These pictures of mold are some the many we have collected over 11+ years of experience in the mold remediation industry.
You can use these pictures to help assess what kind mold situation you might have in your home. I have categorized them based on whether they’re in certain areas of the house.
What is Mold Really?
Most people have some idea of what mold is, but when they think about it, or hear someone say the word, their mind pictures something very different from what mold actually is.
A lot of people know that mold usually grows on food and other organic matter fruits and plants.
Sometimes molds can be harmful(1) to one’s health if ingested in large doses, depending on the type of fungus, how much one has ingested, and the overall health of a person who may have been exposed.
However, there are several types of molds which are not dangerous if they remain outside!
Mold only becomes dangerous when a person breathes its spores into their lungs; inhaling mold can trigger a number of allergic reactions.
Indoor mold spores floating a are usually not dangerous and will only become harmful when they begin to grow and cover everything nearby, or if someone has an allergy to them.
Pictures of mold on wood
Wooden structures are susceptible to the growth of mold. This can be frustrating for homeowners, because it will usually indicate that there is a moisture problem in the home.
Mold on walls
One of the main reasons why mold grows on walls is due to high humidity, excess condensation and water leaks.
Condensation is created whenever water vapor in the air meets cold surfaces and then cools to become liquid.
This common on walls which form the perimeter of a building. These walls are normally colder because of cool outdoor air on the other side.
Mold on drywalls
Mold grow on drywalls for a variety of reasons. Usually, it is because the wall has water damage through no fault of the homeowner.
It may also be because of excessive humidity in your home (caused by the air conditioning system not functioning properly) or because you have not kept up with necessary preventative care to avoid mold growth altogether.
In any case, if you do find mold growing on your drywall and would like to remove it
Mold on ceiling
Mold begins to grow on ceilings when there is sufficient moisture present. One of the main reason for mold growth in ceiling areas can be from roof leaks.
Activities in the home can also contribute to moisture in the air. Things like cooking, showering, washing dishes can all contribute to excess moisture in the air.
Without proper ventilating many homes will have high humidity levels leading to mold growth.
Mold in air ducts
Mold growth in air ducts is a suitable environment for fungal infestation and proliferation.
Many people feel that once they have cleaned the visible mold from these components, the problem is solved.
The issue with this approach is that when the system turns on, spores are distributed throughout the entire building via the return-air ductwork system.
Mold in air vents
Mold multiplies in the presence of water, food source, warmth. Air vents can provide all three:
1. Moisture accumulates as a result of condensation from the A C system or through leaks due to damaged/unsealed joints and seals.
2. Ventilation ensures that mold is given food (particles from particles) to feed on. The vent also allows for warmth as it is right next to/underneath the heater/air-conditioned unit which generates heat by driving hot dry air over cold moist evaporator coils causing moisture to be released into the car cabin.
3. If there are unsealed joints and openings in the A/C ducts, grills and casing – particularly where there are gaps at junctions/corners, the mold will also be able to find refuge in these areas.
Mold on concrete floor
Over time, mold can grow on concrete floor and below it if the conditions are right. This is most common where there is high damp but it can also happen in warm, humid conditions in the home.
However what causes mold to do well? The root of growing mold comes from moisture buildup and food sources for them to feed upon.
Without one or both of these things, mold will not develop or continue to flourish, which means that they life cycle must be broken
Mold on basement walls
Basements are known to have the most trouble with water because there is always a chance for water damage happening somewhere.
Water can come from many different places or things:
- Leaky pipes
- Clogged drains
- Overflowing sinks
- Clogged gutters
- Improper slope around the building that causes water to collect at the building perimeter.
Mold doesn’t need much time before it takes over an area and starts growing exponentially if not taken care of immediately.
So how do you get rid of mold on basement walls?
Clean up the excess water immediately before it has a chance to sit. The longer it takes for you to clean up the over watered area, the more chance there is for mold growth.
Another way to combat any and all water damage in your basement would be to inspect your foundation walls for cracks and leaks.
Some signs that your wall have internal damage would be seepage or persistent dampness behind walls, around windows and doors, under sinks or tubs with no visible signs of leakage from outside.
A tell-tale sign would also be peeling wallpaper or paint along floorboards or baseboard areas due to moisture infiltration.
Mold on insulation
As the insulation of a house ages it can become dirty and/or mildewed. This is especially true for older homes with blown in insulation.
For whatever reason, people rarely replace old insulation unless something goes wrong with it (for example, if it becomes wet from water damage).
This means that the original owner may have been using old fiberglass batts or other types of insulation for many years before you move into your home.
Old fiberglass insulation has usually seen better days by the time you begin to see dirt, dead bugs and even mold on it.
Where does this stuff come from? Most likely from air leaks around light fixtures, switches or cracks in the walls etc.
Image of mold in bathroom
Bathrooms are moist rooms and is a perfect place for mold to grow and spread.
Most bathrooms have at least one shower, bathtub, or a sink with running water in it and therefore they need time to dry out before the humidity level can drop to normal levels.
The amount of moisture will always affect mold growth, so even though you may not get visible mold on surfaces that stay damp for long periods of time, other areas that do not normally support mold will begin to support it if the conditions are right.
In bathrooms where mold was repeatedly found growing, usually two conditions were present: there was an obvious leakage problem or there was no way for moisture to escape (commonly caused by windows being sealed shut).
There are several methods of eliminating bathroom problems with mold:
1. Eliminate water leaks – Most likely you will need to hire a professional who can fix the leakage problem.
This is because most times the cause of a leak is not easily noticeable without taking apart certain parts of the bathroom, such as the walls and ceilings.
2. Install an exhaust fan – An outdoor vent or window with a fan installed in it should help reduce humidity levels while maintaining them at normal levels by exhausting moist air from your bathroom.
The drawback to this method is that during cold months where windows could be sealed shut, then this could become difficult if not impossible (it has happened before).
However if you have access to outside ventilation, this would be your best bet against mold problems in bathrooms .
3. Have a window open when it is dry – The best way to fight mold problems in bathrooms is by simply having an open, unobstructed window where moisture can escape when the weather permits.
If there isn’t a lot of humidity during winter months, you should be fine without requiring any sort of venting system.
However this could prove difficult if your home requires more protection from cold temperatures than others, and windows are sealed shut for prolonged periods throughout the year.
When all else fails and you still have persistent issues with mold in bathrooms despite applying these methods or choosing one that is likely to work best for your conditions, then you may want to consider contacting a professional who specialized in dealing with bathroom mold problems
Mold in attic
Attics are often used for storage and most of the times, they aren’t carefully maintained like other parts of the home.
All it takes is one small crack to allow humidity into your attic from outside sources such as rain water or melting snow and you can have an area that’s ripe for mold growth within just a few short months.
When airflow isn’t present in your attic because of excessive insulation (which also means more moisture), you need to make sure that you are checking it often to make sure that your roof isn’t leaking.
Unfortunately, in many cases homeowners notice the problem of mold growth only after it’s too late and the damage has already been done.
Areas where there is a lot of insulation with limited airflow are prime locations for mold growth.
Tightly packed cellulose or fiberglass insulation provide an environment in which mold loves to breed.
Both types are porous enough to hold moisture yet dense enough not to drain well so the water just sits among the fibers until it evaporates – or worse, is never drained at all!
Mold in showers
If any of these pictures looks similar to any area in your home, you might have a mold problem developing on your hands.
If you’re not sure how to handle it make sure to contact a mold remediation professional in your area the before problem gets worse.