Black mold, or Stachybotrys, is a specific species of mold, which is considered to be very dangerous. In the United States, this type of fungus is generally referred to as toxic black mold. The growth of mold is generally the direct result of increased moisture and mold can quickly lead to decreased indoor air quality. As a homeowner, it is absolutely essential to familiarize yourself with black mold. Below, you will discover everything you need to know about black mold.
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What Is Black Mold?
Black mold is a specific type of mold, which is most commonly associated with health complications. This specific type of mold will commonly grow in locations that are humid, warm and damp. Basements, crawl spaces, attics, and bathrooms will be their most common origination locations.
As the name suggests, black mold is easily identifiable, because it will be very dark black. Other molds tend to be green or gray. The health risks related to black mold are extensive and this is why it is pertinent to get rid of the mold as quickly as possible. Of course, prevention should be your top priority.
Symptoms Of Mold Exposure
When it comes down to it, the symptoms of mold exposure will deviate from one type of mold to another. Nonetheless, there are some similarities between each specific type. At the same time, you should remember that increased exposure to mold will substantially increase the intensity and frequency of the symptoms. The most common symptoms associated with exposure to mold include the following.
- More frequent sneezing
- Stuffy or running nose
- Postnasal drip
- Itchy throat and a couch
- Itchy nose and eyes
- Very dry skin
- Watery eyes
It is also important to remember that some consumers, such as those with allergies and asthma, will be much more likely to experience further complications. The presence of mold can substantially increase the intensity of asthma symptoms. Being exposed to certain types of mold can actually lead to a severe asthma attack. Asthma patients should do their best to avoid mold and always keep an inhaler nearby.
Mold Prevention Tips
Truly, the best attack against mold is a good defense. As mentioned above, the cause of mold growth is usually moisture. By taking this into account, you may be able to take action to prevent the development of mold in the first place. Below, you will find tips for diminishing the potential of mold development within your home.
- Dry wet floors and walls as quickly as possible. If water has seeped into your attic or basement, you should make sure this area of your home is dried quickly. Also, the leak needs to be stopped to prevent the water from reentering your home in the future.
- Proper ventilation is absolutely essential. Remember that condensation can result in increased moisture. Install exhaust fans in your bathroom and attic. This will allow the heat to escape and decrease moisture.
- Install mold-resistant products. Some products, such as drywall and paint, are available in the most resistant forms. Switch to these products to decrease the potential for problems.
- Keep an eye on your home’s humidity. Consider installing a barometer in your living room. If the humidity is too high, you may want to use a dehumidifier in your home.
By following these suggestions, you may be able to prevent mold development in the first place.
Types Of Mold
There are way too many forms of mold that will target residential and commercial establishments. Each mold causes different reactions in humans and pets. Focusing on the most common types found in homes, Alternaria just happens to come up on the list first.
This mold can be found near leaky plumbing pipes, sinks, showers, and bathtubs. Many homes that are located in flood-prone areas will also develop this form of mold after the floodwaters reside. Alternaria causes allergic reactions, with upper respiratory symptoms, such as sneezing, cough and runny nose.
Aspergillus is also on the list of common types of mold that can be found indoors. While this and other molds are found outside in soil, they are always floating around the atmosphere. Molds are not dangerous, but the allergens they produce are, so when mold begins to grow on damp surfaces they will cause allergic reactions.
Cladosporium is another type of mold, but this type of very unique in that it prefers cool areas. Other types of moldy fungus prefer warm, moist areas, but Cladosporium can be found in areas, where the temperatures are cool.
Basements, underneath cabinets and carpets, are preferable places for this mold, but it is not unusual to find it in floorboards and on drapery. A mold that almost everyone has heard about is Penicillium. This mold grows at a rapid pace, so it will easily overtake a large area of your home in a matter of days.
If you find a substance in your home that looks like mold, you will definitely want to learn how to test for black mold. The only way to treat the mold efficiently is to know the actual diagnosis. You will find various over-the-counter DIY mold tests on the market. However, many of these tests have been researched and rendered false-negative results. It is extremely difficult to perform the test properly since mold is floating around the atmosphere. As soon as the container is opened, it will become contaminated with mold spores.
Our engineers always perform professional mold testing. Many mold removal or mold remediation companies will hire a specialist to perform these tests but we have in-house testers that will do this for you.
Of course, these testers must undergo training courses to learn how to perform the test properly. Again, no test is 100 percent accurate, because mold is found virtually everywhere. There is truly no way not to come into contact with the mold, but most of the time it doesn’t cause any severe allergic reactions.
Many people will mistake mold for mildew because they are so similar. Even though both of these originate from the fungus family, they have different appearances. Mold will appear as green, white, black and orange, while mildew has a white appearance. So, you consider these facts, you will not have any issues determining the true nature of the substance you find in your home.
If you decide to take the DIY route, you will need to purchase an in-home mold kit. Collect a sample of the substance and place it into the appropriate container. Follow the instructions on the back of the package to receive the most accurate result.
Effects Of Black Mold
Black mold is substantially different from the alternative species of mold. In fact, it is much more destructive and substantially riskier. The physical effects of black mold are enormous. In some cases, the black mold may grow in undisclosed locations.
This includes in your attics, in the crawlspace, and in the basement. However, if the problem worsens, the mold may make itself visible to the homeowner. When this happens, the mold will cling to the items within the impacted room.
This type of mold will look very similar to smoke damage. It will appear to be black smudges on your walls and ceiling. In some cases, black mold will also impact the floors within your home.
Symptoms Of Black Mold
While the effects of black mold can be startling, the symptoms associated with this type of mold are even more eye-opening. The most common symptoms linked to black mold are those that will impact the respiratory system. They include frequent coughing and more intense sneezing.
The patient may also develop rashes and feel chronically fatigued. Depending on the length of time you are exposed to the mold, you may also begin to develop persistent headaches. And of course, the health risks will increase substantially as you are exposed for a longer duration.
After being exposed to black mold for a long duration, some patients will have an allergic reaction to the mold’s spores. This can cause the patient to feel sick to their stomach.
It may also lead to vomiting and bleeding in the patient’s lungs and nose. The risks are enormous. Therefore, it is absolutely pertinent to seek assistance immediately! The mold needs to be eradicated thoroughly.
How To Clean Black Mold
Truly, black mold can be a very complex problem for homeowners. The mold poses an enormous health risk and working closely with it will require you to take immense risks. By familiarizing yourself with the removal process of black mold, you may be able to get rid of it on your own.
Just remember that the process will be enormously tedious and you’ll need to work meticulously to keep yourself safe. Be sure to invest in protective gear, so you can keep yourself safe throughout the duration of the removal project.
Also, it is essential to remember that there is a reason the black mold develops. If you do not rectify the source of the problem ahead of time, the mold will simply return in the future. So, before the project gets underway, you should discover the source of the moisture and eliminate it.
While it may be possible to fix this problem on your own, the risks are enormous and simply not work taking. Instead, it is highly recommended that you choose a professional company to perform the world for you.
Pure Airways specializes in mold removal Services. We have been in business for many years. Rest assured knowing we will take the risks, so you do not have to!