can cause esophageal cancer. 

Since typically you or your pet bring this into your home from the outside, you may not be aware it is present. It can linger for days to months before any symptoms are present. At the first signs, call a professional to check for mold around your home.

penicillium mold in home
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Mold type number four: PENICILLIUM

Penicillium is a multifunctional mold. Some strains are useful in medications such as antibiotics, while others are useful in cheesemaking. You may be asking, ‘well, how dangerous is this mold?” A few strains are very toxic. This type of mold grows on various surfaces, which can be inside or outdoors. The function of this mold is to decay perishable foods. 

When you leave your foods in a warm and humid environment, they tend to spoil faster than in a colder, drier location. When you have high levels of humidity, the mold can attach to surfaces such as cabinets, wallpaper, and carpets.

Even though penicillium has extraordinary health benefits in certain situations, it can wreak havoc on your body if you continue to breathe it in. When left untreated the fibers can enter your body then attack your lungs, kidneys, or liver. Sometimes you may only get a mild infection in your fingernails or toenails. You may experience rashes or other allergic reactions. 

Additionally, penicillium can cause swelling in your throat that can lead to death if not treated immediately.

cladosporium mold in home
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Mold type number five: CLADOSPORIUM

Cladosporium is one of the most dangerous molds. As with all types of mold, damp and humid areas are their breeding grounds. This one is slightly different because it latches on to organic material. Certain textile such as carpet, wallpaper, painted material, and paper is where the fungus is the most comfortable. 

There are 100s of different species of cladosporium. Some are harmless and just an annoying eyesore. However, some are extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, you cannot tell the difference without professional assistance to test the area.

The mold acts as an allergy irritant in some people. This is especially true in younger or older people as well as the immunocompromised. Mild symptoms could be present such as sneezing, watery eyes, and itching. More severe cases includes extreme asthma attacks and a fungal sinus infection. 

In extreme cases, you may not be able to get your asthma under control or develop a pulmonary edema. In rare cases, emphysema may occur. It is important to nip your mold infestations in the bud.

stachybotrys mold in home
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Mold type number six: STACHYBOTRYS

Most commonly referred to as black mold, stachybotrys, is the most dangerous type of mold. This is another fungus that can breed on soft materials like drywall, paper, and cardboard. This type of mold requires a constant flow of water. But it doesn’t have to be from leaks or floods. It can be caused by condensation as well. 

Typically, this is found on walls or material from underneath air conditioning units or in bathrooms without ventilation. It grows extremely quickly and spreads evenly over walls or floors. As soon as the fungus begins to grown toxins are released into the air. This can cause poor health within days of breeding.

Black mold can cause severe risks to infants and young children. Additionally, people with compromised immune systems and the elderly are highly at risk when breathing in this mold. Stachybotrys can cause severe pain, extreme tiredness, and massive breathing problems. Even normally healthy people can begin experiencing lung issues, unexplained infections, and aches. In rare cases, a person may be hospitalized or can die. 

If you think you may be infected with black mold it is vital to have it tested immediately.

The health and well-being of your family is our top priority. At Winchester Environmental Consultants, we have the knowledge and tools to protect you from the most deadly infestation. Our employees are trained in every type of mold. We can test, clean, and protect you in the future. You can trust us to investigate your mold situation and offer quick cleanup solutions. 

Call us today at (540)-877-9420, we service areas such as Winchester VAHarrisonburg VA, Charles Town WV, and many others!