A mold is a type of fungus that thrives almost everywhere as long as moisture is present. They form and spread as tiny spores on leaking pipes, on wet cardboards, damp basements, behind cupboards, around window frames and even on food.
They essentially require moisture to grow and that’s why they are so common in moist and damp conditions.
Interestingly, molds come in a variety of colors. While you might be familiar with black mold, these fungal growths are also available in multiple colors, including grey, brown, orange, red, pink, yellow, white, green and purple, among many others.
How Does Mold Get in Your Home?
Excess moisture in your home is the ideal condition for mold to grow. If you are living in an area that experiences damp, wet and sometimes humid conditions then mold is more likely to grow in your home.
Moreover, they reproduce very fast by means of small spores that travel easily through the air. You can easily spot them on your walls, appliances, floors, carpets and even on your clothes.
Is Mold Dangerous in Your Home?
Molds might seem harmless, but they contain potentially dangerous characteristics. Prolonged exposure to any type of mold can cause grievous harm to your health and wellbeing.
Apparently, mold in your home can be dangerous. Inhaling the spores can cause a number of allergic reactions such as sore throat, coughing, irritation, asthmatic attacks, shortness of breath and respiratory problems.
You may also develop skin rashes, body aches, and chronic fatigue or central nervous system issues by touching some types of molds.
Even though all molds are dangerous, they play a significant role in the earth’s ecosystem. Molds play an important role in the fields of medicine, food production, agriculture and biotechnology.
The different types are used in the production of antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, food preservatives, enzymes and beverages.
However, the existence of these benefits does not mean that you should allow the growth of molds in your home. You should take steps to get rid of these unpleasant growths in your home as soon as you notice them.
Identifying Mold Types by Color and Texture
As mentioned above, all molds are harmful regardless of the color. However, different colors signify the danger that easy type poses to your health and well-being.
With this in mind, identifying the different mold types by color and texture can help you stay away from danger. Here are the different types of mold by color:
1. Toxic Black Mold
Toxic black mold is also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, and is often characterized with black to greenish colors. As the name suggests, the mold is believed to contain a large percentage of mycotoxins that could be dangerous to human health.
This type of mold normally grows on surfaces that contain cellulose or have remained moist for prolonged periods. These include wood, cardboards, ceiling tiles, gypsum boards and organic materials.
Various scientific studies indicate that inhaling or touching stachybotrys can cause serious health complications, particularly in infants. Common illnesses associated with toxic black mold include:
- Nasal and sinus congestion
- Chronic fatigue
- Sore throat
- Pain and aches
- Eye irritation
- Runny nose
- Periodic headaches
- Central nervous system issues
If you or your loved one has a pre-existing condition such as asthma or bronchitis, exposure to toxic black mold could turn fatal. With this in mind, you are advised to get rid of these molds immediately you spot them in your premises. You may use a mold-killing spray such as Killz to eliminate
2. Grey / Black Mold
The grey mold is a genus of ascomycete fungi. It is tends to be grey or black and it has a velvety texture. Considering its characteristics, it is very easy to confuse grey mold for toxic black mold.
However, unlike other types of molds, they grey mold normally grow outdoors rather than indoors, near plants, soil and damp or dirty spaces. Nonetheless, the mold can find its way indoors by traveling through air when dust gets into your house. If you are keen, you may notice traces of the mold in dust when cleaning your home.
Moreover, if you have indoor plants or a small kitchen garden, chances are that you may find grey mold growing in these areas. It thrives on vegetation and wooden surfaces and fences.
Notably, exposure to the grey mold is not extremely harmful. However, research suggests that touching or inhaling this mold can increase your risk of developing asthma. You may also experience hypersensitivity and hay fever when exposed to grey mold for long periods.
3. Brown Mold
As the name implies, this type of mold is brown. However, it can be dark tanned or yellow depending on its classification. Common forms of brown mold include Stemonitis, Pithomyces chartarum, Taeoniella, and Aureobasidium pullulans.
In terms of appearance, brown molds often grow in dark patches and they can be found on hard surfaces such as wood, and tiles. Moreover, they tend to spread rapidly within days, and they release a musty odor after a sometime. In order to determine the type of mold growing in your property, samples of the mold have to be checked in a lab.
The defining factor is that brown mold is not as dangerous as other colored molds. However, it can release spores that could cause slight health problems in people with compromised immune systems. Common symptoms to watch out for include such as sneezing, coughing, irritability and allergic reactions.
4. Green Mold
Green molds are just as common as black molds. In any case, green is the standard color of fungi. What is more interesting is that there are over 1,000 different species of green mold. This makes it quite difficult to determine the exact type of mold growing in your property.
Out of the numerous varieties of green molds, the most common types include Cladosporium, Penicillium and Aspergillus. When inhaled, the spores of green mold can cause serious health problems. For instance, Aspergillus forms on stale bread and foodstuffs, and it is known to cause various infections of the lung and pneumonia.
