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Identify Types of White Mold in Your Home: Are They Harmful?

mold assessor mold course mold remediation Jan 24, 2023
white mold

The first sign of white mold can be a hint that there’s disharmony between the environmental factors in your space. Be it a lack of ventilation or a leaky basement, white mold is typically indicative of a larger, structural issue. Even though remedying those structural issues are crucial, eradicating the mold is your first priority. Let’s dive into the world of the fungus among us and set you up for a successful mold-removal process!

What is white mold?

There are so many different kinds of mold in the fungi kingdom, and when we think of mold, we often think of a greenish, darkish color. White fuzzy mold is a type of fungus that can be caused by a wide range of variables that include high levels of humidity and poor ventilation. 

What does white mold look like?

You can identify white mold by its powdery, cotton-like, fluffy appearance, typically a white or grayish color. It is sometimes a challenge to distinguish white mold from other mold types, especially in areas that are damp or poorly lit.

Are any types of white mold dangerous?

All mold types are dangerous in that spores can harm people both internally and externally. The three most common types of white mold are Cladosporium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium. The best thing to do when you discover white mold is to isolate the area and use protective gear when you’re in the same space as mold.

Potential health symptoms from white mold exposure

White mold exposure can trigger a myriad of health problems and symptoms, especially in those who have allergies to mold or mold sensitivity. The most common problems of mold exposure include mold spores traveling into the respiratory system, causing shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, and coughing.


Some allergic reactions include skin rashes, runny nose itchy, eyes, and sneezing. Headaches are also common with white mold exposure, and can sometimes turn into migraines. Skin irritation, digestive issues like nausea and vomiting, and fatigue can show up as common mold symptoms.

What causes white mold to form and grow?

White mold can be caused by multiple variables. Requiring moisture to grow, white mold forms in damp areas with high humidity levels like bathrooms, crawl spaces, and basements- especially in areas with water damage, and especially during the mold growing season (spring through fall).


These areas also have a lack of ventilation in common, which traps moisture, creating the perfect breeding ground. Organic matter is essential for white mold to feed on, so surfaces like wood, plant materials, and paper are all susceptible to white mold growth.

How to remove white mold: step by step

We’ve all seen mold growing in an old coffee cup that was left in the car or an old Tupperware of food that got lost in the fridge. Our first inclination is to clean it without thinking twice, but caution when working with mold is essential. The key to eradicating white mold is to follow a step-by-step process that prioritizes your safety, first and foremost. 

Prepare the area and use protective gear

Before you attempt to clear and sanitize an area riddled with white mold, make sure you’re wearing the proper protective gear like safety goggles, a facemask, and gloves. Protecting yourself from inhaling mold spores will keep your lungs safe and keep respiratory issues at bay. 

Vacuum and clean off the surface with an appropriate cleaner

Mold removal requires the strength of a HEPA vacuum to trap any loose mold spores. Make sure you vacuum all of the services, all are included. Create a cleaning solution with bleach and water, or a commercial, mold cleaner, put that solution in the spray bottle, and spray the affected area, allowing the solution to sit for about 15 minutes. Can use a scrub brush to surely get into each crack and crevice, and then rinse the area with clean water.

If removing white mold on wood: sand down the area

Since it is such a porous material that absorbs everything like a sponge, you’ll have to dry the wood out with a dehumidifier to start. Brush off the loose mold with a soft bristle brush, scrub, rinse, and then sand the wood down to demolish any lingering mold stains. Be sure to wear an N-95 mask to protect your lungs from inhaling dust. After the wood is totally dry, apply a sealer to prevent any future mold growth.

Learn all about mold removal & remediation with NIAQI

Mold removal is a strenuous process that requires precision, careful hands, and an understanding of the fundamentals to mold spread and the risks that come along with it. At NIAQI, we’re proud to offer all of the above to our valued clients. Don’t hesitate to connect with us and let us help you solve your mold remediation needs.

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