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The Secret Lives Of Household Mold

Jan 16, 2008
With all the news going around about toxic molds and how much they cause harm to us, our homes, and our pets, it is not a big surprise that a lot of people are mistaking other kinds of damage to their homes as being mold damage.

Efflorescence is a whitish powdery deposit on damp brick or other kind of masonry walls. This is usually seen on different instances of brick, concrete blocks, foundations, or concrete. Efflorescence is a mineral salt that ends up being left behind as the moisture seeps through the masonry and simply evaporates. This should not be mistaken for mold.

Wood sap on rafters is also commonly mistaken for mold and it forms in hot attics. This is sap that collects in shiny, hard brownish spheres.

Sprayed icynene foam insulation also gets mistaken for mold because of its organic-looking nature.

Sometimes when we lay our heads up against the wall in bed or when a particular item rubs up against the wall, it will leave marks. These are sometimes mistaken for mold growth, when it is actually just the dye from a pillow, dirt, or oil from our skin rubbing off onto the surface.

Areas of the walls and ceilings that have become discolored due to smoking or a fire place can also be mistaken for mold. This is smoke damage and usually has to be painted over to get rid of its appearance. Leaving a candle burning near a wall for a short amount of time can also cause this kind of damage to the wall. It is not mold.

Cosmetic molds also exist, but they are very often mistaken for molds that can cause us and our buildings harm. Molds such as Ceratocystis are not harmful to us or the wood building materials that they are found on, although some people have undertaken mold remediation projects for thousands of dollars without knowing this. This mold is sometimes present in the wood before the home is built.

What mold does tend to look like inside buildings is a splotchy buildup that can be all different colors, even though some species such as those in Aspergillus or Penicillium can be very lightly colored and difficult to see. Many molds appear as black, green, brown, red, or even blue.

If you are unsure whether the problem that you are facing is mold or not, you should perform some mold tests in your home to be entirely sure before you call in a specialist. Not all mold remediation companies are honest and will try to get you to take on a remediation project that you do not need.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of
Ft. Lauderdale Water Damage Restoration and
Miami water Damage Restoration Which are Certified IICRC Water damage and mold remediation contractors.
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