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About 50% of Homes Have Mold Problems.... Let SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville Help You!

3/20/2023 (Permalink)

Rubber Duck on bathtub with mold growing Call SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville for all your mold questions and concerns!

What is Mold?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, mold is defined as follows: “A superficial often woolly growth produced especially on the damp or decaying matter or on living organisms by a fungus (as of the order Mucorales).” In other words, mold spores grow when they land on excessive moisture.

Many of us are familiar with mold or have seen it before; it’s often a greenish substance growing in cool or damp areas, such as basements or crawlspaces. However, it’s especially prudent to SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville and what our professional technicians do daily. It often appears in the aftermath of water damage when your home, business, and belongings are water-logged and desperately need remediation.

Types of mold fall into one of the three types of categories listed below:

Allergenic molds are not toxic in and of themselves but can trigger allergic reactions such as asthma.

Pathogenic molds can trigger illnesses in people already weakened by other causes.

Toxigenic families of molds are the most dangerous because they create toxins that can lead to health problems that are sometimes lethal.

Types of Molds Most Commonly Found in a Residential Home:

  1. Chaetomium

Type of Mold: Allergenic.

Where It’s Found: Water-damaged homes.

Soil and plant debris is the natural outdoor habitat of this mold, but it’s also the most common mold to grow in houses damaged by flooding and large water leaks.

Chaetomium is an allergenic mold that often starts as a fuzzy white growth. Over time, it darkens and can sometimes look like the dreaded black mold. The two types can even grow in the exact location. Sufficient moisture is necessary for the growth of both.

  1. Stachybotrys (Black mold)

Type of Mold: Toxigenic.

Where It’s Found: Damp areas, including ventilation systems.

There are dozens of species of the toxigenic mold Stachybotrys, but two are noteworthy. Stachybotrys chartarum and Stachybotrys chlorohalonata are also known as the toxic black mold. These sometimes appear indoors or in ventilation systems.

Both species are associated with poor indoor air quality, typically from too much moisture. Stachybotrys is also related to sick building syndrome. This mold is dangerous enough that it should be removed only by licensed remediation specialists as part of a campaign to eliminate excess moisture.

  1. Trichoderma

Type of Mold: Toxigenic.

Where It’s Found: Damp soil.

This typical family of molds is found in soils around the world. There are 89 recognized species of this mold, with Trichoderma longibrachiatum, a.k.a. “common house mold,” one of the most prevalent.

It can grow anywhere in the home where organic matter and sufficient moisture are present. Trichoderma is considered a toxigenic mold because it produces mycotoxins under certain conditions. Some strains of Trichoderma go into anti-fungal treatments for plants.

  1. Alternaria

Type of Mold: Allergenic.

Where It’s Found: Bathrooms and damp windows.

Have you got moldy stuff growing in your bathroom or shower? Perhaps mold along the bottom of windows where condensation develops during cold weather? It’s probably a mold called Alternaria. This is the most common type of allergenic mold.

From the genus ascomycete, this organism thrives outdoors in natural ecosystems. But Alternaria can cause problems when it ventures indoors. It causes allergic reactions and can trigger hypersensitive conditions such as hay fever and asthma. This organism can infect people whose immune systems are impeded.

  1. Ulocladium

Type of Mold: Allergenic.

Where It’s Found: Damp appliances, bathrooms, drywall, carpet, and more.

This common allergenic household mold is found in wet places such as showers, bathtubs, condensation-prone windows, and appliances like dish and clothes washers. Water-dispensing refrigerators with chronically leaking hose connections also may be vulnerable.

Ulocladium is black in color, and while it’s not as dangerous as the infamous “black mold,” the appearance of any mold is cause for concern and action. Ulocladium also grows on drywall and carpet and requires high moisture levels to thrive.

  1. Serpula

Type of Mold: Allergenic.

Where It’s Found: Wooden (and not consistently particularly damp) structures.

