Cladosporium Mold- Microscopic View

Cladosporium Mold Type: What You Need to Know

Mold growth in a residential or office space and disrupt the harmony of your everyday life. It is hard to identify mold growth and it is often harder to detect its effects on your health until it turns into something critical.

Out of the common mold types found in homes and office spaces, Cladosporium is a genus of fungi that can trigger asthma and allergies. This post features some important facts about Cladosporium mold type, allergies, identification, and more.

What is Cladosporium?

Ubiquitous around the globe and with over 300 species, Cladosporium mold type of usually isolated from soil and organic matter. Even though this mold type normally affects your health by triggering conditions including allergies and asthma, on rare occasions, it can trigger infections.

Common types

Common Cladosporium mold types are:

Cladosporium herbarum: commonly isolated from organic matter including woody plants, textiles rubber paper, and dead herbaceous. In an indoor environment, these are commonly found in:

  • Carpets
  • Mattress, Furniture dust
  • Painted walls and
  • HVAC insulation

This Cladosporium mold type can grow in a wide range of temperature and this seconds its extreme commonness.

Cladosporium sphaerospermum: commonly isolated from soil, air, painted words and walls, this Cladosporium mold variant can trigger allergies and occasional health concerns in humans. This is one of the few Cladosporium mold type that can grow below 0 degrees Celsius and also known for spoilage of meats in cold storages.

Cladosporium cladosporioides: it is a common mold type found both indoors and outdoors. Majorly found in outdoor conditions, this fungi type is responsible for plant diseases and seasonal allergic reactions.

Cladosporium macrocarpum: this Cladosporium mold type is mainly found outdoors and isolated from dead plants, soil and seeds.

Appearances

Cladosporium mold type usually forms dark pigmented colonies the coloration can vary from green to black/brown spots. From the outset, this mold type has a powder or velvety type appearance. The abundant production of conidia contributes to the powdery appearance.

Where can you find

Cladosporium mold is not hard to find if you know the technical know-how. This mold type has an ideal growth temperature range of 18 – 28 degree Celsius. However, some species including Cladosporium herbarum can grow below 0 degree Celsius.

Cladosporium is prominent in areas that doesn’t get enough sunlight and air ventilation. Some common household areas where you can find this mold type are:

  • Wet or damp areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Areas surrounding heating and cooling appliances
  • Wooden surfaces
  • Fabrics
  • Wallpapers
  • Carpets/rugs
  • Window sills
  • Grills
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Faucets
  • Curtains

Health concerns

The health concerns related to Cladosporium can vary from person to person. While some develop allergic reactions to exposure, others may not.

Some symptoms due to Cladosporium exposure are:

  • coughing and sneezing
  • dry skin
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • itchy throat, eyes, and nose
  • watery eyes

Reactions are minor on most occasions, in rare cases, these can elevate to major health concerns that require immediate medical supervision.

If you suspect a severe allergic reaction due to Cladosporium, keep an eye out for symptoms including shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness in the chest.

Who is more likely to develop allergic reaction?

As discussed, some people are more vulnerable to allergic reaction due to exposure to Cladosporium, these people can belong to the following category:

  • Family history of allergies
  • Living or working in damp and poorly ventilated environments for prolonged time
  • Diagnosed with other respiratory conditions like asthma
  • Diagnosed with other respiratory conditions like eczema

Prevention

There are several precautionary measures that can help you keep the consequences of Cladosporium exposure at a minimum.

  • Ensure that your house is properly ventilated
  • Identify water leaks, especially in crawl spaces and fix immediately
  • If any part of your house is damp, use dehumidifiers to regulate the temperature
  • Be on constant look out for mold growth and water damages
  • Keep the gutters clutter free
  • Do not use carpets in crawl spaces or basements

Cladosporium mold type does not pose a serious threat to human health. However, underestimating this mold type, especially for prolonged duration can have serious consequences. It is usually hard to identify and treat this mold type; this is where you need a professional mold removal specialist. You can even send the mold sample to a laboratory for an accurate diagnosis.

Yeast Vs Mold Comparison

Yeast & Mold: How To Tell The Difference

Yeast and mold are the two different forms of fungi that people find hard to distinguish. Fungi can be normal and natural, however, a higher concentration, especially in residential structures, can cause an adverse effect on health and safety.

The ability to distinguish yeast from mold or vice versa has significance when it comes to dealing with the concerns caused by each.

Importance of identifying mold and yeast

The need for identifying yeast is not considered to be critical as it does not pose a real threat to indoor air quality.

Mold on the other hand can be dangerous with respect to the type that you are dealing with. For instance, the most toxic mold found in homes; Stachybotrys chartarum or black mold, can cause severe cough, skin rashes, and chronic fatigue.

