Everything You Need To Know About White Mold


Finding white mold in your property is concerning because it’s potentially harmful to it. Anything exposed to white mold can deteriorate, be it your home or yourself.

Mold is a general term and represents a collection of mold species. Mold as a whole is harmful. However, it’s important to identify the species of mold growing in your home to take appropriate measures against it.

White mold is a fungus. White mold refers to a group of white molds that can grow in your home or other properties. Given its white color, it may be difficult to spot white mold. Like any other type of mold, it requires proper attention and professional treatment to get rid of it. The key to getting rid of it is identifying its presence, which will help you adopt the best course of action against it.

Keep reading to learn about the identification, causes, removal techniques, and precautions to prevent its growth.

What is white mold?

White mold is a fungus with a powdery texture, that depending on the type of surface it is on, can appear in different colors(usually grey, green, or white). A white mold is a group of species that includes Penicillium, Cladosporium, and aspergillus.

Typically, all of these species have a white appearance, but they don’t need to appear in white color. However, all kinds of white mold share almost the same characteristics.

Depending on the surface on which white mold appears, the color can differentiate from white. The white color of the mold might indicate that their spores have no pigments. Often, mold grows white during its early growth stages but changes color as time passes. The changing color is often the result of spores’ development.

How to identify white molds?

If you know where white mold usually grows, you can determine if the mold in your home is white or not. Apart from having white color and powdery texture, it is found on drywall, wood, and cellulose-containing materials.

Generally, places with high humidity are prone to get white mold. Given its white colors, you might confuse it with efflorescence or mildew.

Though efflorescence is white and powdery in appearance, it grows on concrete, stone, and brick materials.

However, mold doesn’t grow on such things. Efflorescence is a salt deposit that’s left behind saltwater. When water evaporates, the salt stays on the surface. To identify whether it’s efflorescence, mold, and mildew, drop water on it. If it’s efflorescence, it dissolves; otherwise, it stays on the surface.

You can differentiate mildew from the white mold easily. All you need is a little attention. Mildew doesn’t grow on materials where mold usually grows. The most likely habitats of mildew are plants. Even if mildew grows on other surfaces, it doesn’t cause any harm like white mold.

What causes white mold to grow?

The typical cause behind mold growth is higher levels of humidity. The same goes for white mold growth. The higher the humidity, the ideal the hospitable environment for mold growth. Aside from high humidity, several other causes may as well lead to mold growth.

The ideal conditions for white mold growth

white mold in wood

Like other molds, the ideal conditions for white mold growth include warm temperature, food sources, and high humidity—the better the conditions, the better the growth. Typical food sources for white mold growth include carbon-rich materials, wood, laminate, and organic substances.

The ideal temperature range for white mold is 2-40 degrees Celsius. White mold found on the wood or drywall of your home is very threatening to its aesthetics and structure.

It doesn’t only deteriorate its appearance but causes damage to the structure as well.

Common locations for white mold growth

Typically, white mold can grow anywhere in your home, where the conditions are right. Combining the right moisture, temperature, and food source available at any location makes a perfect habitat for white mold growth.

White mold on wood

White mold on wood is a common issue, and the most common type of mold on wood is also white mold. Its love for wood is threatening to your furniture in your home or property. Any form of wood, including wooden floors, furniture, closets, and structural woodwork, is prone to get mold if the conditions are right. If the white spots or blotches appear on wooden furniture in your home, it’s most likely to be white mold.

Mold can spread inside the closet or cupboard. If you have clothes inside the closet, they’re likely to catch mold. In case your surrounding areas or house remain humid and warm, keep an eye on your wood closet to protect your clothes from mold.

White mold in Basements

If your home has a basement, you’ll find it cooler than any other place in your home. However, it’s also a breeding place for white mold. When warm air from outside comes into the basement, it makes contact with the basement’s cold walls or ceiling and initiates condensation that creates moisture. If not taken care of immediately, it leads to mold growth.

Often, the basement is closer to the soil. The dampness from the soil may reach your basement, creating extra moisture on the walls and providing a perfect growing environment for white mold.

White mold in attics

Attics are a good place for mold growth. It has plenty of wood and insulation. When the rain pours down, it leaks into the attics and creates much-needed moisture for mold to thrive.

White mold in Crawlspaces

Once moisture sets in crawlspaces, it becomes tough to keep it dry. Moisture gets into crawlspaces because of leaky pipes or improperly installed plumbing fixtures. Also, poor ventilation creates high humidity and high temperature. White mold grows in crawlspaces too often, which is why people avoid having crawlspaces in new buildings.

White Mold on Plants

A certain species of white mold known as Sclerotinia grows on plants. Mold spores are capable of becoming airborne, which requires you to control mold immediately.

To determine if it is white mold growing on your plants, look out for water stained spots. Typically, these stains appear on roots, and the rest of the plant may look healthy. When a plant has white mold, a cottony patch appears on the root, and the plant starts to lose its natural color.

White mold may start growing on a plant if you overwater it, the soil remains damped, and drainage is poor. Such conditions make a perfect hospitable environment for mold. To protect your plants from mold, don’t overwater, perform pruning regularly, and use fresh soil. Spores can remain throughout the winter without any additional help, so it’s better to treat your plant for white mold as soon as you notice.

How do you Treat White Mold?

If your house or surrounding areas has white mold growth, it can cause potential damage to your property. You must act right away to limit its growth and eradicate it.

