What it is: Toxic mold reproduces through spores, which circulate in air. Of 100,000 types of mold, only a few dozen are toxic.
Where it is: Toxic mold is not the dark scum often found in a tub. It can flourish behind walls and on wood after a leak.
What it can do: Toxic mold produces chemicals (mycotoxins) that can cause rashes, seizures, infections, respiratory problems, severe fatigue and possibly brain damage.
Conditions: Water and temperature affect mold growth. Humidity above 50 percent and temperatures of 40 to 100 degrees are conditions for mold.
High-mold states: Texas and California have had the highest number of insurance claims for mold.
Controlling mold: Moisture control is key. Dry water-damaged areas within a day or two to prevent growth. Fix leaky plumbing. Wash mold off hard surfaces with detergent and water, then dry. Tiles or rugs may have to be replaced.