This makes looking for signs of mold infestation within your house on a regular basis critical, especially if you live in coastal areas or areas with high atmospheric humidity.

Appearance

Appearance can be one of the major means to distinguish between yeast and mold.

Yeast Mold
Can only appear as white or monochromatic Can appear in a variety of colors from green, pink purple or black.
Smooth to touch Furry to touch
Hard to detect due to the lack of color Individual spores are invisible to the naked eye, colonies are pigmented.

Where do they grow?

Yeast: Growth can be naturally triggered and it can thrive on fruits, plants, animals and soil. You can even notice yeast growth on your or your pet’s skin. They have an affinity towards sucrose-rich products, hence found on fruits and vegetables for the purpose of fermentation.

Mold: Molds are naturally triggered, provided the conditions favor its growth.
Mold growth is supported by a mixture of the following factors:

  • Moisture
  • Warmth
  • Food source (wood, drywall etc)

The fact that mold spores can easily travel between substances and areas within your house contributes to its capability to infect the inhabitants easily.

A pipe burst, flooding in your house, or any other form of water damage can create favorable conditions for mold growth.

Health risks

Yeast: The yeast type: Candida albicans are considered to be good for health, however, a higher concentration of this yeast type in the body can weaken the immune system.

Similarly, people occasionally can even develop an allergy to nutritional yeast, which is usually indicated via hives breakout.

Mold: Health risks associated with mold can be several and it can even vary with respect to the mold type you are exposed to. Some common symptoms of mold infestation are:

  • Itchiness
  • Water eyes
  • Dry throat
  • Persistent coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin infections

If mold spores and inhaled in excess amounts and if it enters your kidney or lungs, it can lead trigger other life-threatening conditions.

Perform a house inspection today to identify mold from yeast and act quickly to get the concern under control. If it seems too much to handle, contact a professional mold restoration company to get the condition handled effectively.

Mold-Spore-Colony-under-Microscope

Mold Damage: 41 Frequently Asked Questions

What are molds?

Mold is a type of fungi found in both indoor and outdoor environments. The primary functionality of the mold is to breakdown dead materials. In nature, mold can be found on soil, food, and plants.

What makes mold grow?

Mold can grow abruptly with the following limited resources.

  • Nutrients (organic materials like paper, wood, drywall)
  • A suitable place to grow (basement, bathroom & crawl spaces)
  • Suitable condition (Moisture & Humidity)

How does mold spread?

Molds produce “spores”, a set of microscopic cells that can spread through air, water and insects. Under the right conditions, live spores transported to new areas form mold colonies.

Is inhaling mold spores dangerous?

For people sensitive to mold, touching or inhaling mold spores can trigger health concerns like sneezing, itching, sore throat, runny nose, and skin rashes. These issues can be chronic for people with existing health concerns like:

  • Liver diseases
  • Compromised immunity
  • Asthma and allergies

Infants, children, and the elderly are especially vulnerable to health concerns from mold spore interaction.

Can mold kill you?

No, exposure even to the most dangerous mold types like black mold will not kill you.

How dangerous is black mold?

Even though black mold has been linked to chronic health concerns like cancer and lung diseases, we still have no solid proof to confirm the direct association of black mold with these chronic diseases.

As per the Florida Department of Health, exposure to black mold can trigger the following health problems:

  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Wheezing
  • Blurry vision
  • Itchy eyes

What are the most dangerous mold types?

Some of the mold dangerous mold types are:

  • Stachybotrys (Black Mold)
  • Chaetomium
  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium and
  • Fusarium

What are the signs of mold growth?

Some signs of mold in your house are:

  • You are sick and never better
  • Musty smell
  • Bubbly walls
  • Rust

How can I get exposed to mold?

It is impossible to avoid exposing yourself to mold spores due to its ubiquitous nature. It is when the level of exposure elevates, you start observing symptoms. Handling moldy materials or inhaling moldy air often can elevate the concern.

People with existing health concerns start exhibiting systems even with minor exposure levels.

What is the cost of mold removal?

The cost of mold removal or remediation can vary based on factors like the area, location, and type of contamination.

How long does mold removal take?

It depends on your individual situation; however, on average we take 3 to 6 days to restore the conditions based on IICRC best practices for mold remediation.

Can I remove mold myself?

It depends on the mold type and the situation that you are dealing with. You can use DIY tips for everyday mold, which you can often see in the bathroom corners and the kitchen cabinets.

However, when you start observing the other signs of mold like the musty smell and feeling of uneasiness or if you observe a hidden mold colony with size more than 10 sq. ft., you have to consult a mold specialist.