White mold can be harmful to you, your property, and all others inhabiting the property having mold. It’s tempting to remove white mold with the help of some DIY mold remediation.

But, it carries some potential risks as well. When you remove mold yourself, you expose yourself to toxic mold or spores that can be potentially harmful. Therefore, it’s better to hire a mold remediation or removal company to remove your property’s mold.

It pays to hire a professional mold remediation service because it’s certified, trained, and experienced to remove any mold from any location. Besides, they have the technical knowledge, equipment, and protective gear for the safe removal of mold.

Here are a few products you can use to remove white mold from different surfaces.

Products to Kill Mold

  • Chlorine bleach: If you have household use bleach, using it for mold removal should be the first thing to consider. It works well to remove the white mold. Chlorine bleach is harsh, so make sure to distill it before applying it to the surface having mold.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: Not as harsh as chlorine bleach, but it does the job. When applied to surfaces having white mold, it slowly kills the mold and stains. The best part is that it doesn’t leave residue or fumes.
  • Distilled white vinegar: Being acidic in nature, vinegar is a potential mold killer. Though it slowly breakdown the structure of mold, it’s highly effective. However, don’t expect it to remove tougher stains left behind by white mold. You’ll need to do additional scrubbing to obliterate the stains.  
  • Baking soda and borax: Also known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda can inhibit mold. You can mix baking soda and borax with water to make a mold removal solution. Both products are cheap, easily available, and convenient to use.

Methods to remove mold from different materials

Mold removal from walls, flooring, and carpet

When an area has white mold, perform a proper mold inspection to find out the severity. It may damage the object’s structure, so open the area to locate the root cause and eradicate the mold.

Since we’re talking about materials or parts of the property that make up the building’s structure, you need extra cautiousness. To clean the walls and flooring, add detergent to bleach & water solution. Mop the surface with the solution, avoid oversaturating and leave the air solution dry.

To prevent the regrowth of white mold, take appropriate steps like preventing humidity and dampness. If the dampness is coming from the soil under the walls/floor or a leaky plumbing fixture, fix the problem thoroughly.

To remove white mold from the carpet, use baking soda and vinegar mixture. When removing the carpet from the floor, mist the floor to prevent mold spores from spreading into the air. Thoroughly clean the carpet with the mixture or a special mold-killing product. Keep the carpet under open air for several days and let it dry completely.

Mold removal from leather & furniture

Furniture, leather products, and accessories may encounter mold. To remove mold from such items, dip a piece of cloth into distilled white vinegar and wipe the product having mold with it. Then, use warm water and purpose-made soap for another cleaning job. Once the mold is completely removed, let the items dry in the open air.

Mold removal from tile and grout

The bathroom is one place where mold can grow easily. Humidity, warm temperature, and food sources make a great environment for mold to grow. And, as we like to say here at Homeholds

Tiles and grout in your bathroom encounter mold, so you need to keep them clean always. When you notice mold on tiles or grout, find out what’s causing mold. Remove any food source, dampness, and water damage, making a hospitable environment for mold to grow.

To remove the mold, you can use chlorine bleach by mixing it with water. Pour the solution on the surface and leave it for around 15 minutes before you begin scrubbing.

How to prevent white mold?

Person cleaning a wood table

You can’t make your home 100% mold-proof, but taking certain steps can help to prevent mold growth. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Areas or parts of your home that are prone to grow mold should be kept clean and dry.
  • Keeping your home moisture-free is one of the things you need to do.
  • Make sure that all areas of your home have proper ventilation.
  • Plants make a great place for white mold to grow. Usually, it’s the result of damped soil, so make sure to use fresh soil and arrange proper drainage.
  • Keep furnishings and carpets clean and dry to prevent mold growth on them.
  • If you notice white mold in any part of your home, get rid of it right away.

White mold on wood and how to take care of it

One of white mold’s favorite places is wood. Unfortunately, if your house and surrounding areas remain warm and humid, it’s highly likely to get white mold grown on your wooden items like wooden floor, cupboards, beams, and joints on wooden structures.

Here’s what you need to clean mold off the wood:

Before you begin with mold removal from the wood, wear protective gear since mold spores and bacteria inhaled can cause health risks. The best thing to do would be to take the wood outside to prevent spores’ spread spores from your home.

Use a vacuum to capture the mold from the wood. Make sure to remove all the visible mold spores. When removed, put the mold into a bag and toss it into the waste bin. Then, use dishwasher detergent to wash the surface, followed by spritzing distilled white vinegar on it.

Is white mold as bad as black mold?

Is white mold dangerous than black mold? Typically, black mold is highly toxic and creates harmful skin issues. White mold is a powdery, white, and filmy substance. However, it’s not as toxic as black mold, but more toxic than the remaining types of mold.

Generally speaking, any type of mold growing in your home or property is dangerous, and you should get rid of it right away when you notice it.

Is White Mold Safe to Eat?

Mildew and other types of mold are less dangerous than white mold. Long exposure to white mold can cause several health issues.

There’s no way white mold is safe to eat. Even if your keep inhaling mold spores for long enough, it can cause mold-induced asthma, allergies, cystic fibrosis, and other lung & respiratory health effects.

If you have a specific type of mold in your home, like white mold, then ensure proper cleaning of the area having mold.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article helped you understand what white mold is, what causes it, and how to deal with it. In case of an emergency, if you feel you cannot handle it, you should consult with experts who can help you.

Additionally, if you have other house concerns, like for example how to fix a leaking roof, let us know and we will be sure to write up an article on it.

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