3 Types of Mold that May Be Hiding Inside Your Home

3 Types of Mold that May Be Hiding Inside Your Home

It is a commonly held belief that mold only affects older homes, but that’s far from the truth. Mold can grow anytime and anywhere, regardless of whether it’s an old home or a new one.

It mostly thrives in damp, humid, and moist environments, which make the bathroom, kitchen, and basement the ideal places in your home to be affected by mold infestation.

While not all types of mold are harmful, it can become a serious health risk and hazard if it’s left untreated for a really long time. For effective mold removal, it is essential to be able to identify the type of mold that’s lurking inside your home.

Mold tends to grow at a very rapid pace, so it is imperative that you quickly recognize the type of mold and be well-informed on its health risks so that you can deal with it immediately.

To help you with that, here are three of the most common types of mold that may be hiding underneath the kitchen sink or the basement ceiling.

1.     Alternaria

This type of mold is commonly found indoors and is likely to grow in damp and dark spaces such as below leaking sinks, showers, and bathtubs. Some of the many health risks associated with Alternaria are adverse allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and numerous asthma-like symptoms.

How to Identify

Alternaria is a type of allergenic mold with a velvety texture and brown or dark green colored little hairs.

2.     Aureobasidium

This is another type of allergenic mold that you are likely to find growing on wooden surfaces, painted areas, or behind wallpapers. Some other less common places include in caulks and around the windows in your home.

Aureobasidium is known to cause more severe reactions as compared to other types of mold eye and nail infection, as well as dermatitis, which is a very serious type of skin rash.

How to Identify

This type of mold initially develops in black, pink, or brown colors and then gradually transforms into a darker shade of brown if it’s left untreated for a long time.

3.     Fusarium

Known as both a toxigenic and an allergenic type of mold, Fusarium commonly grows in wet and cold areas. It most commonly grows in homes with some kind of water damage and tends to target things like the carpets, wallpaper, and other warm fabrics that are similar to a carpet.

In case of exposure to this type of mold, you are likely to experience allergic symptoms such as skin rash, runny nose, cough, itchy eyes, and a sore throat. However, if you are exposed to it for a very long time, it can lead to deadly conditions like brain abscess and bone infections.

How to Identify

This mold adopts numerous colors such as pink, dark red, or white and can have a variety of textures like cottony, flat, or wooly.

Final Word

This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are so many other types of mold that can grow inside your homes.

Regardless of the type, the best to ensure effective mold removal is to call mold remediation services such as EE&G Restoration Services in Tampa that have the best mold-control team and experts on board.

How Does Moisture Affect Wood?

How Does Moisture Affect Wood?

Everyone who works with wood needs to understand how wood interacts with moisture in the environment. Whether you’re a woodworker making cabinets, a wood flooring professional installing hardwood floors, or if you use wood in construction, wood moisture content (MC) should be always on your mind.

Wood is hygroscopic. It gains or loses water moisture as the relative humidity (RH) of the surrounding air changes.

These varying humidity levels of the surrounding air cause wood to not only gain or lose water moisture but to expand or shrink as well. As the humidity increases, the MC increases, causing the wood to expand. As the humidity decreases, the MC decreases, causing the wood to shrink. When the wood neither gains nor loses moisture, we say that the wood has reached its equilibrium moisture content (EMC).

According to Dr. Eugene Wengert, professor and specialist in wood processing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Forestry, wood should be dried to a water MC that’s within two percentage points of the EMC where the wood is going to be used.

Before we explain what this means, let’s make sure we have our definitions down.

  • MC = the wood’s moisture content
  • The EMC (equilibrium moisture content) of the location where the wood is at the moment or the location of where the wood is going to be used = the MC that the wood will eventually attain if it’s placed in that location.
  • Humidity of the in-use
    location
    EMC of the in-use location Corresponding MC the wood will attain at this location
    19-25% 5% 5%
    26-32% 6% 6%
    33-39% 7% 7%
    40-46% 8% 8%
    47-52% 9% 9%

    So, using this chart, we know that in an area of the country where the RH inside a home or office is anywhere from 26-32%, both the EMC of the in-use location and the wood moisture content kept in that location will be 6%.

