How to Identify Molds

Mold is a common fungi that can appear in any household.
Mold is a common fungi that can appear in any household. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Mold is one of the most common fungi on the planet Earth. Mold can grow on nearly any surface or material if there is plenty of moisture and oxygen for the mold to live and spread. Molds can be potentially dangerous to your health and to building materials. Identifying and destroying mold is very important at an early stage to prevent further spread of the fungi. However, after identifying mold at home, you may need to call an expert to exterminate the mold fungi for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry cloth
  • Bleach

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Look for damp and moist areas in your household such as the bathroom, kitchen, cellar, behind the tumble dryer, inside kitchen and bathroom cabinets and in dark and damp storerooms. Mold tends to grow in moist and damp places with plenty of oxygen.

Check for areas that are covered with a fuzzy, feathery or woolly substance. Mold grows like mushrooms and has spores that can spread from one damp area to another.

Look for damp areas covered in a black, gray, red or brown dusty-powdery substance. Mold generally looks like a distinctly colored woolly mat. It also appears as fuzzy and slimy orange or purple.

Sniff in damp rooms. Close the door from the outside. Breathe out and open the door quickly. Step inside the room you wish to inspect and take a big, deep breath. If you smell a foul, musty or earthy smell, your room has mold.

Test mold in your household by slightly dampening a dry cloth with bleach. Touch the area you suspect to be moldy with the bleached cloth. If the area goes white, your household has mold. If the color does not change, you do not have mold.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take a mold sample to a laboratory to check what type of mold you have. Call an expert cleaning service to remove mold from your house.
  • Avoid getting bleach into your eyes.


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