What Is Chaetomium Mold And Why Is It So Dangerous?
There are many different types of mold that can be found in your home. It's estimated that there are upwards of 300,000 varieties of mold, but this may be just the tip of the iceberg. Many molds are harmless, but there are some varieties that are incredibly unwelcome in your home. Chaetomium isn't quite as dangerous as the dreaded black mold, but it still can pose a significant risk to everyone in your household—some more than others.
Chaetomium is a type of mold that is common after moisture damage. It primarily establishes itself in wood, as it needs the wood's cellulose to thrive. Chaetomium is a common aftereffect of moisture damage, so this mold is a risk after flooding, a burst pipe, or any other form of water damage.
Mold spores released into the air are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The musty smell associated with mold is actually you inhaling these VOCs, and chaetomium's musty smell can be quite prominent. You may smell this type of mold before you see it.
As your chaetomium infestation grows, you will begin to see visual evidence. The mold patches will start to develop on your walls and ceilings. Its physical growth starts as small white spots, which are fuzzy. Their color and relatively tiny size mean they can be difficult to spot at this stage, particularly if they're growing on white or light-colored walls. As they mature, they'll take on a dark blue/green color. So now you know what to look (and smell) for, but what is the actual danger of chaetomium?
Inhaling chaetomium spores isn't wise, and prolonged exposure comes with some health risks. The reaction is similar to seasonal allergies for people with a healthy immune system. There can be coughing and sneezing, and your eyes may be red and itchy. If anyone in your home has a compromised immune system, there's an elevated risk, as exposure to chaetomium spores can worsen existing chronic autoimmune disorders. There can even be neurological damage in extreme cases.
If you're concerned that your home is infested with chaetomium, a professional inspection is needed. A mold sample will be taken and sent for laboratory testing. If chaetomium is positively identified, contact a home mold removal company. Mold patches will need to be treated (as in killed), and any moisture-damaged portions of your house (which might be inside your walls) will need to be located and repaired to prevent reinfestation.
Chaetomium mold is bad news, and if it has become an unwelcome houseguest, you need to show it the door.
Reach out to a company like Advanced Mold Professionals for more information.