Mold 101: How to Identify Different Types of Harmful Mold

Written by :- Axis Response Group

November 30, 2017

Most people can identify a few types of mold: the kind found on bread, the kind found in blue cheese, and the kind found in houses. This blog focuses on those molds comprising the last group. There are plenty of them – over 100, in fact. We’ll highlight several of the most common molds here, all of which are unhealthy and all of which are the target of our respected mold removal company.


Penicillium is one of the likeliest molds to be found in homes affected by water damage. It grows on everything from carpeting and wallpaper to insulation and mattresses, and it’s well-known for the swiftness with which it spreads. This blue or green mold is also harmful to breathe, causing lung inflammation, allergic reactions, and chronic sinus infections.

Stachybotrys chartarum

Rather than refer to this mold by its lengthy real name, we’ll use its more infamous name instead: “black mold”. This is the musty-smelling, slimy black mold that frequently grows in areas of perpetual dampness, i.e. leaky pipes and AC ducts. Even though the mold itself is benign, the toxins it produces are not. These toxins are responsible for a number of health problems, including asthma attacks, fatigue, allergic reactions, general respiratory problems, chronic sinus infections, and depression.


Another mold typically found in homes, aspergillus not only contributes to respiratory infections and allergic reactions, it’s also responsible for an illness called hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a serious inflammation of the lungs.


It’s common knowledge that mold thrives in warm, damp areas – but these aren’t the only places where mold can grow. As proof, consider Fusarium, a mold that grows and spreads in cooler climes. Fusarium is most often discovered growing on soft items like water-damaged fabrics and carpeting, and it contributes to respiratory infections, allergic reactions, and asthma. Fusarium is also known as a mold that’s specifically harmful to people with weak immune systems.


Fusarium isn’t the only mold that can grow in cool environments. There’s also cladosporium, which lurks on soft surfaces like carpet and fabrics, and on hard surfaces such as floorboards and cabinets. Basically, any water-damaged surface. Like the rest of the molds on this list, cladosporium causes and exacerbates several respiratory ailments.


Of the 100+ different molds, ulocladium is one whose growth is perhaps most strongly connected to the amount of water present in an area. The more water, the more likely you are to find ulocladium, making it a common sight in flooded homes – particularly on wet walls. Ulocladium is also one of the most allergy-inducing molds.

Serpula lacrymans

Serpula lacrymans, one of the most well-known yellow molds, is infamous for its ability to feed on damp wood and cause “dry rot”.

If your home has recently been affected by water damage, or if you just want to ensure that your home is mold-free, contact Axis Response Group today. Our expertise in mold testing near Arlington Heights, IL is well-documented, and our professional team will provide the solutions you need.


  1. Leviticus Bennett

    I think that my friend has Penicillium growing at their house. He thinks that the mold looks blue and he has had some trouble breathing. I have read that some plumbing services can take care of the mold. I’m sure my friend will be relieved and have better breathing once he gets it taken care of.

  2. Randy Chorvack

    I can’t believe that mold can cause so many health problems! You mentioned that it can cause sinus problems, asthma attacks, and even fatigue. It’s strange that such a little organism has so much power.

  3. Kurt Hikson

    Thanks for sharing. It is only possible to correctly identify the type of mold in the laboratory. It is best to order a professional mold inspection for such purposes. Of course, if there is a need for it. If you visually detect mold, remediation is already needed here.



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