Common Types of Household Mold

Here’s a scary thought: there are over 100,000 kinds of mold out there. Many of these molds you don’t have to worry about, and in fact, everyday you’re probably breathing in and out several species of mold with no effect on your health. Unfortunately, some of these molds are harmful, and can affect people with allergies and compromised immune systems, or even produce mycotoxins that can lead to irritation and long-term illnesses.

If your home has one of these harmful molds, you and your family could potentially be breathing in these molds everyday. As mold assessment and remediation experts, we’ve crossed a lot of different kinds of mold in our work, so below we’ve detailed some of the most common molds to look out for in your household, with their appearance, areas of your house to watch, and other useful mold facts.

Ten of the Most Common Household Molds

Think you may have a mold problem in your house? Keep a lookout for these ten most common types of mold:

Alternaria
Appearance: Olive green to brown in color, velvety or hairy texture
Areas Found: Damp areas like sinks, showers, toilets, bathtubs, or an area of the home affected by water damage.
Type of Mold: Allergenic

One of the most common molds found outdoors, Alternaria is typically on outdoor vegetation, however when Alternaria becomes airborne, it can find its way into your home.

Aspergillus
Appearance: Can appear as numerous colors, but most typically in the green to black range. Will appear as “flecks.”
Areas Found: Walls and wooden surfaces.
Type of Mold: Allergenic & Toxic

Aspergillus has an alarming rate of growth, which is why it’s one of the most common indoor molds. It’s abundant in the air we breathe, our home air conditioning systems, and quick to contaminate open fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Aureobasidium
Appearance: Cream to pink at first, brown to black with age. Slimy appearance.
Areas Found: Wooden surfaces, behind wallpaper, painted surfaces
Type of Mold: Allergenic

Aureobasidium is one of those hidden molds that can go unnoticed for years, as it has a petulance for growing behind wallpaper.

Chaetomium
Appearance: White to gray to brown, cotton texture
Areas Found: Areas of water damaged homes (leaky roof, basement, drywall, under carpet)
Type of Mold: Allergenic & Toxic

Chaetomium is easily recognized by its musty odor. If areas of your home were recently water damaged, be on the lookout for a continual stale smell.

Cladosporium
Appearance: Green to brown, suede-like texture
Areas Found: Textiles (upholstered furniture, drapery, carpets, and other indoor fabrics)
Type of Mold: Allergenic

A mold for all seasons, cladosporium thrives in both cold and warm temperatures. It’s suede-like texture allows it to easily blend in with darker fabrics.

Fusarium
Appearance: White to pink to red, velvety to cottony texture
Areas Found: Food & Compost Bins. Carpets, wallpaper, indoor fabrics.
Type of Mold: Allergenic & Toxic

Fusarium is another quick-spreading mold. If you find it in one area of your home, chances are it’s growing in another area as well.

Penicillium
Appearance: Blue to green, velvety texture
Areas Found: Where there has been water damage
Type of Mold: Allergenic

This mold we use for many practical uses such as including antibiotics and cheesemaking, can also have some negative side effects on your health when it’s allergenic form finds its way into your home after water damage

Stachybotrys (“Black Mold”)
Appearance: Dark green to black
Areas Found: Damp and wet areas like bathrooms and basements, sometimes hidden areas (behind walls, under ceilings and floor tiles).
Type of Mold: Toxic

Stachybotrys isn’t the only mold that’s black in appearance, so many people confuse other less harmful molds for this harmful one.

Trichoderma
Appearance: White to green, wooly patches
Areas Found: Damp and wet surfaces on wallpaper, carpet, and interior fabrics. Also places where there is a build up of condensation
Type of Mold: Allergenic, Some Strains are Toxic

A trichoderma mold infestation can be disastrous to your building. Trichoderma contains an enzyme that destroys wood products, causing rot and destruction to building materials.

Ulocladium
Appearance: Brown to black, fluffy wooly texture
Areas Found: Bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and anywhere with high condensation levels (window trim, corners of bath/shower, etc.)
Type of Mold: Allergenic

Ulocladium usually grows in conjunction with other types of mold, so if you spot this mold, you may be dealing with multiple mold species on your hands.

How to Treat These Common Household Molds

While molds don’t pose a huge structural threat to your building or health risk to you and your family when they first appear, over time mold can spread quickly throughout your whole house and the prolonged exposure can lead to disastrous effects.

While many people think they can identify and treat mold on their own, the truth is they can’t. Most household molds are persistent house guests! They take a lot of effort to get rid of… and that’s only the mold you see. You may not find the mold growing behind your wallpaper, corners of your basement, or under ceiling tiles with your bare eyes. That’s where a mold assessment comes in handy!

If you live in the Albany, Saratoga, or Glens Falls region, Home Technology Inspections is available for mold assessments and remediation to give your family the peace of mind of having a mold-free, healthy home. Call us at (518) 792-3240 or fill out our online contact form to request a consultation today.