Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold, is one of the most infamous and toxic molds that can be found in homes. Black mold is highly toxic because it produces toxins called mycotoxins.
As the name says – black mold’s color ranges from dark green to black, although sometimes it can be seen in a gray variation, and it’s accompanied by a distinctive odor. Given the proper conditions, black mold spreads quickly. People are sometimes not even aware that their homes are contaminated with black mold until the fungus covers an entire wall.
Black mold is a serious concern for the majority of homeowners, primarily because it thrives in everyday conditions. The speed at which black mold spreads and the extent of damage it does to your property depends on how quickly you act to remediate it. Mold can become a problem before any major evidence is visible, but by recognizing the hints you can prevent it from spreading. The good news is that by knowing how and why black mold grows, you can minimize the threat of it in your home.
Signs of black mold growth
There are some areas which are more prone to black mold growth than others. The following are some visible cues that the space is susceptible to black mold (including other types of mold, too).
No matter if they are current or they happened in the past, moisture is often the cause behind black mold. Leaky pipes, faucets or toilets, window condensation, recent flooding, etc. – all of that creates enough moisture for mold to develop in your home.
High level of humidity
Mold, including black mold, is often related with high levels of humidity. An optimal humidity level would be between 30% and 50%, and anything above that is considered high, which is a perfect atmosphere for black mold, as well as any other type of mold, to develop and grow in your home.
Another thing that can be a sign of black mold arrival is discoloration of walls and other surfaces. Yellow water stains on walls are often succeeded by black spots of mold. But, black mold can also attack other indoor surfaces such as furniture and carpets, not just walls.
If you cannot see your mold, don’t worry – your nose will often pick it up first, as black mold has a specific musty or earthy smell. The kind of odors that are often present in old basements or even atticks.
And last, but not at all least, if you are experiencing unusual, but recurring symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, rashes, and other allergic or similar symptoms, you can suspect of black mold in your home.
Mold spores, no matter the type, are tiny and they can find their way across your home via air conditioners, heating systems and ventilation units. You can even carry them on your body without ever knowing. Since the spores travel through the air, they can easily spread and even more easily be inhaled by the home’s occupants.
Risks of black mold
As we mentioned before, black mold releases spores that are found in the air. We often inhale them, which inevitably leads to various health issues. Most common health problems associated with black mold are of the respiratory kind. People exposed to black mold can often feel symptoms like breathing difficulties, vision loss, chronic coughing and sneezing, chronic fatigue, mucus membranes of the nose and throat, rashes, chronic fatigue, permanent loss of cognitive ability, persistent headaches, etc.
In more severe cases of black mold poisoning, a person can even expect nose and lung bleeding and other poisoning symptoms.
There are several more risks associated with black mold aside the health risks. As it spreads, black mold can destroy your personal belongings, cause severe structural damage to your house and compromise your overall quality of life.
How to deal with black mold?
Since black mold is highly toxic, it is strongly advised to trust black mold removal to experts. Because of the toxic spores release, wearing special equipment to protect yourself from inhaling them is mandatory. And on top of that, black mold has to be treated with professional products to ensure it is destroyed for good.
If you are suspicious of having black mold in your home (whether you can see it or smell it), call Mold Busters to help professionally remove it. Don’t forget – a healthy family is a happy family, and a healthy environment is a necessary factor for that goal..