    This means that wood intended for interior use in this location should not only be dried to around 6% but should be kept at this moisture content both before and during the manufacturing process.

    So, the wood must always be allowed to acclimate or come into balance with the RH of the end-use location. Failure to do this will result in warping, cracking, and other problems after the construction of the wood product.

mold remediation protocol

What is a Mold Remediation Protocol?

A Mold Remediation Protocol is typically written when items or areas have been identified containing an unacceptable amount or type of mold and a client requires an industry-recognized method of removal or cleaning instructions.

Before a Mold Remediation Protocol is written, a mold assessment is conducted by a qualified Mold Assessor (some States have licensure requirements). The information that is gathered, which includes but not limited to; a site visit, client interviews, room drawings, temperature & Relative Humidity readings, cause & origin, and sampling (where applicable), are used in the report generation.

Though no federal standards have been set for mold remediation, industry guidance and practices have been established. Those are:

  • The United States Environmental Protection Agency (2001). Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings (EPA Publication No. 402-K-01-001). Washington DC: US EPA
  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (1999). Bioaerosols: Assessment and Control. ISBN: 882417-29-1 Cincinnati OH: ACGIH
  • New York City Department of Health (2000) Guidelines on Assessment and Remediation of Fungi in Indoor Environments. New York New York: New York City Department of Health
  • Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (2003, 2004, 2008). Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation. Vancouver, WA: IICRC S520
  • American Industrial Hygiene Association (2008). Recognition, Evaluation, and Control of Indoor Mold. Fairfax, VA: AIHA
  • American Industrial Hygiene Association (2005). Field Guide for the Determination of Biological Contaminants in Environmental Samples. Fairfax, VA: AIHA
  • American Council for Accredited Certification. CIE, CMI, CMR. Glendale, AZ: ACAC.

Who should have a Mold Remediation Protocol Written?

Any entity that is going to have work performed where mold has been identified either visually or by a qualified Mold Assessor.

What is performed with a Mold Remediation Protocol?

Interview – Review, and discussion with an authorized representative of the Property of current conditions which has led to the claim.

Site Assessment – A physical site assessment of the Property in the area(s) of concern to visually assess the damage(s), retrieve temperature and RH readings, take air and direct samples for mold (if applicable), and gather room dimension to create room/floor drawings to identify the location(s) of concern.

  • Air Sampling – The purpose of non-viable spore trap air sampling is to provide an approximation of the airborne microbial (fungal) spore concentrations. A minimum of one control sample is typically taken outside the most commonly used entrance into the building, then one or more air samples are collected in the areas of concern within the building. Elevated airborne spore concentrations may indicate an indoor microbial reservoir(s), or that cleaning of personal effects or the HVAC system(s), is a necessary component of a microbial remediation plan.
  • Direct sampling – The purpose of direct sampling is to identify the type and concentration of microbial spores present on affected materials identified with suspect visible microbial growth. The sampling results are also used for reference for source contamination when air samples are taken.

Non-Scope Items – include visual identification and records review for:

  • Asbestos-Containing Building Materials (ACM)
  • Lead-Based Paint
  • Fire Reduction Chemicals

Qualifications: No federal guidelines exist at this time. However, some states have placed requirements for licensed Mold Assessors and Mold Remediators. For those States that do not have specific requirements, it is recommended that you use a person who:

  • Has taken a minimum of 24 hours of mold assessment and remediation courses,
  • Follows one or more of the recognized industry guidelines and practices, and
  • Acquires, at a minimum, 8 Continuing Educational Units (CEUs) bi-annually.

A person not meeting one or more of those qualifications may assist in the conduct of a Mold Remediation Protocol if the individual is under the direct supervision or responsible charge of a person meeting the minimum qualifications.