One of the things we’ve noted in our line of work is that many homeowners don’t have a real understanding of what molds can be found in their homes. We at A Pro Restoration feel like it’s important to educate the public on what molds are out there, so we’re going to do a series on the most common molds in households and office space.
Cladosporium is one of the most common types of mold within our environment. It is more prevalent in the summer than it is in the winter, and can be found both indoors and outdoors, (with its indoor levels depending directly on the concentration of spores outdoors). When indoors, Cladosporium can just be found floating through the air. More concretely, it’s also found on surfaces that tend to pick up and hold moisture, like carpets and wallpapers.
In general, Cladosporium is not hugely harmful, although it is known to trigger asthma attacks to those who have a sensitivity. The real issues arise when there is a continued exposure to very high levels of the spores. A person who is consistently in an environment where the concentration of spores is at or above 3,000 spores per cubic meter is at risk of developing a chronic allergy or asthma.
Penicillium is not as common as Cladosporium, but is still commonplace in homes. This particular mold is usually found in homes that have recently flooded, and can also be an indicator of a high moisture problem within a home. Penicillium uses soil and building materials to gain nutrients and continue its growth, and it is known to be able to reproduce and grow rapidly. This mold is a culprit behind spoiling food and also has the ability to colonize (and destroy) leather garments.
Penicillium is one of the more dangerous household molds. It can enter the human body through skin contact, inhalation, and digestion. Penicillium has been known to cause asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, pulmonary mycosis, sarcoidosis, fibrosis, and allergic alveolitis in people who are sensitive to the mold and in people who have been exposed to the mold for extended periods of time. Different strains of Penicillium cause different issues, and some are more toxic than others.