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.