By: Licensed Mold Assessor Brad Fishbein
February 8, 2023
Green mold refers to a variety of mold species that may produce green spores, usually belonging to the genera Cladosporium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium. Green mold is a type of fungus that appears as soft, fuzzy, or powdery growth in shades of green and commonly grows on food like fruits and bread.
If you notice a green mold in your house and are concerned for your families health, read on.
In this article you'll learn the following:
As a professional mold inspector, I've seen my fair of green mold...
The truth is not all green mold will produce mycotoxins which is what makes mold toxic, but it's important to confirm it's not harmful to your family.
Scientifically, there's no such thing as green mold. Mold can be green in color, but it does not refer to just one particular species of mold. Some reported species of mold that may appear as the color green are:
The only way to know for sure what particular species of mold growth you are dealing with would be to take a direct sample. This involves either a tape or swab sample and sending the sample to an accredited lab for analysis.
These are all questions that we will explore.
Green mold spores can grow in homes with water damaged building materials.
If you had a flood in your home where the water damage was not cleaned up in a short period of time, under the right conditions green mold can start the grow. Once the mold infestation starts to grow there's a chance it can appear as green colored mold.
You may also notice green spots on some of your clothes which is caused by condensation whether from water damage or from high relative humidity. You can usually put the clothes through the traditional laundry to clean the green mold in this situation.
Here is the thing about mold:
Mold itself can in most cases be harmless to humans. It is the mycotoxins that are produced by mold that can be harmful.
Mycotoxins are mold's weapon of choice. It helps particular molds fight against other molds and bacteria.
Stachybotrys is often referred to as “black mold” can also be green. It happens to have basically the biggest arsenal of weapons because it
can produce mycotoxins like no other mold spore.
However, while Stachybotrys produces mycotoxins, Penicillium and Aspergillus have been reported as producing Neurotoxins which may also cause health problems in humans.
I am not saying that there is 100% chance that the green mold in your home is toxic.
Bottom line is this:
Green mold should be taken very seriously as if it is toxic.
Because green mold may be toxic, it is not recommended that you try and remove it by yourself.
The EPA recommends removing less than 10 square feet can be done by yourself.
Here is the problem with DIY mold removal:
You don't always know how much mold growth you are going to find when you remove walls. Therefore by not following proper procedures, you can release mold spores into the air.
It is also recommended that you have a licensed mold professional look at a water damaged problem. You can start by having a mold assessment and if you have a mold infestation, you may require mold remediation.
In order to prevent green mold spores and all other colors of mold in the home or place of business, you need to CONTROL MOISTURE!
Mold cannot thrive without moisture. Controlling moisture is more than just watching for any leaks...
You need to control the humidity within the home.
Here are two easy steps you can follow to prevent green mold:
Part of an air conditioning system's job is to dehumidify. The American Society Of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning recommend keeping the AC set at 73-81 Degrees F during the summer months and 68-76 Degrees F in the Winter months.
Keeping your AC set at these temperatures can help keep the relative humidity low. The potential for mold to grow DRASTICALLY decreases if you keep the humidity under 60%. If you don't this can cause moisture buildup and mold grows in moisture rich environments.
Walk around your home once every week or so. Check ceilings, in closets, behind toilets, pretty much anywhere that can cause leaks.
Early detection of a leak in a building is just lime early detection of a disease in your body, it can make repairs minimal and less complex.
While green mold can be at many different stages of the mold's life cycle, it should be taken as if it can do damage to your health. Call a mold professional if you feel you have a mold problem regardless of the color.
Meet the author: Brad Fishbein is an ACAC council-certified Microbial Investigator. In the fall of 2012, he became a Licensed Mold Assessor in the State of Florida through the Department of Business & Professional Regulation. Brad has helped homeowners with over 5,000 successfully completed Mold Inspections since 2009.