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What Are the Causes of Brown Mold in Homes?

Mold, also referred to as mildew, is a type of microscopic fungus that thrives in damp places. Mold frequently appears brown, gray, green or black. Since molds can damage objects and cause respiratory symptoms in some people, removing and preventing all types of mold is important.

Mold grows in damp areas.

Mold, also referred to as mildew, is a type of microscopic fungus that thrives in damp places.  Mold frequently appears brown, gray, green or black.

Since molds can damage objects and cause respiratory symptoms in some people, removing and preventing all types of mold is important. 


Types

Cladosporium, acremonium and aspergillus represent three common indoor molds that can appear brown.  However, the US.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend testing mold samples to determine which type of mold you have; each type can be harmful and should be removed. 


Leaks and Moisture

Brown mold requires moisture to grow.  Condensation, leaks in roofs or plumbing, humidifiers, flooding or storing firewood indoors can cause moisture.


Lack of Light

Brown mold grows in damp locations, such as bathrooms and basements.  Since mold does not reproduce through photosynthesis, it does not require light to grow.

Avoid carpeting damp locations or areas near appliances such as washing machines or dishwashers. 


Dust and Dirt

Brown mold requires nutrients to survive.  Since mold can survive by decomposing small amounts of dust or dirt, keeping areas clean and uncluttered can help prevent mold.


Prevention

Prevent brown mold growth by using a dehumidifier to keep humidity below 60 percent and fixing any sources of moisture, like leaking roofs or cracked walls.  Remove dust or clutter and use fans to increase ventilation.

About the Author

Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at tolerance.org. She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies. Richards earned a master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University.

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