Mold reoccurrence after using DIY techniques is another sign that you are dealing with a strong mold type, which needs to be taken care of by a professional.

Can mold dry out and die?

Mold spores require moisture and food to thrive. However, when the moisture supply is cut off, the spores actually fall into an inactive state. Once they come in contact with moisture again, they start functioning and multiplying.
Some mold types are can stay dormant for years under the right condition.

Does mold come back after remediation?

Yes, mold can reappear after the remediation process.

Moisture problem is the main reason that drives mold re-growth.

Professional remediation services can reduce the probability of mold reoccurrence to 10%.

As per our observation, the probability of mold reoccurrence increases by 40% if DIY techniques were initially used to address mold growth.

Can I use bleach to kill mold?

Using bleach does not kill the mold. The chemical composition of the bleach takes away the color of the mold and creates an illusion of a mold-free surface. The fungi present can continue damaging your property.

Furthermore, the overuse of bleach can also cause permanent damage to residential possessions like furniture or marble.

Can I paint over mold?

Have you observed bubbling on newly painted walls after a couple of months? Painting on molded walls without properly addressing the concerns can lead to this situation.

Painting over mold can delay the inevitable, but you are certain to face the following:

  • Personal & family health concerns
  • Property damage
  • Hefty mold remediation bills
  • Property value depreciation

Does painting or using caulk over mold kill it?

The short answer is ‘No’.

There are several mold killing paints and coatings available in the market today. However, if you do in-depth research, you can easily challenge these claims.

Mold colonies on walls or other surfaces have to be properly addressed prior to painting.

You can easily see surface mold. However, on most occasions, the problem sits deeper within your walls. If you suspect that there is mold beneath your painted walls, hire a professional mold remediation service.

Commercial mold remediation service can access the mold growth, identify the extent of damage, and recommend a plan of repair.

What are the signs of mold growth under the paint?

  • Paint appears chipped, bubbled, cracked
  • Wall discoloration, especially a tinge yellow color that signifies water leak
  • Wall surfaces appear irregular

What does mold smell like?
Mold smell can vary, some are:

  • Musty
  • Meaty
  • Earthy
  • Wet socks or rotten wood

Why are some mold types hazardous to others?

Mold types producing the chemical: ‘mycotoxins” are considered toxic. However, no research has so far linked toxic mold types to unique health concerns.
All mold types in properties should be treated and eliminated the same.
If my air conditioning system is contaminated, can I still use it?
Any systems that regulate airflow in your house or office should not be used if it is suspected of mold contamination.
Using a contaminated air regulation system seconds quick and effortless spread of mold spores.

How can I prevent mold growth?

  • Use dehumidifiers or air conditioner to maintain the humidity level in your property around 50%
  • Dry any spills or wet surfaces in 24 hours
  • Do not use carpets in bathrooms, basement and crawl areas
  • Address water leaks as quickly as possible

How much mold exposure does it take to make me sick?

This depends on your health statistics and age. Infants and the elderly are more vulnerable to mold exposure.

A 2012 study conducted on infants and young children across 289 homes, found that group exposed to mold had increased risk of developing asthma by the age of 7.

The bottom line is mold exposure will trigger major health concerns in the long run.

Does homeowners insurance cover mold?

Homeowners insurance covers mold damage, provided it is included in the ‘covered peril’.

Homeowner insurance covered perils is a list of damages that makes you eligible to file a claim. The covered peril can vary with the insurance type and other factors.

The main cause of mold damage is water leak or damage. To understand whether mold damage is covered in your home insurance, you need to initially understand what lead to mold damage.

The following can be included in a home insurance policy and related to mold damage:

  • Water damage due to faulty appliances
  • Water damage due to attempts to control fire b firefighters

Can mold ruin my house?

Mold can take its toll on any property made of wood. Look for decay and rotting wood in crawl spaces and basements.
Mold takes its time to inflict serious damage to the structural integrity of your house. This is why we recommend early detection and regulation of mold damage.

If I engage a contractor for structural repair, will I address any mold issues?

Performing a structural repair on your mold-infested property does not guarantee that mold will not re-occur. For the best results, mold has to be eliminated at its root prior to performing structural repair.

Can I sell a house with mold?

You can sell a house with mold, but, disclose any history of water leaks or mold growth that you have addressed or any present related concerns that are not fixed.

For instance, if you fixed a faucet leak, which was not mentioned during the property handover.

If the buyer finds a major mold outbreak behind the faucet wall and the present situation demands him to replace the cabinets completely. He can request you to pay for the damages and even sue you and the realtor.

How does mold inspector check for mold?

