Is White Mold Dangerous or Toxic to My Family?

white moldWhite mold is a generic term that describes the color of several different mold species. Aspergillus, cladosporium and penicillium are the most common household molds that may appear white, but may also manifest other colors such as gray, green or even black. This color variation is due to the particular surface material where the mold is growing.

Like most mold of any color, white mold tends to grow in enclosed, damp or humid areas of the house where temperatures range between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s found in attics, crawl spaces, inside wall voids and other areas that provide those accommodations.

How Hazardous Is White Mold?

Potential health effects of exposure to white mold are not any greater—nor any less—than other forms of toxic mold. Like all mold, it spreads by releasing airborne reproductive spores into the indoor environment that contain minute amounts of mycotoxins. When inhaled by people with a sensitivity to these substances, symptoms ranging from basic allergic reactions to a development of a chronic illness may result.

White mold can also be destructive to surfaces where it grows. Mold growth on a wooden structure such as the underside of an attic roof or on floor joists beneath the house may cause permanent damage to a home. As mold typically penetrates the surface of these materials, a replacement of the wooden structure or drywall may be necessary if contamination and damage is advanced.

How Is White Mold Treated?

White mold is treated the same as toxic mold of any color. Once its presence and type is confirmed by sampling airborne spores and testing for active growth, mold remediation professionals will identify sources of the contamination in the house, physically remove the active mold, then disinfect the area to prevent a recurrence. Contributing factors such as chronic dampness will also be addressed.

What Else Could It Be?

One other natural substance closely mimics the appearance of white mold. Called efflorescense, it’s actually a white, fluffy salt deposit that occurs when salt water seeps through concrete or bricks. Though easily mistaken for white mold, efflorescense poses no health threat. A professional can evaluate the substance and advise you on the proper course of action.

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