How to Identify White Household Mold

Written by marlene inglis
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How to Identify White Household Mold
A flashlight helps when checking for white mould. (flashlight image by Marek Kosmal from

Aspergillus, a white household mould, is a common mould that can grow on walls, insulation, paper products, and many other places around your home. It can cause infection in people with weak immune systems or allergic reactions in other individuals. The mould can be found in damp environments since it needs moisture for growth. Ideal places for mould growth include areas around leaking water pipes or places where there is extensive use of water such as kitchens and bathrooms that do not have adequate exhaust venting.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Flashlight
  • Rubber gloves
  • Mask
  • Cloth
  • Household bleach

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  1. 1

    Check walls and doors in damp areas of your home for white discolouration or spots that appear to be growing on them. Do a test on the white spots since some white spots are caused by a white crystalline salt left on masonry surfaces during construction. Put a disposable mask and rubber gloves on and pour a few drops of household bleach on a clean cloth. Dab a drop of household bleach onto the spot and if the spot loses its colour or disappears, it may be mould.

  2. 2

    Pull furniture, draperies and bookshelves away from a damp wall. Look for the telltale flat, white or light-coloured circular spots spread over a large area. Use a spritzer bottle filled with water and spray water on the white spots. Put on a pair of rubber gloves and use a cloth to try removing the spots by rubbing on them. If the spots are still there, they may be white mould.

  3. 3

    Inspect the panelling in a damp basement for buckling since exposure to high moisture can cause it to buckle. Check for odour since an earthy, musty smell can indicate mould. Inspect the panelling for white, irregular spots randomly scattered over panelling which may be white mould and check the texture of spots. Determine if the spots have a slimy texture which is a sure indication that it is mould and not mildew.

  4. 4

    Select an area of your home such as under carpets and rugs as well as the laundry room where you suspect there may be mould but can't see any. Aim a flashlight at an angle along the surface being examined but not directly at the surface. Shining the light straight at the surface might not reveal anything. The white mould appears as irregularly-shaped white spots of varying sizes accompanied by a mouldy odour that do not go away when rubbed with a cloth.

  5. 5

    Hire a professional after you have done the above tests and suspect that there is a problem with mould in your home. Let the technician take samples of the mould to send to a lab where they can confirm the presence of mould and have it professionally removed.

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