What to Know About Mucor Mold
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Learn what this common and dangerous type of mold looks like, and how to deal with it once and for all.
Got mold in your house? It can be alarming to discover, but remember that mold can be beaten. You just need the right information and the right response. Mucor is one of dozens of types of mold found in homes. The more you know about it, the better you’ll be able to deal with it.
What Is Mucor Mold?
Mucor is a family of molds that includes about 50 species. It grows quickly in temperatures less than 98º F (37º C). It’s often white and fluffy at first, turning dark gray as it matures. Species of Mucor that tolerate higher temperatures are the ones that infect people most often.
Where Is Mucor Commonly Found?
Mucor occurs in natural ecosystems all over the world, even within the digestive system of mammals (though it’s harmless that way.) Indoors, with sufficient moisture, Mucor feeds on house dust. It can live in carpets, mattresses and upholstered furniture when moisture levels are high enough. Mucor is dangerous because it can cause significant health issues. The most common cause of Mucor infestation in homes is excess moisture, especially in buildings that suffered flood damage. Speedy drying is key to keep Mucor from growing after a flood.
What Are the Health Effects?
Everyone is exposed to Mucor mold in small quantities because of its presence in the wider world, and the human immune system can usually fight off a Mucor infection. But when Mucor is present in the home, the degree of exposure can skyrocket to many times higher concentrations than the background levels found outside. People with compromised immune systems are especially at risk, but anyone could become infected under certain conditions. Infections can develop in the skin, respiratory system, heart and lungs.
How to Remove and Prevent Mucor Mold
High moisture levels within a food source are necessary for many types of mold to grow, including Mucor. Mold control specialists recommend discarding easily-removable items with Mucor infestations, such as drapes, carpet, mattresses, bedding and drywall. Treat non-removable structural surfaces like wall and floor frames with a registered fungicide. Once Mucor infects a surface, growth can continue with less moisture than it took to start the infestation in the first place. This is why thoroughly killing a Mucor infestation while reducing moisture levels is vital.