Other types of green mold such as Penicillium and Cladosporium may appear under your kitchen sink, in your bathroom, on wooden floors, on your walls and on ceiling beams. These molds are not only an eyesore, but are also known to trigger reactions such as coughing, asthmatic attacks, runny nose and itchy skin.
5. Purple Mold
Purple molds are undeniably eye-catching given that they form when black and blue molds mix, bringing out an attractive look. They normally grow on walls, wood, underneath your wallpaper, vinyl and bathroom walls.
However, as attractive as they might seem, purple molds are quite dangerous. They contain a large percentage of mycotoxins, which when inhaled, can pose serious health hazards.
The most dangerous types of purple mold include Phanerochaete Crassa and Gibberella. These types of purple molds can cause a variety of conditions ranging from allergic reactions to respiratory problems. Moreover, the effects of prolonged inhalation of purplish molds are much greater in infants, the elderly and people with compromised or weak immune systems.
The good news is that you can remove them from your home easily using solutions such as household bleach, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, borax and white vinegar.
6. Orange Mold
Orange molds normally form outdoors rather than indoors, but you can find them on your wooden surfaces, beneath your furniture, inside showers, along beams and in damp and humid spaces. If left to thrive, orange mold can damage your structure and destroy wooden materials.
Typically, orange molds are characterized by small, tiny spores that gradually change to slime as the mold matures. At first, orange mold might be pleasant to look at. However, as it turns into slime, its appearance becomes somehow disgusting. It may grow with other types of molds such as black and green molds, forming a colony of organisms.
If you have a weak immune system, the presence of orange molds might trigger the onset of various health problems. The only reprieve is that this type of mold is not as dangerous as other forms of molds as far as your health is concerned. It is one of the few mold species that are not life threatening.
7. Yellow Mold
Yellow molds are renowned as the ultimate destroyers of damp or decomposing wood. They can be found either indoors or outdoors growing predominantly on damp wooden surfaces, like your leaky window frames, your attics, and your dark basement floors. They also thrive in soil and forest floors. Interestingly, it can also grow on stale bread and other types of foods that are past their expiry date.
The most common type of yellow mold is Serpula Lacrymans. Howover, other types of mold such as Aspergillus may also form as yellow mold. Additional types that are not so common include Epiccocum Nigrum, Geomyce Pannorun and Mucor.
Notably, not all types of yellow molds are dangerous to human health. The most dangerous types can be identified by their brightness. Bright yellow molds are extremely toxic and they be avoided or eliminated at the earliest opportunity.
8. Pink Mold
Pink mold is not a fungus like most people would want to believe. Officially, pink mold is a form of waterborne bacteria that develops on damp carpets and wet shower curtains that have not been cleaned for a long. The mold is very difficult to remove hence you are advised to keep your carpets, restroom rugs and shower curtains clean and dry at all times.
Although pink mold prefers growing in wet rugs and materials, it can also infest your foodstuff. You may find pink mold in bread, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. if you accidentally consume or touch any type of pink mold, you may develop conditions such as pneumonia, endocarditis, urinary tract infections, and respiratory problems.
In terms of appearance, the mold forms a film that is similar to cotton candy and it has a very fuzzy texture. The shade of the film depends on the temperature in the room. If the room temperature is high, the pink mold will have a darker shade, and vice versa.
9. Red Mold
Red molds do not grow alone. They normally thrive alongside other darker molds, including the black and grey molds. Sometimes they appear as pink mold hence it is very difficult for one to distinguish between the two due to their striking similarities. In fact, red mold also loves growing on damp carpets, rugs and vinyl floors and walls just like pink mold. They can also be found on wall paneling.
Nevertheless, red mold are not as destructive as other types of molds, and they are less harmful in terms of toxicity. However, you may still develop allergic reactions and respiratory conditions when exposed to red molds for long periods. With this in mind, it is better to stay away from this type of mold. The ideal option would be to remove the mold from your property.
10. White Mold
Last on the list is the white mold. As the name implies, this type of mold is white and it normally appears in the form of salt deposits that grown on masonry walls. However, it can be found anywhere around the home including on your furniture, clothes, floors and other damp areas.
In terms of appearance and texture, white mold is rather fuzzy and usually darkens as it matures. The main body of the spores is usually translucent but tends to darken as the mold reaches its final stages of life.
The presence of white mold can be devastating. It can destroy and discolor your clothes, furniture and wooden surfaces if left to stay for long. As with any other type of mold, white mold can also affect your health adversely. You may develop respiratory infections, headaches and allergic reactions when exposed to white mold.
Scientists are yet to establish the reason why molds have different colors. However, one thing remains for sure – you should get rid of molds from your home as soon as possible, regardless of their color or texture.
In any case, allowing molds to thrive in your home can be dangerous to your health and to your household. In some instances, prolonged inhalation of the tiny spores could lead to serious complications that may turn fatal.