Most homeowners deal with aspergillus mold at some point. Aspergillus is one of the most common mold types in the world, with constant exposure risks every year. It can grow inside and outside a building, posing health risks especially to people with a weak immune system or poor health conditions.
Table of Contents
- A. Basic Information of Aspergillus Mold
- B. Types of Harmful Aspergillus Species
- C. Symptoms of Aspergillosis
- D. How to Detect Aspergillus Mold
- E. How to Remove Aspergillus Mold
A. Basic Information of Aspergillus Mold
Aspergillus is a type of asexual fungi that exist in various regions around the world. It consists of around 200 (identified) species, most of them prefer oxygen-rich areas to live. When grow together, aspergillus forms mold, which appears on starchy foods, wood, paper, fabric, plants, and trees.
Some aspergillus species are important for various industries. Humans use them to make alcoholic beverages such as sake, develop antibiotics, and produce important ingredient like citric acid.
However, other species can cause health problems when grow inside buildings. Aspergillus species have been associated with allergic reactions, property damages, and immune system compromising.
B. Types of Harmful Aspergillus Species
Different types of aspergillus bring unique damages to your health, property, and household goods. Understanding the types of harmful aspergillus will help you avoid them. Here are some of the most common harmful aspergillus species:
1. Aspergillus niger
Aspergillus niger is the most common species of its genus. When grow together, these fungi form what we call “black mold.” This fungus is responsible for various health risks due to black mold exposure.
2. Aspergillus penicillioides
Aspergillus penicillioides is responsible for the yellowed damages on your old books and paper. This penicillium aspergillus mold is also associated with hay fever. It is also a favorite food of dust mites.
3. Aspergillus fumigatus
Another common species, Aspergillus fumigatus, is responsible for diseases on people with immunodeficiency. People with low immunity, such as the sufferers of leukemia and AIDS, are susceptible to dangerous symptoms with this fungus around.
There is also a species called Aspergillus flavus, which produces mycotoxin compounds that induce allergic reactions. Like A. fumigatus, A. flavus compromises the health of people with immunodeficiency.
C. Symptoms of Aspergillosis
Aspergillosis is a term for Aspergillus mold exposure symptoms. Depending on the person’s immune system, aspergillosis may show its symptoms even before the mold is visibly identified. Aspergillosis symptoms vary depending on which organs it attacks. The main symptom groups consist of four groups:
1. Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions are the most common symptoms of Aspergillus exposure. They often consist of sneezing, coughing, excessive mucus production, and fever. People with asthma may experience triggering of symptoms.
Aspergilloma symptoms happen when fungus fibres, spores, or toxin find their ways to the pulmonary system. Symptoms may include wheezing, difficulty to breath, coughing (often with blood), fatigue, and inexplicable weight loss. When left untreated, they can develop into chronic lung disease.
3. Invasive Aspergillosis
Invasive aspergillosis happens when the mold infection spreads to kidneys, brain, and other organs. However, these symptoms usually only appear on people with compromised immune systems. Symptoms may include chest pain, lesions, joint pain, difficulty breathing, blood cough, and constant fever.
4. Random Aspergillosis Symptoms
Random symptoms happen when aspergillosis happens in other organs. For example, you may experience a headache or dizziness. Other possible symptoms are stuffed nose (because of sinus infection) and bloody mucus.
Read also: How Do You Know You Have Mold exposure
D. How to Detect Aspergillus Mold
Detecting aspergillus mold at home can be difficult at early growth stages. They often grow on hidden spots, such as behind the ceiling or floor and inside the walls. However, several signs may indicate the presence of mold in your property.
If you have (or buy/rent) a particularly old property, pay attention to signs such as:
1. Persistent dark spots
Old houses may have dark stains. However, if the spots are hard to remove, they may be stubborn mold.
2. Musty smell
Severe mold growth often releases the musty smell. Pay attention to the strange smell that is not present anywhere when you enter a particularly old or dark space.
When you see dark stains on hidden, moist, or difficult spots, there are chances that they are mold growths. The spots may include ceiling corners, tile grouts, sink underside, and bathroom or toilet.
4. Physical signs
Some people are sensitive toward flying mold spores. If the Aspergillus mold growths are severe, you may experience sudden eye irritation or sneezing.
You must also pay attention to signs of water damage. A plumbing leak, moisture, or flood damage are the biggest risk factors for mold growth.
Read also: How to Spot Signs of Mold
E. How to Remove Aspergillus Mold
Before removing the Aspergillus mold, the most important thing to do is to check its presence and location. Ask for professional mold detection company service for an accurate reading. If you want to identify the mold type, you need to spend additional money on lab testing.
However, if the mold growth area is small (less than 3×3 feet), you can try mitigating the mold yourself. Here are the steps:
1. Wear protective gear
Before removing mold, protect yourself with gloves, mask, and goggles. You must remove all of them after cleaning.
2. Remove the infected objects
Look at the objects and check their conditions. If they have mold and can be removed, throw away these objects. Put them in a sealed bag to prevent spores from flying.
3. Open all circulation
Open circulation sources such as door and windows. They will prevent you from inhaling spores or cleaning agent fume.
4. Scrub the mold
Mix bleach with warm water to create a mild bleaching liquid. Scrub the moldy area until the stain disappears. If the mold is mild, you can use regular detergent solution.
If the mold is stubborn, mix white vinegar with water. Spray the water onto the moldy surface, let it sits for 30 to 60 minutes. Wipe the vinegar solution with a clean, disposable cloth.
If the mold comes from flood damage, don’t attempt to clean it yourself. Flood damage requires special skills to handle. The mold may come from hidden spots such as under the floor.
Read also: 9 Effective steps on how to kill black mold
Black Aspergillus mold may seem unassuming, but it can cause various health conditions. Detecting Aspergillus mold can be difficult, and cleaning it professionally requires money. However, your spending will not be useless, since professional detecting and cleaning remove the mold more efficiently.