You’ve probably heard of dangerous black mold, and you’ve certainly seen white, powdery mold, but did you realize that mold can be any color in between?
Most people are unaware that besides black, white and green, there are many colors of mold including pink, brown and orange. Each variety of mold carries its own characteristics and has many sub-species. Today we’ll be focusing on orange mold.
Orange mold is a fungus, just like all other molds. It has a slimy texture and can grow just about anywhere, including the bathroom, attic, refrigerator, and anywhere a water leak has occurred.
While it may not appear as a bright, neon orange like you may be visualizing, these molds can appear brownish or rust colored. (Some rare varieties are very bright, though!) A mold specialist from Pure Maintenance of St. Louis can determine the exact type of mold in your home, but it really doesn’t matter when the ultimate goal is to remove it ASAP.
Orange Mold Facts
Since you probably weren’t even aware of its existence, we’ll share some facts about orange mold that may intrigue you — or gross you out.
Varieties of Orange Mold
Orange molds vary widely in shape and size, from small, flat household molds that grow in colonies on basement walls or bathroom stalls to large, interestingly structured mold varieties such as the laetiporus sulphureus and calocera viscosa.
There are four categories of orange mold:
- Fuligo Septica
- Aleuria Aurantia
- Orange Slime
Each category has several different species within it. Characteristics vary widely between them, including texture and color. Some orange molds even change color as they develop, making them even harder to identify.
Prevalence of Orange Mold
Orange mold is pretty common. It thrives in warm, moist environments and is most likely to survive in areas where it cannot be disturbed. However, mold can grow anywhere once the other conditions are right.
Mold needs food and water to grow, along with oxygen. These components are commonly found in our homes due to good insulation and HVAC systems.
Like pink mold, orange mold is frequently found in bathrooms where it is humid and warm. Nowhere is its slimy texture more noticeable. Luckily, it is easy to remove and prevent with regular cleaning in these areas. It’s a little harder to keep mold out of a poorly ventilated kitchen, so you have to be extra-careful to clean up spills and redirect steam so orange mold doesn’t develop near your family’s food.
It is also common outdoors and can easily be found on wood, both indoors and out. Some of the most interesting (gross) mold colonies are orange molds, and they can be found on trees and rotting wood.
Risk of Orange Mold
Fortunately, orange mold is not more dangerous than other mold varieties. Like black or green mold, orange mold can cause a wide spectrum of health issues, including the following:
- Respiratory issues like shortness of breath and wheezing
- Allergy-like reactions like sneezing, coughing, and congestion, and even skin rashes
There are many more symptoms of mold exposure. Every person’s reaction is unique, so it can sometimes be hard to identify a mold allergy.
Mold can affect babies and elderly people worse than healthy children and adults. People with pre-existing respiratory conditions can really struggle when mold is preset in the home. It can even affect pets.
Another danger with orange mold is that it forms inside water filters and faucets, which can affect every bath or shower you take. Worse yet, if this happens in your kitchen sink, you could be ingesting mold every single day.
Tendencies of Orange Mold
Orange mold can grow on its own, but it is also commonly found near black and green mold. These molds are often found on foods, so orange mold can develop on food as well. This in itself is an issue, but it gets worse…
Once mold is on food and contained within your fridge or cabinets, it is very easy for it to spread to other foods. You could throw out the visibly contaminated food but still have a mold issue due to the time it takes for a mold colony to become visible.
Orange mold prefers porous surfaces, but it will grow on just about any organic surface in a home. Wood, mentioned a couple of sections back, is extremely porous, making it a perfect surface for orange mold. Other porous surfaces in your home include tile and grout, carpet, upholstery, and drywall.
How to Remove Orange Mold
Orange mold species are filamentous, which means they have a strong structure and can be hard to get rid of.
It is fairly easy to remove from your shower and tub because they are non-porous surfaces. All you’ll need to do is spray with an antifungal and wipe away the mold with a disposable cloth. In other areas of your home, though, mold is a serious problem and requires advanced removal strategies.
Porous surfaces allow mold to settle deep into their surface and are much harder to clean. Wood, for example, is nearly impossible to restore. Wiping the mold away isn’t going to work because in most cases, even when the mold is dead, it will leave behind dark stains.
Sanding and refinishing the wood is one way to get rid of mold stains on wood. You can also prime and paint over them.
Some materials like upholstery and carpet may never be restored to their former appearance. Throwing these affected items out is the only way to ensure that the orange mold is removed from your home.
So if you find orange mold in your home, we highly recommend calling our team at Pure Maintenance of St. Louis to handle the job. There are too many variables when you attempt to remove mold yourself. Done incorrectly, mold removal can expose you and your entire house to an even bigger mold problem.
Call a professional and let them use their expertise, safety equipment and sanitizing products to remove the orange mold in your home and deter it from coming back.