A licensed mold removal technician uses a variety of industry level equipment to test, remove and prevent mold contamination. Some tools that we use are:

  • Moisture meter
  • Infrared or thermal imaging camera
  • Rotameter
  • Borescope
  • Humidity gauge

How do I find hidden mold in my house?

Hidden mold is difficult to diagnose. You need advanced tools like a digital hygrometer, moisture meter, and humidity gauge to identify hidden mold.

Do air purifiers help with mold spread?

Yes, an air purifier can prevent mold spore spread, provided they are armed with:

  • HEPA filter: captures airborne spores and prevent reentry
  • Carbon filter: alleviates mold odor
  • UV-C light: prevent mold reproduction

Note that, existing mold colonies is not destroyed even though reproduction might be prevented. In such cases, mold can enter the dormant state and continue to exist in that state until it encounters a favorable condition to reproduce.

Is there a device to check for mold?

There are several mold test kits available in the market to test for mold.

Will moldy food make me sick?

Yes, moldy food can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory issues. Some mold types can produce mycotoxins, ingestion of which could make you sick.

Will mold only occupy the food surface?

No.

You might have observed pigmented mold or dusty spots on edible substances like bread, cheddar and fruits. Mold has root threads that invade deep into the surface of contamination. Therefore, removing the pigmented moldy spots on the food surfaces does not make it safe.

Can I use DIY mold removal tips to kill mold?

We do not recommend DIY Mold removal tips, provided you are unaware of the mold type you are dealing with. Here is why.

How does mold differ from mildew?

Mold differs from mildew in some aspects; find a detailed comparison table here.

When should I call a mold removal specialist?

The area of mold contamination, the air quality within your property and reoccurring health concerns are some signs that you should call a mold removal specialist.

Can my clothes get contaminated with mold?

Yes, learn more here.

What are the best practices to consider while removing mold?

It is recommended to align your removal efforts alongside IICRC’s on 5 major principles for mold remediation:

  • Provide the safety and health of workers and occupants
  • Document the conditions and work progress
  • Decontamination during remediation
  • Contamination removal
  • Contamination prevention

There are several consequences of not abiding by these principles.

What are the common types of mold found in homes?

  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus fumigates
  • Aureobasidium
  • Chaetomium
  • Cladosporium

Learn more about each of these mold types here.

What to expect from a commercial mold removal services?

A commercial mold removal service is licensed and uses industry-grade equipment to test, remove, clean up and prevent mold contamination.

They also align their work process along with IICRC’s best practices for mold removal and foresee different situations and ensure the safety of both workers and inhabitants.

Mold growth is easy to prevent if you remain vigilant and invest time and effort to maintain your property consistently.

Mold-inside-the-drywall-in-a-house-in-Jupiter

What to Expect from a Professional Mold Removal Service

If not handled properly, mold growth in houses and offices can be a recurring problem. Incidents of mold growth disrupting the lives of people have increased in the past two years.

With the rise in indoor fungal and bacterial contaminations, the task of finding a professional mold removal services has become a challenge.

Once you observe those obvious signs of mold growth in your house or office and feel that things are getting out of hand, you need to hire a mold remediation specialist.

The checklist below will provide you a snapshot of how a professional mold removal service operates.

Assessment Checklist

Since mold growth is usually visible, your remediator will start with a visual assessment to understand the extent of mold contamination.

The specialist can also use high powered light sources coupled with fiber-optic borescopes to survey hidden areas like cavities.

Additional industry-level tools/equipment will be used for the assessment; which will be discussed later in this post.

A mold removal specialist can also interview the occupants of the building to understand the following:

  • The extent of mold contamination
  • Events of water incursion in the past, if any and the pertinent details like how, where, type and how long
  • Whether infected areas have been covered in the past with paints, sealants or other coatings
  • The history of the building (this information will come in handy for the documentation process, which will be discussed later.)

detailed picture of mold inside drywall
Mold equipment

Mold assessment and removal equipment used by mold cleanup services. Following factors will influence usage of equipment in this list.

  • Geo location
  • Structure type, age, materials involved
  • Mold contamination level

Assessment/inspection equipment: Your mold remediation specialist should use some or all the below listed equipment to analyze and document the status of the structure, infected area and systems during remediation.
A professional mold removal company uses the same assessment tools and equipment at the same geo-location to ensure the following:

  • Consistent data collection
  • Accurate project forecasting
  • Accurate budgeting and post-cleanup evaluations

Moisture sensors: Moisture sensors are used to determine the moisture levels in multiple materials. The device has multiple pins that penetrate the material to provide moisture level readings audibly or visually. These sensors help remediators to identify things that are beyond repair.

Moisture meters: Mold specialist uses moisture meters to review the moisture levels of materials with known or acceptable moisture content.

