Mold is not just a nuisance, it can also be extremely dangerous. If you’re uninformed and don’t know what to look for it can become a serious problem. The following article lists the most common types of mold that occur in Florida. It also describes what they look like and the type of environments they can grow in.
Penicillium is one of the most common types of mold found indoors. It is extremely common and will appear on pretty much anything including damp building materials, walls, wallpapers, floors, carpets, mattresses, upholstered furniture, etc. It is moderately toxic and may trigger allergic reactions and asthma. Colors can range from blue to yellow. This species is also one of the most common causes of fruit and vegetable spoilage. Commonly called blue or green molds, they produce large quantities of bluish, greenish, or yellowish spores and will be formed in damp areas and on damp materials.
Aspergillus is the other most common type of mold encountered indoors. This species comes in a variety of colors including tan, green, white, and black. Black Aspergillus loves extremely wet conditions and can only be found on severely water damaged surfaces, especially water damaged drywall. It does look similar to Stachybotrys, which is toxic, but it is best to be safe and contact a professional when either are found because health issues may occur when this fungus grows indoors. Golden tan Aspergillus is found in homes with a slightly elevated humidity which means it does not need as much moisture as some other molds. It will be found in garages, closets, and cabinets. It is also commonly found in curtains near windows and sliding glass doors that are often open and closed. What you will see are tiny golden tan spots that can easily be overlooked. White Aspergillus AKA “mildew” grows on clothing and leather objects in humid conditions. It appears as small white spots that are usually dismissed as mildew but it is not. This species can be related to allergies and asthma and is usually accompanied by an odor.
Chaetomium looks like cinnamon and is found on or under extremely water damaged materials such as wallpaper and baseboards. This type of mold has a strong musty odor and thrives in water damaged drywall.
Cladosporium is extremely common and is a non toxic black mold. It is characterized as tiny black spots that grow around condensation and water damage. It is very common with A/C’s, showers, and under wallpaper.
Commonly referred to as “black mold” because of its appearance, this species is toxic and some experts believe that once it has infiltrated a home that it can never be fully remediated. This type of mold grows best in warm conditions but also needs a lot of moisture for a long period of time before it begins to grow. This is the reason you will often find it growing where there has been a water leak that is out of your normal line of sight, for example: inside walls or under carpet and tiles. It can also be caused by several other things such as improper ventilation, flooding, humidifiers, clogged up gutters, damp clothes and even water accumulation around the foundation of your home.
When it comes to any type of mold it is important to document EVERYTHING and to call in an expert to assure the mold is assessed and taken care of properly. In cases where your home owners insurance is involved make sure you hire a public adjuster to help you navigate your claim.