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How to detect, prevent, and eliminate mold in your home

How to detect, prevent, and eliminate mold in your home

It’s one of those hidden dangers in our household that may be lurking around the corner without us even knowing it.

Jon Hartley, Marketing Director, Pure Air Environmental, explains the common locations of mold, the types, symptoms and how to correct it in your home. 

How to detect, prevent, and eliminate mold in your home

Common Mold Locations
•    Mold spores may enter your house from the outside through open doorways, windows, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
•    Spores in the air outside also attach themselves to people and animals, making clothing, shoes, bags, and pets convenient vehicles for carrying mold indoors. 
•    When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. 
•    Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.

Types of Mold Species
•    Alternaria – One of the more common molds found indoors and outdoors. Alternaria usually appears in areas that are damp like the sink, shower, or dark and dimly lit areas outside the home. Health problems associated with alternaria include asthma attacks and allergic reactions.
•    Aspergillus – This mold is incredibly common and does minor damage to those that inhale it. Severe reactions include respiratory infections, allergic reactions, and inflamed lungs.
•    Aureobasidium – The aureobasidium mold is most often found on wooden furniture, surfaces, painted walls and wallpaper as well as around windows and in caulk. If you notice a spotty substance that is pink and black in color in those areas, it’s probably this type of mold. Since aureobasidum is so common, most people do develop allergic reactions to it and it has been known to cause more severe reactions than other molds.
•    Chaetomium – Chaetomium mold is found in drywall that has experienced water damage. People typically identify its presence when they smell a musty or old odor in their home.
•    Cladosporium – Homeowners often find the cladosporium mold inside both cool and warm areas like carpet, wood floorboards, wooden cabinet and older fabrics. Being around this mold can leave homeowners with breathing problems and respiratory issues.
•    Fusarium – Fusarium tends to grow in colder, wetter areas. The typical homes for the fusarium mold are carpeted areas and similar fabrics. Can cause the standard allergic reaction as well as respiratory infections and inflammation.
•    Penicillium – Penicillium is a mold that can found indoors inside insulation, furnishings, water damaged furniture, carpeting and more. Penicillium is known for spreading quickly throughout the home and can cause homeowners to have sinus infections, lung inflammation, as well as allergic reactions.
•    Stachybotrys Chartarum – Black mold or stachysbotrys chartarum is also called toxic mold. This is due to the fact that this type of mold creates toxic compounds known as mycotoxins. The compounds cause those that breathe the mold in to develop breathing issues, sinus infections, depression, fatigue, asthma attacks and more. This is identified by its musty smell and is found in areas that stay damp, like air conditioning pipes and ducts.
•    Serpula Lacrymans – This is commonly found outside but can also grow inside on wooden surfaces. This mold leads to dry rot within wood as it feeds solely on wooden surfaces. It’s most noticeable by its yellow appearance.
•    Trichoderma – Homeowners often find this in damp carpeting, wallpaper and similar surfaces. The harm with trichoderma comes from the production of mycotoxins that can cause sinus infection, allergic reactions, and more.
•    Ulocladium – Can be found both outside and inside. Ulocladium is typically found in areas that have been severely damaged by water like in the floors and walls of homes that have experienced a flood. This kind of mold causes many homeowners to develop allergic reactions and infections.

How to detect, prevent, and eliminate mold in your home

Symptoms of Mold Exposure
•    People with allergies may be more sensitive to molds. People with immune suppression or underlying lung disease are more susceptible to fungal infections.
•    People may experience symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation when exposed to molds. Some people may have more severe reactions to molds.
•    Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.
•    Immunocompromised persons and persons with chronic lung diseases like COPD are at increased risk for opportunistic infections and may develop fungal infections in their lungs.

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How to detect, prevent, and eliminate mold in your home

How to Correct Mold in Your Home
•    In most cases mold can be removed from hard surfaces by a thorough cleaning with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. 
•    Absorbent or porous materials like ceiling tiles, drywall, and carpet may have to be thrown away if they become moldy. 
•    If you have an extensive amount of mold and you do not think you can manage the cleanup on your own, you may want to contact PURE AIR ENVIRONMENTAL for an assessment and rely on their experience in cleaning mold in buildings and homes.
•    Open windows and doors to provide fresh air. Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear. If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, you should consider contacting PURE AIR ENVIRONMENTAL for assistance.

To learn more, visit or call (317) 760-PURE / (317) 760-7873.