How to Identify Common Types of Basement Mold and Indoor Mold

As far as most homeowners are concerned, mold is mold. Yet many people don't realize that a moldy basement, bathroom, or kitchen can harbor many different species of molds. Correctly identifying the type of fungus can help you choose the right basement mold removal system or allergy medicine.

As a precaution, whenever you look at a patch of mold up close, avoid inhaling too deeply or touching the mold. Many kinds of mold are poisonous and are the chief causes of indoor allergies.

The first step in identifying indoor mold is to consider the color of the mold growth. Basement and bathroom mold can range in color from light gray to black, and have green, blue, or brown tinges.

Dark colored mold that you find in your home may likely belong to either the Stachybotrys or Cladosporium genusus.

Paler patches of mold are likely to be colonies of Aspergillus or Fusarium molds. These two genuses also cover the most common types of outdoor plant molds.

Next, examine the texture of the mold (without touching it). If mold in your basement is growing in streaks and looks slimy, it is probably Strachybotrys. This is commonly called "black mold" and is a leading cause of mold related allegies.

If it has a fuzzy, or matte texture, it is probably one of the other three varieties.

Extemely fuzzy mold could be a variety of food mold that has somehow spread to the walls. One such food mold is Mucor. This mostly occurs in kitchens.

Look at the growth pattern. If the mold is growing in disjoint circular patches, it may belong to the Aspergillus genus. Other kinds of mold tent to grow along the outline of water stains on basement walls.

If you have excessive mold growth in your basement, or what appears to be combination mold, you can get it tested in a lab. Call a home inspection company, or a special mold laboratory for a quote.

© Had2Know 2010

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