Mold comes in many textures and colors, but they all have a few things in common — they grow in moist areas, feed on organic matter, and can threaten your health. Green mold, in this sense, is no different. So, have you recently wondered what green mold is and if it’s dangerous? Here’s what you should know about green mold that grows in homes.
What is Green Mold?
Green mold is an umbrella term that refers to different species of fungi that grow in shades of green. It appears soft and fuzzy or powdery and can have different hues of green. You may have seen green mold on fruits, bread, and many other foods. However, green mold can also grow in wet areas of a home.
Although many species of mold can grow green, the most common are Cladosporium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium.
- Cladosporium is olive green and thrives on plants in particular, but it can also grow on household surfaces like walls, cabinets, and carpets.
- Aspergillus is the mold that typically grows on spoiled food like bread. It can also grow in nutrient-poor but moisture-rich environments like the basement.
- Penicillium is famous for its antibacterial properties and is usually bluish-green. However, it can also emit mycotoxins that are toxic to both people and pets. Penicillium prefers colder environments like soil, but some also form on wet items in the home.
These molds can also grow in colors like blue or black. Thus, testing is the only way to find out which type of mold it is. That’s not to say that you should always test the mold in your home to determine whether it’s harmful.
Green Mold vs. Algae
Green mold and algae may look similar because of their green color, but they are actually two distinct organisms. Here are some ways they differ:
- Classification: Green mold is a type of mold belonging to the fungal kingdom, specifically the genus Aspergillus. Algae, on the other hand, are a diverse group of photosynthetic organisms that can be classified as simple plants or protists.
- Habitat: As it grows on various surfaces with moisture and organic matter, green mold can be found indoors and outdoors. Algae, however, are primarily aquatic organisms that thrive in freshwater, saltwater, and even damp places on land like rocks, soil, or tree trunks.
- Structure: Green mold is made up of branching filaments called hyphae, which form mycelium. It reproduces by producing and spreading spores. Algae, in contrast, can have different structures depending on the type, ranging from single-celled organisms to multicellular forms like seaweed or pond scum.
- Function: Known for its ability to break down cellulose and other complex compounds, green mold plays a role in decomposing organic matter. Algae, on the other hand, are photosynthetic organisms. They use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and organic compounds through photosynthesis.
- Impact: Green mold can be bothersome and may cause health issues if its spores are inhaled or come into direct contact with people. Algae have various ecological roles and can serve as the foundation of aquatic food chains. However, excessive algae growth, such as harmful algal blooms, can harm ecosystems and lead to water quality problems.
So, even though green mold and algae may share a similar appearance, they have distinct characteristics, live in different habitats, and have different effects. If you’re uncertain whether you have mold or algae growing somewhere, it’s advisable to contact a professional restoration company like PuroClean to assist you.
Is Green Mold Dangerous?
Contrary to popular belief, black mold is not the only harmful mold for people and pets. While black mold may seem more dangerous, its green counterpart is just as likely to cause health issues.
All molds — green, black, or other colors — can cause health problems, especially in susceptible people. Continuous exposure to mold can affect the respiratory system and trigger asthma attacks and allergens. So yes, if you see green mold, you should remove it as soon as possible.
This kind of fungus can grow anywhere in your home where a water problem has occurred. Check out how to prevent mold in the crawl space, basement, bathroom, laundry room, attic, as well as in houseplant soil, the HVAC system, closets, carpets, and washing machines.
For Expert Mold Removal, Contact the PuroClean Remediation Pros
If removing this kind of fungus seems daunting to you, it’s because it is. Mold can not only affect your health, but you can also risk doing a poor job, resulting in a more massive mold infestation. The best way to get rid of mold is to contact professionals such as PuroClean. We have the experience, techniques, and equipment necessary to remediate the mold, dry your property, and return it to normal.