By: Licensed Mold Assessor Brad Fishbein
February 3, 2023
Red mold can easily be mistaken for pink mold.
It makes sense, I mean pink and red are very similar looking right?
But we tend to see pink mold more in bathtubs and in sinks.
While there is no specific type of mold known as red mold, some molds are more likely to exhibit a red color. These include Aspergillus, found in damp bathroom environments on water-damaged materials; Neurospora, found on food; Rhodoteorula, common in milk and fruit juice; and Fusarium, found on plants and in soil.
Red mold, on the other hand, you will generally find on other building materials such as particle board or drywall.
Just like any other color mold, red mold does not refer to any specific type of mold. It's a fake name given just to describe the appearance of it. Mold may be red for only a portion of their life and change colors over time. Red mold is very typical to be found on particle board when it becomes water damaged.
While red mold can be any number of species, it is Aspergillus which is closely associated to mold that is red on building materials indoors. When red mold is found on food, it is usually Neurospora.
Red mold is usually not dangerous.
Would I eat food with red mold on it?
If you have an allergy to whatever particular mold spore is red, it could create symptoms.
There are many times when red mold is found indoors, it is accompanied by other color molds. In this particular case, the red mold may not specifically be dangerous the but the other molds present maybe. Some molds may start as red and turn to other colors over time.
Mold itself is not dangerous, it's the mycotoxins (which I go over in my Black Mold post) it produces.
Just like any other type of mold, red mold should be taken seriously even if just for precautionary purposes.
Cleaning red mold will all depend on what kind of item it is on.
If it's growing on building material in more than a 10 square foot area, it needs to be removed.
Is red mold just on the surface or using the supplies as a food source? This is something you may need to hire a mold professional to determine. Red mold on hard surfaces can really just be wiped clean with a mild detergent.
Red mold that is present on food should be discarded. It unlikely won't harm you, but why take the risk?
Preventing mold from growing in the home or business, regardless of color, is all about controlling the building moisture. As far as red mold on food, it is all about timing. The long food sits around, the better chance mold will grow on it.
Mold can start growing in 24-48 hours. The quicker you dry the area up the less of a chance mold can start to grow and thrive.
Running your air conditioning will control humidity. Mold needs high relative humidity to grow.
Dairy products will go rotten over time regardless of whether or not they are put in the fridge.
You can extend the life of the food if you keep it in the fridge.
Red mold will unlikely cause you harm, but why take the risk? If you see mold growing in your home, it simply needs to be cleaned or removed.
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.