People understand the dangers of having mold growth in their homes or structures. While a lot of attention has been focused on toxic black mold, it is important to know that a lot of other kinds of fungus can also affect our health and well being. White mold is one of the many fungi that can have an adverse side effect on our bodies. Experts think that the same caution and attention should also be focused on other species of mold as to that of the black variety because several of these can negatively affect our health both long term and short term.
Mold vs Efflorescence
This white type of mold is characterized by the white coloring that it has as it grows on mostly porous surfaces. Just like any other kind of mold, it needs to be out of direct sunlight and in a consistently moist area to grow and thrive. It is often overlooked and ignored because it might have been mistaken for efflorescence. Efflorescence is an occurrence that commonly takes place on structures made of concrete or brick as well as any other masonry structures. The production of efflorescence is due to the salts and minerals in masonry and concrete products coming to the surface as the item or items are exposed to water. Experts who are trained to detect and assess a building for molds can easily tell the difference between the two. Some efflorescence occurrence which are older actually look like fine crystals which is very different from the cottony appearance of mold. Home owners in Texas who wish to tell the difference between the two should exercise caution when doing the following ways to distinguish:
– observe what kind of substrate the white growth is on (efflorescence occurs exclusively on concrete and other masonry items)
– observe the appearance of growth (mold is finer and more cottony looking than efflorescence)
– a moldy smell might be present if the growth is white mold
– cautiously spray a fine mist on the white growth (efflorescence should dissolve since it is made of salts and minerals)
A lot of people think that this particular white fungus is not dangerous and will not affect their health. While it is not as dangerous as toxic black mold, people are different and each may have different reactions to environmental factors. Some people are more sensitive to allergens while others with a lowered immune system might react to exposure to mold spores from the white variety after being fine beforehand.
Common health issues that come with exposure to spores from this particular mold have something to do with the upper respiratory system of the person. Usually, when spores are inhaled, they almost instantaneously trigger an allergic reaction in the individual. The symptoms of this reaction is similar to allergic rhinitis or hay fever, including but not limited to:
– itchy, watery eyes
– itchy nostrils or nose
– a runny nose
– chronic cough
more serious symptoms are:
The reason some individuals may have more serious symptoms may have to do with how long they have been inhaling the spores as well as a not so effective immune system.
The removal of white mold should be done with caution; better yet, done by professionals who are trained to do this effectively with the means to protect themselves from exposure. Do-it-yourself projects to remove white mold colonies should only be done on a small or medium sized colony in a well-ventilated area. The person to do this should also wear protective clothing that covers up most of the limbs and other body parts. These include a mask, goggles and gloves.
While immediate removal is necessary to prevent health issues, it is also important to identify the kind of mold present. Professionals can test the spores and can use a vacuum to make sure that spores will not float to other areas of the house when they are being removed.