Residential mold is no laughing matter. This has been proven time and time again by the health problems people have developed as a result of prolonged or acute exposure to different types of mold. It has also been proven by the devastating effects mold has had on property values. When a home has a serious mold problem, a huge part of its market value can be permanently lost – even if a professional is called in to address the problem. That’s because many states require homeowners to disclose past mold events to realtors and potential buyers.
In short, everybody knows that residential mold is something you want to avoid at all costs, whenever possible. But relatively few people are aware of the different kinds of mold that can grow inside the home. A common question people ask when they learn about the dangers of residential mold invasions is this: Are some types of mold more toxic than others? How do I avoid the more toxic types of mold? Are there strains of mold that are harmless?
Let’s start with the first question: Yes, some types of mold are extremely toxic and can have very serious health implications with just one acute exposure. Stachybotrys and Aspergillus are two names you might have heard. Stachybotrys is often known colloquially as “black mold.” It is especially toxic to humans, and is very difficult to remove once an invasion has progressed beyond a certain point. Aspergillus is a good mold in that it led to the discovery of penicillin, but it’s extremely harmful to human health. Chaetomium and Penicillium are other strains of mold that are extremely toxic.
How do you avoid these types of mold? The best answer is this: You avoid the more toxic strains of mold by employing an effective prevention strategy against all mold. That’s because the vast majority of all strains of mold, including the most toxic ones, need the same basic elements to thrive. They need moisture/humidity and something to feed on, such as cellophane. If we’re aware of how mold grows and the underlying conditions it needs, we’re in a much better position to prevent it.
Now the third question: Are there types of mold that are not toxic?
The answer, essentially, is no. Literally any strain of mold can be toxic if you are exposed to high enough levels of it. There are always mold spores in the air; this is simply a function of biology, and mold does serve a useful purpose in the biological world by processing decayed matter. However, there is no such thing as a strain of mold that is inherently non-toxic. If the spore count in the air is high enough, literally any kind of mold will be toxic to biological organisms.
Solving your mold problems
Regular inspections from a professional are a great way to stay on top of any potential mold invasions in your home and business. A professional can also increase your knowledge of mold, and help you develop strong mold prevention strategies that prevent invasions before they occur.