The result from the moisture meters are compared with the acceptable moisture content in materials and used to set target drying goals.

Thermo-hygrometer: professional mold specialists will use the same thermo-hygrometer to read determine the temperature and relative humidity in the contaminated area.

Environmental conditions are documented before, during and after remediation. If fluctuations in readings indicate conditions that support microbial growth, remediators take preventive measures.

IR Thermometers & Thermal imaging devices: IR Thermometer and imaging devices are used to detect moisture level fluctuations on material surfaces.

IR and thermal devices cannot provide moisture readings within the material. These tools list the materials eligible for a moisture meter check.

Supplemental systems: heating systems, air conditioning equipment and power generators can fall under supplemental systems.

Remediators use these systems when gas, fuel oil and electrical systems need to be disconnected as part of remediation efforts.

Any supplemental mechanical system used should adhere to the local laws and regulations set by the federal, country or the state.

Removal materials/equipment: a professional mold remediation service will strategize the remediation process using the following removal equipment.

6-mil polyethylene sheets/ bags: uncontaminated or occupied areas in the building are separated from the contaminated area using 6-mil polyethylene sheets.

Materials beyond repair are securely sealed using 6-mil polyethylene bags and discarded in composing landfill rather than recycling landfill.

Antimicrobial coatings and sealants: Water-based coatings and sealants with a standard permeability rating of minimum 1.0 perms as per ASTM D-1653 should be used.

Low odor, low volatile organic compound-driven and the ones that don’t create a vapor barrier are usually preferred.

Chemicals: A mold removal specialist will only use chemicals or antimicrobials in conjunction with proper cleaning standards.

The source removal of mold contamination is always the priority. Indiscriminate use of antimicrobials, coatings, and sealants can trigger health concerns like asthma, headache, and itchy eyes.

Mold inside piping system in a house in Jupiter

Safety work practice checklist

A professional mold remediation service adopts the best workplace safety precautions. Some of these restrictions or precautions are:

  • Enforce wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and a daily inspection before use
  • Electrical safety practices like using Lock Out, Tag Out (LOTO)
  • No edible consumables or smoking in contaminated area
  • Proper containment of PPE before moving from one area to another
  • Enforcing the use of multiple gloves to address the concern of personal injury
  • Adhering to buddy system while working in isolated or high heat workspaces
  • Daily standup meetings to track progress, layout deadlines and review safety concerns

Project documentation & record keeping

How many of you have thought about checking whether your mold removal specialist keeps a record of the recent remediation work? If yes, do you know how detailed their documentation is? Are the same person involved in the future remediation work if mold reoccurs?

A perfect mold project document and recordkeeping are critical for successful execution and completion of the remediation project. This documentation becomes inevitable in cases of mold reoccurrence.

Perfect project documentation will have the following:

  • The complete list of readings and observation for all materials and areas involved
  • Documentation of important communication
  • Pictures of previous conditions
  • Strategies used to decontaminate for e.g. use of specific chemicals, sealants etc.
  • A detailed work/activity log that lists the technicians involved in specific activities, how long, the outcome and any potential risk identified but not resolved during the project

Identifying a professional mold removal specialist is a tricky task. Review this checklist and ensure that the specialist that you hire has experience with all the pointers listed above. This can be your starting point.

Mold in residential property ceiling west palm beach

Mold Can Affect More Than Your Carpets & Drywalls

Mold infestation is a collective non-scientific name that pins different types of fungi. These unpleasant fungi types can be found both indoors and outdoors.

Mold growth has been increasingly becoming a major headache for both residential and commercial property owners, especially in Florida.

Research by Hindawi 2016, on economic costs of certain health issues caused by exposure to indoor dampness and mold in the U.S estimated the following annual costs:

  • Allergic Rhinitis: $3.7 billion
  • Acute Bronchitis $1.9 billion
  • Asthma Morbidity $15.1 billion
  • Asthma Mortality $1.7 billion

These statistics make a point, it’s just not your carpets or drywalls that are affected by mold, but these fungi types hoard some serious concerns.

Mold infestation on clothes

Mold can easily find its way to clothes and take its time to inflict some damage. Some mold types can go unnoticed and create the following health concerns:

  • Rashes
  • Watery and itchy eyes
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Fatigue
  • Headache

The possibility of mold infestation on clothes is usually overlooked and turns out to be a mistake in the long run.

Health hazards

Mold on carpets and drywalls are often just the beginning. Usually, mold takes it time and starts affecting your health. The irony is that most symptoms are hard to link to mold growth and hence the core problem remains at large.

Allergy and asthma: respiratory issues are the most common aftereffects of mold infestation. Black mold spores can trigger respiratory concerns like shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing.

