When it comes to addressing a mold problem, it’s useful to know your enemy. There are thousands of distinct strains of mold, each having evolved to flourish in a particular context. If you’re able to identify which strains you’re dealing with, you can arm yourself with the knowledge necessary to quickly and efficiently eradicate the problem. Find out how with First Response:
Its About More Than Just Color
Mold can take on nearly any color under the sun, and so people commonly talk about their mold according to it’s color. White, black, blue, green, and even pink molds are commonly seen in Ottawa homes and businesses; so it’s not hard to understand why we commonly refer to our ‘type’ of mold according to it’s initial appearance.
While this makes communication easy, understanding mold types exclusively with respect to color can lead us astray when it comes to ridding our homes and businesses of it. The truth is that while two patches of mold may be the same color, it’s entirely likely that they are two completely distinct strains, and understanding that can be tremendously helpful to addressing a mold problem.
While words like aspergillus or cladosporium don’t make for good water cooler conversation, understanding these words and their meanings can be tremendously helpful to removing mold from your home or business. Two strains of mold common to the Ottawa area, being able to differentiate between them can provide you critical information to not just removing the mold from your home, but ensuring it stays gone.
Know Your Enemy
When you know the precise strains of mold present in your home or business, you arm yourself with knowledge. Each strain of mold has evolved with a unique set of needs to flourish, and unique weaknesses. When you know which type’s of mold you’ve got, you’re not only significantly more capable of finding it everywhere it’s growing, but you’re also more capable of taking care of it once and for all. Consider these types of mold common to Ottawa homes and businesses, and arm yourself with the knowledge you need to remove it once and for all.
Aspergillus is a strain of mold known as an Oligotroph, meaning it requires very little nutrition to survive. Growing very slowly, it is commonly found in areas with consistent airflow and moisture. Generally black or greenish in color, you can commonly find this mold hidden in your vents and A/C systems, as they provide plenty of moisture and the occasional morsel of digestible material carried by airflow. If you’ve found this strain of mold anywhere in your home, you’ll want to pay extra attention to your ventilation systems, as Aspergillus uses flowing air to transport spores and spread, and colonies are often hidden in cracks and crevices.
If you take a look at a cluster of mold, and find it mostly black in the centre, fading to an olive-green or brown color on the edges, chances are you’re dealing with Cladosporium mold. An extremely common and versatile mold, Cladosporium can thrive with very little nutrition so long as it has a relatively consistent supply of moisture. It can deal with environments that are hot or cold, and is therefore very capable of surviving tough winters. Airborne Cladosporium spores are known allergens, also capable of severely affecting people with respiratory diseases, including asthma.
3. Stachybotrys chartarum
Sometimes called Stachybotrys atra, or Stachybotrys alternans, this mold is particularly slimy. Requiring lots of moisture to survive, and consuming cellulose for nutrition, it’s commonly found on cellulose-rich building materials that are damp or water damaged. If you’ve experienced a flood, a dripping pipe in your walls, or a leaky ceiling; this is the mold that will eat away at the wood framing your home, the gypsum in your drywall, and wallpaper. Presuming it hasn’t been left alone long enough to compromise the structural integrity of whatever it’s eating, often all it takes to eradicate is removing its supply of moisture and ensuring it dries out!
Generally off-white or greyish green, Trichoderma longibrachiatum grows quickly in environments that are slightly higher than room temperature (25°-30°C). Often found on walls behind fridges, this category of mold will generally be off-white or greyish-green depending on age. Sometimes it can smell a little like coconut! Extremely resistant to antimicrobial mold removal products, the best way to address this form of mold is to manage the it’s environment. Generally removing it’s source of heat, or better yet, introducing a source of consistent cold, is all it takes to address it.
Penicillium is a genus of mold that contains, you guessed it, Penicillin! Not only does this category of mold provide us medicinal antibiotics but its also used to make many different types of cheese! Unfortunately, not every occurrence of Penicillium are good ones, especially when it comes to household mold!
Penicillium, is often confused with Stachybotrys. Very similar in outward appearance, also occurring on damp or water-damaged building materials, the primary difference between them is the impact they have on the health of building residents. The presence of this type of mold can create symptoms similar to hay fever, ‘cheese-washers lung‘, as well as asthma attacks.
First Response Mold Removal
When it comes to identifying the precise strain of mold and guaranteeing it’s removal from your home or business, there is no better alternative than professional mold remediation.
Instead of judging by eye or feel, First Response is capable of performing laboratory tests on air samples taken from your home to comprehensively analyze the mold in your home. After assembling a profile of present mold, First Response will deploy our extensive experience and equipment to guarantee the eradication of all mold.
If you are suffering from a mold problem, don’t wait for mold to take root, and get in touch with First Response today!