Alternaria is a common type of outdoor mold with over 40 known species. It is usually present in the environment during spring and summer. Alternaria mold is considered a major plant pathogen that is responsible for degenerative diseases and leaf spots on trees and bushes. Regardless of the location or season, Alternaria mold can survive in different weather conditions and can be found floating in the air during dry and windy days.
It becomes airborne when picked up by a breeze and multiplies in numbers after settling in a warm and humid place. Alternaria mold can be found in your furniture, houseplants, clothing and other places in your home. It can also be found inside walls, under carpets, in the basement, shower, and attic. Homes with high levels of humidity are more susceptible to Alternaria mold, which may continue to grow if nothing is done to inhibit their growth. Here are five things you need to know about Alternaria mold.
- Alternaria species
The Alternaria genus is comprised of a large number of species including Alternaria alternata, which is the most common species. Other species include Alternaria infectoria, Alternaria stemphyloides, Alternaria dianthicola, Alternaria geophilia, Alternaria chartarum, Alternaria tenuissima, among many others. Alternaria molds often grow at a wide range of pH levels of 2.5 to 10 and ambient temperatures of 1 to 35 degrees Celsius. They have a high rate of growth and usually reach maturity in a period of five days. Just like other mold species, Alternaria mold likes to grow in damp and humid areas.
- Health Problems caused by Alternaria Mold
People with severe allergies, asthma and a weakened immune system are most vulnerable to Alternaria mold. This type of mold causes asthma in children. Alternaria contamination in cereal grain is known to cause esophageal cancer. Some of the common symptoms that occur once you have been exposed to this type of mold include a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, fatigue, headache, throat irritation, and watery eyes. Other people may feel itchiness of the skin and constant rashes. Prolonged exposure to Alternaria mold can cause several health complications in children and the elderly. It is usually important to consult your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms, especially during spring and summer.
- Common Habitats of Alternaria mold
Spores that get into a house or building cause most indoor cases of Alternaria mold. Alternaria mold is commonly found in the outdoors and typically grows on plants and other surfaces such as wood. Alternaria alternata often grows on materials such as wallpaper, canvas, plaster, bricks, and tiles. Other common habitats of Alternaria mold include trees, soil, and grasses. Flying spores of Alternaria mold can be very dense in areas that have a relatively moderate climate. You can expect a higher count of mold spores in the air during hot days or dry season, especially when there is a lot of wind. Although Alternaria is an outdoor mold, it likes to grow in a dark, damp and humid indoor environment.
- Getting Rid of Alternaria Mold in a Home
Alternaria mold causes severe health problems and is better left in the hands of professionals. It is a good idea to contact a removal company if you experience mold symptoms every time you are at home. This may be necessary when you have a hard time finding visible mold but still suffer from allergies and other mold symptoms. Although some homeowners use different bleaching agents to remove mold on their walls, they may end up damaging their surfaces since bleach only works best on non-porous surfaces.
- Preventing Alternaria Mold in Your Home
Although you need to practice prevention all year long, it is very essential to take action during spring and summer. All entryways need to be closed very often since Alternaria mold spores are transferred into the house from outdoors. The levels of mold spores floating in the air are usually high during dry, windy or hot days. You also need to fix breaches in your rood and reseal drafty windows and doors to prevent Alternaria mold from getting into your home.
Small openings and hard to reach areas are some of the ideal places where Alternaria mold can settle and grow. If you notice any symptoms of mold exposure, you need to seek medical help and remediation services to rid your home of mold spores. It is always important to practice prevention all year long to ensure you and your family live a healthy lifestyle free from the effects of Alternaria mold.