These conditions, if unchecked, with time can develop to chronic asthma and other serious respiratory issues.

Memory loss and concentration: Mold also has the potential to thwart the smooth functioning of the brain. Mold spores can make you feel sluggish and create a foggy feeling.

Weakened immune system: being sick all of a sudden and on a consistent basis can be linked to inhalation of mold spores. Such situations lead to a weakened immune system, which can make you vulnerable to any other health concerns.

Mold infected drywall in Office in Jupiter Florida

Structural damage

Mold growth can impact the residential or property structure. Mold growth in areas like behind the drywalls and ceilings usually go unnoticed.

More often property owners fail to notice the different signs of mold growth. Such situations can escalate in a couple of years and have a bigger impact on the structure of the property.

Properties made of organic or cellulose dominated materials like wood, drywall, etc can feed mold and deteriorate over time. This leads to situations like collapsing walls and roofs.

This is why we recommend inspecting your property for water and mold damage inspections at least twice every year.

Mold growth is easy to prevent, it’s just that you need to invest some time and effort to ensure that everything is under control. If you find any signs of mold infestation at your house, make it a point to contact a certified mold remediation specialist as soon as possible. It is also wise to ensure that your mold remediation specialist abides by IICRC’s best practices for mold remediation.

Mold-in-Ceiling-House-west-palm-beach

Why DIY Mold removal is not safe

Mold is a natural phenomenon, but something that you want to avoid at any cost. As per the EPA and Berkeley National Laboratory, 2007, of the 21.8 million people diagnosed with asthma in the United States, 4.6 million can be linked to mold and dampness exposure. Furthermore, around 25% of the total population has a genetic predisposition that makes them vulnerable to mold-related allergies or illness.

Mold can be equally dangerous for both your property and health. Mold grows by consuming cellulose, a substance present in organic matter. Materials within your house made of wood and anything organic like drywall can easily feed mold. Longer the mold grows, the faster and deeper it eats away these organic substances and inflicts damage to the property.

Eliminating mold from your house should be a priority, however, you need to be smart enough to understand that DIY mold remediation techniques may not be effective every time.

The effectiveness of DIY mold removal techniques can rely on different factors like mold type, the severity of the growth, humidity and moisture levels within your house.

This post features some factors why DIY mold removal might not be the safest option on every occasion.

Mold Exposure

By taking on the task of mold remediation you are risking mold exposure. Exposure to mold can trigger health problems, especially when dealing with something like black mold.

Moreover, mold exposure can even cause any underlying health concerns to escalate with ease. It is recommended to wear protective gear while dealing with mold, however, you might also have to customize your gear with respect to the mold type or other scenarios that you are dealing with.

Damaging your property

While attempting a DIY mold removal method, if not careful, you can inflict some damage to the property. The internet is a hub of residential DIY strategies. You can easily tackle a bogus or even an invalidated strategy.

For instance, bleach can be used to kill mold is a popular myth that you see on the internet. As a matter of fact, using bleach does not kill the mold. The chemical composition of the bleach takes away the color of the mold and creates an illusion of a mold-free surface. The fungi present can continue damaging your property. Furthermore, the overuse of bleach can also cause permanent damage to residential possessions like furniture or marble.

Hidden mold

That musty smell and feeling of dampness are one of the signs of mold growth. However, most people end up eliminating the visible mold and overlook the hidden ones.

Mold in wall- house west palm beach

Some people are unaware of the fact that mold can grow in the most unexpected areas like behind the walls, crawl areas, beneath the tiles and air vents. The areas that you miss out can turn out to be the regrouping base of mold to grow. This can make the situation worse for anyone who has to continuously stick to the DIY strategy without hitting the root area of mold growth.

Even when mold growth can be easily identified, eliminating it can be a much harder and complicated task. This is where a mold remediation specialist can be your best option.

Mildew Vs Mold Comparison

Mold Vs Mildew: What you need to know (comparison table)

That moist discoloration on the ceiling corner or bathroom walls, is it mold or mildew? A question that taunts every homeowner unless they are experts in mold, mildew and related concerns. Most property owners find it difficult to distinguish mold and mildew.

While the differences between mold and mildew are subtle there are some factors that differentiate the two concerns and govern how the condition should be identified and addressed.

What is mold?

Mold is a form of fungus that develops from the microscopic spores in the atmosphere. There are different varieties of mold in the ecosystem. Some mold types play a crucial role by decomposing the organic matter including dead trees and leaves.

While some mold types can be beneficial to the ecosystem, certain types can be harmful when it grows indoors. These mold types, if left untreated can pose a threat to the health and even the cosmetic and structural value of the property.

What is mildew?

