How to Identify Black and Brown Mold

Helen Jain

Black and brown mold are the molds that are harmful to health due to toxins. Though there are molds that are black and brown in color that fall under harmless mold species, it is important to identify the mold properly to ensure it will not create major health problems.

In most cases of mold, the main problem is allergies or unpleasant smells, but in the case of “black mold,” the toxins can cause headaches, dizziness, trouble concentrating, and allergies.

  1. Watch for allergy-like symptoms, especially in certain areas of the house. Often the first identifying markers of black mold are allergies, headaches and dizziness. Though other molds can cause similar symptoms, especially for those with allergies to molds, dizziness is a common sign of the toxins from black mold.

  2. Notice any odd, musty smells. Black mold, and other mold types, will produce a musty smell that results from the breakdown of materials. The musty smell is typically the first sign noticed by many that they have mold.

  3. Look at the color. Black mold is called “black” because it appears black or dark brown against most surfaces. The main identification of black and brown mold is the obvious color.

  4. Pay attention to the moisture levels around the black mold. Though all molds need moisture and damp conditions for growth, black mold most often develops in extreme damp conditions, such as flooding. If the moisture levels are low, the mold might not be a toxin-producing mold.