How to Spot White Mold

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White mold in nature can be useful, but when you see it in your home or on food, it can be hazardous to your health. You easily can control it, but you must know what to look for beyond its color to know whether you have a problem.

Spot White Mold in Homes

  • Locate areas of high moisture like leaky roofs and faucets, high humidity or flooded areas. White mold grows on many surfaces like wood, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, paints, carpet, sheet rock and insulation, so check them all.

  • Smell it. Musty smells can indicate that white mold is lurking somewhere, and probably not easily seen, like behind wallpaper or other wall coverings and underneath carpet or ceiling tiles.

  • Distinguish it from other molds in the house such as black mold, which is much more hazardous to people's health and brings the value of the home down significantly.

Spot White Mold on Vegetables

  • Check for a dark green greasy or water-soaked spot--these are initial signs of white mold and will eventually develop white spores. The stem may appear brownish or grayish in color.

  • Look at particular vegetables; white mold grows on beans, peas, carrots, lettuce and potatoes. Check the stems for wilting because this is a beginning stage, especially in potatoes.

  • Spot black things coming off of the white spores--these are called sclerotia which are an eighth to a quarter inch in diameter. These appear after the white mold has formed and unfortunately can stay in the soil for a couple years and is harder to get rid of.

Tips & Warnings

  • High humidity areas where white mold can grow aren't limited to places in the Everglades or rain forest, it can grow where steam emits like the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. Keep these places dry as possible to prevent white mold.
  • Avoid direct contact with white mold. The mold spores release into the air when disturbed and could be unhealthy especially with allergies, asthma or an immune or lung disease.
  • Don't paint over white mold--clean it. Painting over it won't solve the problem and the paint will most likely peel.
  • White mold can start in the soil in vegetables with low susceptibility.

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