Mildew is a mold type that usually thrives on the flat, moist surfaces. The affinity of mildew towards flat surfaces can be the main differential factor when comparing it with mold.

Mildew usually does not pose a severe threat to the health of the inhabitants, but can damage the aesthetics and structure of the property.

   

Mold Mildew
A type of fungus. A type of mold.
Found throughout the ecosystem. Grows on flat, moist surfaces.
Types thriving indoors can pose health concerns and affect aesthetics and structure of your house. Damage is usually more cosmetics, can be destructive towards plants and animals.
Health concerns in humans are sneezing, runny nose, dry or scaly skin, itchy throat or eyes. Similar to the health concerns due to mold like throat irritation, headache and wheezing.
Can be found anywhere within your house, clothes and even pets. Commonly found in window sills and shower walls.
Mold can appear as long filaments with a fuzzy look. Mildew can appear in powdery or downy texture.
Mold can appear in black, white, gray, blue, green, brown, or yellow color. Mildew can appear in white, yellow, black or brown color.

Both mold and mildew can be identified by a strong musty smell. Preventing mold and mildew can be a challenging task, especially when you reside in coastal areas where the moisture concentration in the atmosphere is on the higher side.

Once mildew or mold growth is identified within your household or any commercial property, it is ideal to consult a mold remediation specialist to get the condition treated efficiently.

Even though you have several DIY tips related to removing mold or mildew, if the condition is not contained efficiently, the chances of reoccurrence are more than 80%. Foresee these possibilities and keep an eye out for mold or mildew growth as the earlier the condition is detected, the easier it would be to eradicate it.

mold removal specialist removing mold in house west palm beach

When to call a mold removal specialist

Commercial or residential property, mold is a major headache for property owners. An ideal means to control mold is to prevent it in the first place.

Once you observing the signs of mold in your house, the next step is to do a thorough inspection to determine whether you need to call a mold removal specialist.

Identifying mold growth and deciding when to call a mold removal specialist can turn out to be a challenging task. This post features some pointers that will help you to make that decision.

Size
If the mold in your house or commercial property appears bigger than a bath towel (more than 10 square feet) consider that as an indicator to call a mold remediation specialist.

Smell

If the indoors smell musty and the smell doesn’t seem to go away even after keeping your windows and doors open for a while you should consider contacting a mold removal specialist.

Air quality

If the air around you feels damp and cold (usually, this comes with the musty smell and a feeling of uneasiness) it can be an indicator of serious mold growth that demands a professional cleanup.

On some occasions, using a dehumidifier can help you alleviate the immediate concern. However, this can be temporary as you need a mold removal specialist to identify what is wrong and implement an effective solution.

Why a mold specialist?

Identifying mold can be a tricky task. Mold identification is a complex process, you need sophisticated or industry-grade tools and systems to identify mold type, the severity of the growth and the infected areas.

This is where a mold removal specialist can have an edge compared to the usual DIY mold remediation tips found on the internet.

Mold colonies can easily thrive behind walls and ceilings, a mold removal specialist uses special tests and tools to identify such unseen colonies and eliminate the respective risks.

You might need professional assistance when it comes to classifying mold and mildew, the treatment for each can vary with respect to several factors.

The mold removal DIY tips often turn out to be a temporary solution. The risk of not clearing mold from your home or commercial property can be major. Inhaling mold-infested or low-quality air can trigger several health concerns with time.

The most dangerous part is that you might not realize the cause of health concerns until it’s too late.
Once you decide to contact a mold remediation specialist, there are several aspects that you need to consider.

Ensure that the specialist is certified and stick to IICRC’s best practices for mold remediation. Go through the reviews and get in-depth knowledge about their service.

It is also ideal to stick with a company that works around the clock with a quick response rate and can assist you with insurance claims if the situation demands it.

Chaetomium mold under microscope

What you need to know about Chaetomium: a highly destructive mold type

Mold growth is a common headache among property owners. With over 100,000 identified mold species; the task of mold remediation might not be as easy as it sounds.

Among the prominent mold types, molds of the Chaetomium types are considered to be the most destructive and dangerous. As a house owner, it is ideal for you to understand the characteristics of Chaetomium mold species and its impact.

What is Chaetomium?

Chaetomium is a dangerous mold species commonly found in soil, plant debris and compost. Any material containing cellulose feeds Chaetomium. This mold type feeds and spreads quickly making it difficult to contain.

Chaetomium is highly dangerous and trigger infections in humans. Fluctuations in humidity, usually, high humidity levels second the growth of Chaetomium. Keeping the humidity level below 50% is one way of thwarting growth or re-growth of Chaetomium.

