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Mold is a type of fungi that grows in humid areas. It spreads by way of mold spores that are tiny particles found in the air. There are various species of mold that can be identified by way of color. We have greenish-grey, pink, orange, and white, among others. The most common type of mold is the black mold which has a greenish-grey color.
What is White Mold?
Generally speaking, white mold is not a type of mold, however, there are mold species that take on the white color like aspergillus, cladosporium and penicillum. White mold is more prone to growing in areas that are highly saturated like damp furniture and textiles.
Mold would remain white depending on the material that they grow on. Mostly, white mold has a powdery, flaky or stringy feel and at times mixes into the surface that it is growing on. Another distinct feature of the white mold is that it causes damage to surfaces that it grows on.
White Mold vs Black Mold: Differences and Similarities
We have identified mold as a species that takes a certain pigmentation, that is white, black or any other color. The obvious difference therefore between white and black mold is their color, white mold has a white pigmentation while black mold has a black one.
Black mold is a species of stachybotrys. Black mold grows at a fast rate as compared to white mold which takes relatively a longer time. Also, you can easily identify white mold unlike black mold that can stay hidden for a very long time.
In terms of their effect on human beings, black mold has more severe side effects unlike white mold which poses mild effects to human and animal health. Also, white mold mostly affects plants.
White mold starts as small white spots then spreads all over the surface that they are growing on. With black mold, they do not a specific pattern of growth, but spreads rapidly.
Black mold spreads rapidly in their colonies and it is difficult to discover them at their early stages. For white mold, they are easy to spot in their early stages as they have a white pigmentation that stands out.
In most cases, white mold grows in the soil. Black mold rarely grows in soil.
White mold mostly grows loosely on surfaces and can easily be removed. For black mold, it penetrates into surfaces, making it difficult to be eradicated.
For similarities, both white and black mold belong to the fungi group and cause health problems when ingested or digested.
White and black mold both grow in damp places.
Is White Mold as Dangerous as Black Mold?
All types of mold, including white mold, have health risks. When you ingest or digest white mold, you are likely to exhibit some of the following symptoms:
- Allergic reactions
- Eye/skin irritation
- Respiratory infections
We need to appreciate the fact that the extent of exposure and amount of exposure to mold spores make the difference in the severalty of exhibition of the above listed symptoms.
White mold has less severe effects on human and animal health as opposed to black mold which is lethal.
What Kills White Mold?
When tackling the issue of mold, we need first to prevent its growth otherwise we would occasionally be dealing with the problem. Mold grows in humid areas, so we need to eradicate all forms of unwanted moisture. Keep your floors and other surfaces always dry. Have your AC system properly maintained to avoid accumulation of moisture. Your plumbing system also should be regularly examined to rule out issues of water leakage. Here, you would have eliminated conditions that foster the growth of mold.
White mold can be killed in the same way as any other type of mold. There are several recommended cleaning agents, however, caution should be taken when using ammonia, and you should not mix it with bleach. When bleach is mixed with ammonia, it causes an explosive reaction and the gases emitted are harmful to your health.
There are tested agents that kill mold, this ranges from simple items that are easily found in your home, to commercial cleaning agents. In your home, you can mix lemon with water for easy stains. However, when mold has infested your home and has caused serious stains, you can consider buying cleaning agents. Sometimes when there is a lot damage, say to wooden surfaces, you need to have these parts replaced.
Before you start any cleaning process, you first need to wear a protective gear. This includes a mask, gloves and protective glasses.
Vital oxide has been recommended as one of the effective cleaning agents. Mix it with water and saturate the mold infested area. Scrub gently with a soft bristle brush. Rinse the surface with clean water and dry it.
Anti-microbial is also effective for killing white mold. This is more effective if the mold is on hard surfaces.
White distilled vinegar is also effective in killing white mold. You spray it on the infected area and clean it by scrubbing gently in circular motions. Rinse with clean water and dry the surface.
When it comes to simple surfaces that have been affected by white mold, exposing them to direct sunlight also kills the mold.
You can paint your wall or other wooden surfaces with anti-mold paint. This will prevent mold from growing back.
If you access the damage in your house that has been caused by mold, if it so much, you need to get the services of a professional. Sometimes the damage can be beyond what you can manage. A professional is better placed to handle such cases because they will have the correct tools and cleaning agents. They shall also be able to root out the course of the mold.
How Can You Tell if Mold is Black or White?
You are able to tell if mold is black or white by the health effects that they cause on people. Black mold have very severe health complications ranging from allergies to complicated problems like lung damage. On the other hand, the effects of white mold are less severe.
By observing the growth pattern of the mold, you would be able to tell if it is white or black. White mold grows mainly on surfaces and takes a white pigmentation. Black mold, however, penetrates deep into the material that it is growing on and causes damage. Also, black mold has no specific pattern unlike white mold which grows in a specific pattern, is flat and fluffy and has a slow growth rate.
Black mold from its name, it has a black pigmentation while white mold has a white one. So you differentiate between the black and white molds by observing their color.
We have seen what is white mold, how different it is from black mold. Ways of killing white mold and its dangers on the health of human beings.
HVAC tech with over 30 years of experience. Retired and doing repair work on the side around Madison County, AL.