One species called Serpula lacrymans is rare in nature and feeds almost exclusively on wooden structures. It’s a mildly allergenic mold that does not pose much of a health hazard to people, although destructive.

If you see a house frame that’s always dry yet crumbles to pieces, you’ve witnessed dry rot. The direct translation of the Latin name means “creeping” (serpula) and “making tears” (lacrymans) because of its ability to infect and destroy wooden structures without high levels of moisture.

  1. Mucor

Type of Mold: Mostly allergenic (with one toxigenic exception).

Where It’s Found: Water-damaged structural materials, carpets, and mattresses.

There are about 40 species of this fast-growing white or gray mold. Most are considered just allergenic. However, one species, Mucor indicus, is considered toxigenic because it can lead to a fungal infection called zygomycosis, causing the death of living tissue.

Some species of Mucor can also infect blood in a condition called mucormycosis. Mucor proliferates at room temperature or warmer and can sometimes approach an inch thickly. Mucor mecudo is one common species. It’s generically called “pin mold” because the vertical growths with small heads look like sewing pins.

  1. Aspergillus

Type of Mold: Pathogenic.

Where It’s Found: Air and HVAC systems, especially in water-damaged buildings.

Although some members of the Aspergillus genus are non-toxic, they can trigger allergic reactions, respiratory irritation, lung infections, and asthma. Other examples from the genus Aspergillus are toxigenic and can produce aflatoxins — chemicals that can trigger cancer growth.

The spores of Aspergillus fumigatus are found everywhere in the air, and this species is considered pathogenic. It can cause lethal infections in people with compromised immune systems. As with several other families of molds, Aspergillus also includes at least one species helpful to humans. Aspergillus sojae is essential for making authentic soy sauce, miso, and other fermented condiments.

  1. Penicillium

Type of Mold: Allergenic.

Where It’s Found: Anyplace with moisture.

Although a species of this mold called Penicillium notatum was the source of lifesaving antibiotics, you don’t want any Penicillium growing in your house.

This genus has many species, is bluish-green, and has a smooth texture. It’s considered an allergenic mold. The airborne spores travel easily and can trigger asthma and heart inflammation. As with all molds, high moisture conditions trigger its growth.

  1. Aureobasidium

Type of Mold: Allergenic.

Where It’s Found: Underneath wallpaper and paint.

This fast-growing, black, allergenic yeast-like organism thrives in outdoor environments worldwide and indoor environments with sufficient moisture.

Aureobasidium is most found underneath wallpaper and paint in homes and can vary significantly in color. One species, Aureobasidium pullulans, is the most widely known and is sometimes used in biotech research. It’s also crucial to certain products that control plant diseases and aid in food storage.

Suppose you should find mold in your residential or commercial property. In that case, it’s best to be safe and contact a cleanup and restoration company like SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville as soon as possible. The restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville will follow the mold remediation process:

Step 1: When you contact SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville, you will speak to a specialist who will ask you questions about the mold damage to determine equipment, resources, and necessary personnel.

Step 2: SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville professionals will inspect your property, using specialized equipment to detect the mold and any hidden water sources.

Step 3: SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville professionals will begin the mold containment process. This may involve using a negative air chamber and turning off all heating and cooling systems to prevent the spread of spores.

Step 4: The air filtration process will begin. This involves using specialized filtration equipment to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville professionals will also use HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers to help ensure the mold spores do not spread while remediation is underway.

Step 6: SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville professionals will begin removing mold and mold-infested materials using antifungal and antimicrobial treatments. If infested with mold growth, drywall, and carpeting may also need to be removed during this step.

Step 7: Contents and belongings are cleaned. SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville professionals offers various services, such as document restoration, ceiling, wall, and floor cleaning, drape and blind cleaning, carpet, upholstery cleaning, and more.

Step 8: The last step is restoration. Depending on the extent of damage, minor or large-scale restoration services may be needed, including construction. It is our goal to return your space to preloss condition.

Call SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville for any questions regarding your residential home! We are here to help!

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