How to Identify Toxic and Non-Toxic Mold in Your Home

In case you didn’t know, mold is all around us, both outdoors and in. It is estimated that there could be as many as 300,000 or more different species of mold. In truth, molds play an important role in nature and in our lives. Molds are responsible for breaking down decaying organic matter, helping to remove dead or rotten debris from the environment. And if it weren’t for mold, we wouldn’t enjoy antibiotics like penicillin or certain cheeses. So when you discover through testing that there is mold in your home, you need to understand, first and foremost, that absolutely every home has molds, and that not all of them are harmful to your health. Unfortunately, toxic molds may also be present in your home. For this reason, identification is an important part of determining whether you want to tear your house apart trying to eradicate the mold that is present. Here are a few tips to help you identify toxic versus non-toxic mold in your home.

The first thing you should know is that even toxic molds are unlikely to affect you and lead to health problems unless they’re in stages of growth, by which spores are spreading. This occurs most commonly in warm, humid conditions. So if you live in an arid and/or cool climate, and you have proper ventilation throughout your home, you’re not at nearly as much risk, even if your tests uncover toxic molds within your home. The point is that you should try not to freak out until you know exactly what you’re dealing with. Remember, mold is present in every home and many households never suffer health issues because of it. That said, you probably still want to assess whether or not toxic molds are present since, under the right conditions, they could begin to spread, causing asthma, allergies, skin irritation, and even infections or other fatal conditions like toxicity in some cases.

Truth be told, it’s actually not all that easy to identify so-called “toxic” molds. It turns out that many different types of mold can be toxic for a variety of reasons. For example, those who suffer from mold allergies could succumb to allergenic molds more rapidly than the average person is affected by aggressive toxic molds. Still, certain molds tend to be universally harmful, depending on their stage of growth and the level of exposure. Molds that produce mycotoxins will have poisonous effects over time that could lead to serious and chronic health problems or death in some cases, which is why they tend to fall into the toxic category. But how do you identify potentially problematic molds?

There are a couple of options. First, it is generally agreed that visible mold is always a problem, whether it is technically considered to be of a toxic variety or not. If you can see mold growing on household surfaces, it’s time to take action. Black mold, or stachybotrys chartarum, is commonly known as one of the more dangerous toxic molds found in homes, so if you see it, you’ll almost certainly want to hire professionals from sources likeĀ to eradicate it, as well as implement a plan to prevent its return.

You can also have mold tests performed even when there is no visible mold (air-based testing), but be prepared to find it because it is always present! For this reason mold tests can be somewhat misleading, especially with the media hubbub surrounding the potential effects of mold and what this has done to our collective mindset regarding molds. But regular testing over time can help you to determine if the levels of mold in your home are on the rise, which could indicate that you have a problem. From there you can start doing tests to identify the particular molds in your home to see whether or not they could be toxic, as well as visiting doctors to see if the health problems your family is experiencing might be linked to toxic mold.

Related posts:

  1. Warning Signs and Symptoms of Black Mold in Your Home
  2. Is the Air in Your Home Safe to Breathe?
  3. How to Prevent Mold From Growing in Your Home
  4. How to Avoid Mold Growth in Your AC System
  5. Why It’s Important to Test for Mold When You Purchase a Home
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