Types of mould associated with severe condensation
Mould is a fungus and it can grow pretty much anywhere. It has become a hot topic in recent years because of increasing awareness about its potential health hazards. When addressing any mould growth in your home, it’s important to understand which type of mould you’re dealing with. Each one has its own characteristics, growth patterns and health effects. It’s also necessary to be aware of the common places you may find mould in your house so you can prevent the spread of these harmful and toxic substances. Pay special attention to places like bathrooms, basements, roofs and window seals for harmful mould growth.
Harmful moulds can be any of the following classifications:
Allergenic: moulds that cause and produce allergies and allergic reactions such as asthma attacks.
Pathogenic: moulds that cause health problems in those suffering from an acute illness.
Toxigenic: moulds that produce toxic substances that could lead to dangerous or even deadly health conditions. This is sometimes referred to as “toxic mould.”
Below is a list of the different types of mould you may encounter at home or work. Knowing about the different forms will help you to identify mould types so you know how to get rid of them effectively.
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Acremonium mould is a toxigenic mould type that evolves in its appearance over time. It starts out as a small moist mould that turns into a fine powdery substance. Acremonium mould is often pink, grey, orange or white in colour. Acremonium typically grows in household systems and areas such as condensation from humidifiers, cooling coils, drain pans and window sealants.
Alternaria is the most common form of allergenic. It’s velvet-textured with dark green or brown hairs. It typically grows wherever dampness occurs. In homes, it’s common in showers, bathtubs and below leaking sinks. Alternaria is also a common mould species that appears as a result of water damage to homes or buildings.
Aspergillus is a common mould found in households. It has long flask-shaped spores that can form thick layers or walls of the mould. This creates long chains of mould growth on surfaces. Because there are over 185 species of aspergillus mould, it can appear in many different colours.
Aureobasidium is an allergenic mould that can sometimes be found growing behind wallpaper or on painted or wooden surfaces. Aureobasidium usually develops in pink, brown or black colour. As it ages, aureobasidium typically turns a darker brown colour.
Chaetomium is a mould commonly found in water-damaged homes and buildings. It has a cotton-like texture and usually changes colours from white to grey to brown and eventually to black over time. Chaetomium mould is usually found in a damp or leaking roof, basement or sink and may be recognisable by its musty odour.
Cladosporium is an allergenic mould type. It’s unique in the sense that it can grow in both warm and cold conditions. It’s often found thriving in indoor materials such as fabrics, upholsteries and carpets. It also presents itself under floorboards and inside cupboards. Cladosporium is an olive-green or brown coloured mould with a suede-like texture.
Like cladosporium, fusarium is another mould capable of growing and spreading even at colder temperatures. It’s both an allergenic and a toxigenic type of mould that grows in homes with water damage. Typically, fusarium will grow in carpeting, wallpaper and other fabrics and materials. Fusarium mould is often pink, white or reddish in colour and naturally grows on food products and in compost.
Mucor is an allergenic form of mould that usually grows in thick patches. It’s often white or greyish in colour and grows quickly. It most often grows near air conditioning, HVAC systems and ducting due to moisture from condensation. Old, damp carpets can also grow mucor spores.
Penicillin is an allergenic form of mould. It’s easily recognisable by its characteristic blue or green coloured surface with a velvety texture. Penicillin mould is often found in water-damaged homes and buildings. It’s found in materials such as carpets, wallpapers, ducting and even mattresses. It spreads quickly from one area of the home to the next.
Stachybotrys is also known as the nefarious “black mould.” It’s a toxigenic type of mould that can also cause allergic reactions. Stachybotrys mould is dark greenish or black in colour and has a slimy texture. It thrives in damp, wet areas with high humidity levels that maintain these environmental conditions for weeks. It’s known for growing on cellulose material such as woods, cardboard, paper, hay or wicker.
Trichoderma is an allergenic mould type with five different subspecies. It’s generally white in colour with green patches. Trichoderma mould colonies grow rapidly as woolly-textured clusters and then become more compact over time. It commonly grows in the home on wet surfaces including within wallpaper, carpet and other damp fabrics. It thrives in moist areas so you may also find it in air conditioning filters and HVAC system ducts where there is a build-up of condensation.
Ulocladium is a type of mould that thrives in wetness and water. It’s usually black in colour and is typically found in homes and buildings that have experienced extreme water damage. It can be found in kitchens, bathrooms and basements as well as around windows with high condensation levels. Ulocladium may grow in conjunction with stachybotrys, fusarium and chaetomium moulds and is a good indicator of water damage.