How to Identify Common Types of Basement Mold

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Lighter green basement molds are generally either Aspergillus or Fusarium.
Lighter green basement molds are generally either Aspergillus or Fusarium. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Basement mold is basement mold, as far as most homeowners are concerned. But actually, a moldy basement may harbor many different species of molds. Correctly identifying the type of fungus can help you choose the right basement mold remover, or allergy medicine to cope with fungus. If you have moldy smells coming from your basement, or you are just curious about the different organisms found in homes, this guide will help you identify common types of indoor mold.

As a precaution, whenever you get up close to look at a patch of mold, don't inhale too deeply or touch the mold whenever you look at it up close. Many kinds of mold can cause physical reactions and are chief causes of allergies and headaches.

Consider the color of the mold. Basement and bathroom mold can range in color from light gray to black, and have green, blue, or brown tinges. Dark colored mold that you find in your home may likely belong to either the Stachybotrys or Cladosporium genus. Lighter mold patches are likely colonies of Aspergillus or Fusarium molds. These two genera also cover the most common types of outdoor plant molds.

Examine the texture of the mold. If your basement mold is growing in streaks and looks slimy, it is probably Strachybotrys. This is commonly called "black mold" and is a leading cause of mold related allergies. If it has a fuzzy, or matte texture, it is probably one of the other three varieties. Extremely fuzzy mold may actually be a variety of food mold, such as Mucor, that has somehow spread to the walls. This can occur in kitchens.

Look at the growth pattern. If the mold is growing in disjoint circular patches, it may belong to the Aspergillus genus. Other kinds of mold will typically grow along a water stain on your basement walls

If you have excessive mold growth in your basement, or what appears to be combination mold, you can get it tested in a lab. Call a home inspection company, or a special mold lab for a quote.

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