Types of Mold and Treatment

by Lawton Brothers | Oct 21, 2021

Lawton Bros is headquartered in Florida, a state known for its citrus, theme parks, and humidity. Like some other southern states, there is no real “wet season”, but rather a period of slightly less rain. And since moisture is the main ingredient needed for mold growth, you’re bound to stumble across mold at some point. Mold affects not just your property and its contents, but it can also be deadly.

When investigating mold, do not touch mold or moldy items with bare hands. Do not breathe in mold or mold spores. Do not get mold in your eyes. Wear appropriate PPE (an N-95 respirator, gloves, and eye protection) when investigating and disturbing mold. 

Discovering Mold

Some mold is visible and easy to spot. In other cases, however, mold can be hidden under flooring, behind walls, and in dark corners, out of sight. Indoor mold growth can usually be smelled, if it is not immediately visible. Look for visible mold growth (cottony, velvety, rough, or leathery tufts that can be white, gray, brown, black, yellow, or green in color) on furniture or building materials – specifically look for walls, ceilings, or anything made of wood or paper that may have been exposed to moisture or water damage. Additionally, check around air units and search areas where you notice earthy or musty odors (indicating mold growth). 

Cleaning Mold

In most cases, the method for cleaning mold is removal. Remove as much of the mold as possible, then use a detergent/soapy water or a commercial mold cleaner to thoroughly scrub the area. Make sure the area is completely dried and that any sponges, rags, or other items used are thrown away.

Out of over 100,000 different types of molds in the world, there are five main suspects that you should be on the lookout for in Florida. 

Alternaria: This dark and velvety, green mold thrives in damp conditions, typically near a water leak. Most common in moist places like bathrooms, this mold is a serious allergen that can cause asthma-like symptoms. 

Penicillium: This is one of the most common types of molds found. Blueish green and velvety, this mold will grow on expired food products and is dangerous if eaten. It can begin to grow after flooding and can lead to a respiratory infection if not taken care of properly. 

Cladosporium: This mold is distinctly different thanks to its suede-like texture. Olive-green or brownish in color, this mold can thrive in both warm and cold conditions and can grow in fabric and upholstery. 

Aspergillus: This mold can typically be found in and around HVAC systems, as well as around water damaged areas. Especially since this mold can grow in your primary source of ventilation, it is extremely important to inspect your air conditioning system routinely to prevent mold spores being pumped through your facility.

Stachybotrys: Black mold is one of the most dangerous types of molds you can find. It can cause flu-like symptoms and can be fatal for pets, children, and immune-compromised groups. 

In most cases, you won’t have to call a professional to remove mold you discover in your facility. Small amounts can be removed in-house, with proper PPE. However, when dealing with black mold, large infestations, or damaged infrastructure, it is always best to call a professional for assistance. 

Give us a Call

Mold and mildew are inevitable in Florida. But that doesn’t mean that it has to control us! Be on the lookout for mold with routine inspections and prevent growth by cleaning up spills and water damage or leaks as soon as possible. As always, Lawton Brothers is here to help answer your questions and provide you with an array of products to help solve any problem. Give us a call today and see about getting a free audit at: 800.432.0813

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