Prevent a Bathroom Mold Nightmare
How to Identify Mold: What Does Mold Look Like
With more than 1.5 million different kinds of fungi, it would be impossible to identify mold of every single kind, but the most common fungi found in households include:
Learn how to identify mold by these mold classifications:
- Alternaria: Common allergen in humans, usually black or grey. Can cause hay fever, asthma and opportunistic infections in those with compromised immune systems.
- Aspergillus: Can be found growing on starchy foods such as potatoes or bread but also damp walls, wet carpet and building materials. Can cause skin infections and lesions in both humans and animals as well as fever, cough and chest pain.
- Basidiospores: Circular fungal colonies including ringworm
- Chaetomium: Normally found in plant debris, soil and air can cause brain abscess, infections, peritonitis, and onychomycosis. Good hygiene such as showering with soap after working out with the use of common household cleaning products, Chaetomium infections can be avoided.
- Cladosporium: Olive green, brown and black colonies. Grow on surfaces when moisture is present and dead or alive plant debris. May lead to infections of the toenails or skin, sinusitis, pulmonary infections or pneumonia if left untreated. The airborne spores are allergens and can be harmful to those with asthma. Prolonged exposure can weaken the immune system. Create VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) associated with odors.
- Stachybotrys: Toxic spores may produce dangerous trichothecene mycotoxins such as Satratoxin H. that lead to flu symptoms, sore throat, diarrhea, fatigue, hair loss, skin irritation, headaches and weakened immune system. Can be poisonous by inhalation. In a gelatinous mass, dangerous if disturbed, the dead spores can still make you sick. Horses and cattle have died from eating moldy hay with Stachybotrys mold.
Molds are naturally occurring microscopic fungi, which in nature serve a very useful purpose. Clusters of these microscopic filaments interlock forming larger clusters that look like fuzzy growths on organic matter.
In your bathroom mold may take on a different appearance-recognizable by the black, pink, orange, green or even white colors. Sometimes you can identify mold by its dark muddy appearance. If you have orange fuzzy mold in bathroom crevasses try this guide for removing mold with hydrogen peroxide.
In nature, mold helps to break down and decompose leaves and other dead organic matter. In your bathroom mold may feed on dead skin cells, soap scum, calking, walls, tiles, sheet rock, insulation, wood, wet carpet, towels, toys, paint…pretty much anything if conditions are right. Mold thrives in an environment that is warm, dark and humid. The first step in mold removal is to learn how to identify mold.