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Differences in mold and how to tell which kind of mold you have

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

There are many types of mold, and they are constantly growing in the Dothan area, like all areas. For most people in Alabama’s slightly humid climate, it is not worth your time to know all of the genera or types of mold and how to prevent each one. Still, there are certain types and classifications that you can know so you can better understand how to treat or prevent these molds, especially the more harmful ones. 

Difference between black mold and white mold 

The most common way people see mold is black and white mold. Black mold is often harder to get rid of, spreads easier, and may have worse health effects. Black mold can be black to brown to green with a slimy texture. White mold is often on food, less harmful, and is easily bleached away. White mold looks white and grey with a fuzzy texture. Still, the color of molds varies dramatically, and the structure and properties of the mold are ultimately what differentiates them. These properties are what will determine effects, testing, treating, and prevention. 

Difference between mold and mildew

Mildew is a type of mold, often called white mold. It is a thin white to a gray layer of fungi that takes the appearance of fuzz because of its longer structure. On the other hand, black mold is black or dark green with a slimy texture, is often worse than mildew, grows quicker, and is harder to get rid of. Still, the color of molds varies dramatically, and the structure and properties of the mold are ultimately what differentiates them. These properties are what will determine effects, testing, mitigation, remediation, and prevention. 

Testing for different molds 

Using bleach is a common way to test what type of mold or mildew you have. If the bleach can get rid of the mildew, then your problem is solved. If the bleach does not get rid of the spot, then it is a more resilient mold, and specialized cleaning and mitigation are required. There are specific test kits that SERVPRO of Dothan has that test the type of mold it is. Some kits can test if there is mold present on the walls, some tests if there is mold present in the air, and some tests if the mold is toxic. You do not necessarily need to know the genera or type of mold, just how much there is, where it is, and if it is toxic so you can treat it as safely as possible. 

Mitigation for different molds

Certain genera or types of mold are harder to get rid of and require different mitigating tactics and cleaning solutions. Mildew, the white and grey fuzzy mold, is easier to get rid of than the black or green slimy mold. Certain types can also spread at different rates, which is why it is important to be on the lookout for certain colored mold, like black mold, and act as soon as possible. You want to act fast for black mold because it usually spreads faster than white mold. Still, the color of molds varies dramatically, and the structure and properties of the mold are ultimately what determines how mold mitigation and mold remediation must occur. 

Toxicity of different molds

Certain genera or types of mold can cause health effects, while others can cause no effect at all. Different genera or types can share the same environment together, so these effects and toxicity can mix. Black mold is often one of the most common mold types to have adverse health effects. Still, mold color does not directly indicate the toxicity or production of mycotoxins from the mold. 

Appearance of different molds  

Colors of different molds

Mold is different colors because of the organic food source it consumes, showing through its transparent cell wall. Light and humidity also affect their ability to grow and their food type, further affecting their color. The color of the same spot can also change in time. The color change can happen from a different type of mold is overtaking the colony, from the influence of the environment, or from the colony maturing. The appearance of the mold cannot necessarily determine the type of mold; the appearance can only point towards the type of mold. Still, mildew is usually white and black mold is black or green. 

Textures of different molds

Molds have different textures because each type has its own structure. The structure is the most common way to identify a type. However, the structure is not visible to the naked eye. Typically, black mold has a shorter sporangiophore or stem that holds the spores, so the colony has a slimy flat texture. On the other hand, white mold has a longer sporangiophore, so the colony has a fuzzy texture. 

Effects different molds have on your home 

Homes in Houston County often are struck with high humidity, and residents that are not actively trying to prevent mold will inevitably encounter it. The damage can range from slight to extreme based on the type of mold, the humidity, the organic material mold is able to grow on, and how long it’s grown before you spotted it. Usually, black mold will have a worse effect on your home due to its growth rate, and you will have to get professional mitigation to restore the mold damage.

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