Chaetomium appearance

Chaetomium fungi species appear in colonies and have an initial white cotton-like appearance. The colonies that mature turn to grey or olive color.

Akin to the other mold types, Chaetomium spores once mature, gets airborne to spread. Once the airborne spores land on any material which seems damp and is rich in cellulose e.g. drywall or wood, the spores starts developing colonies.

Most Chaetomium species thrive ideally at the temperature range 25C to 35C.

Toxicity

The mycotoxins produced by Chaetomium makes it deadly. Some of the common mycotoxins produced by Chaetomium are including sterigmatocystin, O-methylsterigmatocystin, chaetochromin. These mycotoxins are known to cause both teratogenic and carcinogenic effects.

Chaetomium mycotoxin tests on animals have shown that it is toxic to spleen and the liver apart from being extremely toxic when consumed in the form of any infected food particle.

Where can you find Chaetomium

Any cellulose rich area within your house that has previously suffered water damage can be a thriving heaven for Chaetomium. Damp attics, leaky pipes and areas around the sink can be the main culprits. Also, keep an eye out on your backyard for white cottony stuffs growing on soil, plan debris and animal dung.

The musty smell and distinctive coloration can help you identify Chaetomium. If you suspect Chaetomium within your household, it is ideal to hire a mold removal professional for an in-depth inspection and efficient removal.

Health concerns

The Chaetomium fungus type can cause several health concerns in humans and pets that come in contact or even through inhalation. Some of the common health concerns are as follows:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Hay fever
  • Dry throat
  • Skin and nail infections
  • Nose bleeds
  • Dermatitis
  • Headaches
  • Seizure

Studies have also linked neurological damage to myelin sheath from excessive exposure to Chaetomium. This in turn links the autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis to this mold species.

The appearance of Chaetomium in your house indicates sever moisture balance issue. In order to eradicate this mold type, mold specialists usually inspects your house with special tools and systems to identify the areas that are moist or damp prior.

The leaks or the reasons for dampness in such areas have to be contained along with the mold removal process to prevent mold re-growth and facilitate efficient removal.

Read About: Cladosporium Mold Type

mold-on-Blue-denim-bottoms

Mold and Clothes what you need to know

There is no doubt that mold is a major annoyance. You might have heard about mold beneath the ceiling and walls, have you ever heard of mold on clothes?

Dark patches on the wall and that musty smell, all these can be signs of mold in your house. There is a misconception that mold only grows on walls, floors and ceilings.

Your clothes, shoes; mold can infest any surface. With the ability to destroy and deteriorate any fabric, mold can be equally hazardous for your health and possessions.

This blog features insight into mold and clothes.

Appearance

Mold on clothes usually appears different compared to mold on walls and ceilings. Mold usually appears in different colors: black, purples, orange and white.

Mold on clothes is nothing but a strain of aspergillus and usually appear in white and greenish-black.

Growth

The main reasons for mold growth on clothes are humidity variations and lack of ventilation. Mold requires organic substances like drywall, wood and fabric to thrive.

The dampness of wet clothes can attract and house mold colonies. Mold can thrive in 24 to 48 hours, if your clothes remain wet for a prolonged period, they can easily attract mold growth.

Mold types

Black and white mold are the mold types that usually grow on clothes. Black mold is extremely toxic and is a rarity on fabric; however, it can thrive under the right conditions.

White mold can be flaky and hard to detect on lighter surfaces. Both white and black mold can deteriorate the surface if not attended to as soon as possible.

Identify mold on clothes

The smell is the primary giveaway for mold on clothes. Look for that earthly or musty odor. Check for that flaky substance on your clothes which can feel slimy or fluffy to touch.

Health hazards

Prolonged exposure to mold can have adverse effects on your health. Though the seriousness of the health concern is directly proportional to the amount of mold you are exposed to, mold growth should not be ignored.

Even if the mold growth in your house looks mild, bear in mind that mold can thrive and spread quickly. Some common health concerns of mold growth are:

• Rashes
• Watery and itchy eyes
• Coughing and sneezing
• Fatigue
• Headache
• Weakened immune system

Removing mold from clothes

Removing mold from clothes can be a tricky task. A solution of baking soda and vinegar can be effective for removing mold on clothes. However, if the mold problem seems extensive, bear in mind that any of the DIY mold removal solutions or tips that you come across can be temporary.

It is important to deal with the issue from the source up to alleviate the concern from scratch. This is where a mold remediation specialist can be a godsend.

To prevent mold growth on clothes, ensure that you store the clothes in cool and dry areas. Ensure that you do not leave your clothes in the washing machine or dryer for too long. Mold on clothes can be a sign of bigger issues to come or already prevailing. Consider this as a major warning to act quickly and smartly.