What Is Mold?

Get to the ins and outs of mold and how you can safeguard your home from this dirty fungus.
HGRM_mold-infested-room_s4x3

HGRM_mold-infested-room_s4x3

A mold infested room of an old building.

Photo by: Dariusz Majgier

Dariusz Majgier

By: Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Most people are keen on the idea that there are a few types of fungi that are worth appreciating — mushrooms, anyone? However, if you were to ask most homeowners about the most common type of fungus they would like to never see again, then the resonating answer would most likely be, "Mold!"

Mold is a type of fungus that sprouts form tiny spores that float about in the air. Unfortunately for homeowners, there is not a pilot sitting in the cockpit of these spores. Instead, the spores do the choosing of where they should land. Pair that with the fact that they often choose to make their home in moist places and you are bound to see mold spring up in that area.

Mildew is a common type of mold that sits on the surface of damp walls, doors, shower grouting and more. This type of mold looks like tiny black spots, and it can easily be scrubbed away with a cleaning brush and store-bought mold killer.

Other types of mold can be a bit more damaging to a home, depending on the size of an infestation. You may begin to notice a damp, must odor in a specific area of your home. This means you should check for damp walls, carpet, flooring and any other spaces that may be breeding grounds for mold. The key is to treat a mold problem immediately, before the infestation becomes worse or causes permanent damage.

Next Up

Mold Testing

Testing one, two, three – have you found any mold? Check out this guide for learning how to test for mold that might be lurking in your home.

Mold Inspection Costs

Mold inspection costs can vary depending on the scope of the infestation. Learn how to help slash your final bill with these tips.

Mold Inspection and Detection

Mold detection can be a fairly simple process with the right investigative work. Here's how to locate it in your home and eliminate it for good.

Common Areas for Mold Growth

Learn the most common areas for mold in your house, and take steps to safeguard against mold growth.

How to Prevent Mold

Learn strategies to prevent rot from ruining your health and your home.

Mold Allergy Symptoms

Kiss itchy skin rashes, watery eyes and sneezing goodbye with this guide for identifying and treating mold allergy symptoms.

Mold Exposure Symptoms

Learn about the symptoms related to mold exposure and how to prevent more harmful illnesses.

Black Mold Symptoms and Health Effects

Learn about black mold symptoms and health effects so that you can identify indicators of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning.

Toxic Mold Sickness and Poisoning

Toxic mold can lead to a host of illnesses that are the result of mold poisoning. Protect your health with this guide for identifying mold sickness.

Control Mold Through Water Management

Minimizing moisture and redirecting water will cut the risks of mold in your home.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

Good Bones

7am | 6c

Good Bones

8am | 7c

Good Bones

9am | 8c

Good Bones

10am | 9c

Good Bones

11am | 10c

Good Bones

12pm | 11c

Home Town

1pm | 12c

Home Town

2pm | 1c

Home Town

3pm | 2c

Home Town

4pm | 3c

Home Town

5pm | 4c

Home Town

6pm | 5c

Home Town

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Home Town

8pm | 7c

Home Town

9pm | 8c

Home Town

10pm | 9c

Home Town

11pm | 10c

Home Town

12am | 11c

Home Town

1am | 12c

Home Town

2am | 1c

Home Town

3am | 2c

Home Town

4am | 3c

Home Town

5am | 4c

Good Bones

6am | 5c

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows.

Live Stream HGTV Now

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.