Have you ever experienced this horror when you open a container of sour cream in your refrigerator, only to find a piece of gray down lying on top? If you are like most people, your reactions to this discovery were probably unpleasant. In fact, they were probably of the raw type. Most of us don’t like to find mold in our refrigerators and bread bags. But what is this hairy organism? And why is it crucial for the survival of an ecosystem? In this article, we will learn more about mold, how it works in our world and how to handle their remediation.
Mold is a living organism that belongs to the mushroom kingdom. Mushrooms are unique in that, although some resemble plants, they are neither plants nor animals. Mold is heterotrophic, which means that it cannot make its own food like plants do. Mold must gain nutrients from other organic substances. Unlike animals, however, mold does not really consume its food. It must absorb the nutrition of other organisms. To do this, mold secretes enzymes that break down the food substance into small organic moleculesas which can then be absorbed.
Mold is made up of filiform filaments called hyphae. The hyphae then form a conglomerate, called mycelium. This is the main mode used by mold to spread faster to neighbouring organisms. Now let’s look at the various types of common mold that exists in households, and the best way to combat them.
Identifying Different Types Of Household Molds
Serpula lacrymans is a type of fungus that generally prefers to stay outdoors. It can – and will – grow indoors, however. Wood surfaces, like hardwood floors and furniture, are the only places you’ll find Serpula. Even in the wild, the fungus attacks wood and trees, causing dry rot. The mold does not need or want a wetland to develop and thrive. Once installed, the wood begins to dry to rot. It has a distinctive yellow colour and can survive in almost any temperature, but it prefers the range of 70 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another name, more sinister than most people know, is Stachybotrys chartarum: toxic black mold. It is so named because it can create toxic compounds called mycotoxins. These compounds cause many health problems for the people who breathe them. After prolonged exposure, a person may develop respiratory problems, sinus infections, fatigue, depression, and asthma attacks. Black mold tends to grow in areas that are always damp, such as bathtubs, under sinks, around water pipes, etc. It has a musty smell that is easy to identify.
This should seem familiar to you. If not, it is the type of fungus from which penicillin is derived. Penicillin is a major tool in the medical field to stop the spread of infections. At home, however, it is a nuisance like all other types of mold. At home, it is found in insulation, furniture damaged by water, wet carpets, furniture, etc. It is known to spread quickly throughout the home once it has been introduced. Common conditions caused by the penicillium include sinus infections, allergic reactions, and respiratory inflammation.
Although it does not occur exclusively in old houses, it is considered to be the mold of the “old moldy house.” Chaetomium is most commonly found in the drywall that has suffered a high level of water damage. Once it enters the walls and begins to grow, it gives off a distinctive smell. A strong musty smell in a home is the first sign of mold. People who have compromised the immune system and prolonged exposure to Chaetomium experience various health problems. Brain abscesses, infections and allergic reactions can have an impact on those living with this mold.
Another type of mold that likes wetlands is Trichoderma. Homeowners will most often find it in damp carpets, wallpaper, drywall and any other surface that is usually wet or damp. Trichoderma is used as a powerful biological control agent to fight soil-borne diseases. It is also useful for protecting crops from harmful gray mold. As with other molds, it is known to cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems in humans.
Aureobasidium pullulans begin as pink and the mold turns black over time. In nature, it is a ubiquitous fungus, similar to a yeast, which is found everywhere in the world in different environments and which grows on plants. It will grow on floors, on walls, around windows and on wooden furniture in homes. Humans who are chronically exposed to it will develop a multitude of health problems. Because it is so common, humans develop allergies to it over time. Exposure can cause cough, fever, congestion and respiratory problems.
Aspergillus is a common contaminant of starchy foods like potatoes, pasta, and bread. It grows in areas where there is sugar or very concentrated salt. They are found in almost all oxygen-rich environments and grow on almost all surfaces. Conversely, they can also thrive in a nutrient-poor environment that has nothing to eat, provided there is moisture. To remove this fungus from the house, use rubbing alcohol or air purifiers to eliminate the effects on the lungs. Breathing problems, allergic reactions, and inflamed lungs are common symptoms associated with this mold.
Cladosporium is easily one of the most rampant types of mold. The species produces olive green, brown, and black colonies. They are most commonly found on decaying and living plant matter and are both suspended in the air and very abundant outside. Inside a house, they are found in the same places as other species of mold: bathrooms, under sinks, in basements and any dark and humid place. Exposure to Cladosporium will cause minor respiratory and respiratory problems.
Found inside and out, Alternaria is not a rare mold. At home, it is usually found in wet areas around sinks, tubs, and shower stalls. Dark, damp areas under sinks or in basements are also prime areas to find it. Outside, the fungus is an integral part of each ecosystem. The spores are suspended in the air, water, and soil. Minor health problems are associated with Alternaria, such as asthma attacks and allergic reactions. Regular cleaning of your house with disinfectants will prevent it from forming.
Once you have identified a mold that is growing in your home, treating the problem is fairly simple. A homeowner can usually take care of common interior molds using household products and making sure any
Go through the house and look for wet or damp surfaces or crevices. Make sure to guard yourself with a breathing mask and gloves to prevent breathing difficulties and skin irritation. It is important to seal the area where the mold is located to prevent it from moving around the house. finally make sure your water damage restoration is well handled.
Moldy surfaces should be washed with a solution containing detergent and hot water; once the surface is dry, use a bleach solution on the surface. Then wash and repeat three times. After the third wash, create a solution of borate detergent and rub the surface.
Once your mold problem is gone, do your best to clean it regularly and inspect for any return of mold. Although mold is an integral part of life, it does not need to be part of your home. Knowing how to identify, treat and also stop mold from growing will enable you to keep you and your home safe, healthy and happy.