Black Mold Removal – How to Get Rid of Black Mold
Removing black mold isn’t just about maintaining your home, it’s about ensuring healthy indoor air quality and keeping yourself and your loved ones safe.
Black mold problems that are not addressed immediately can quickly spread to and contaminate other areas of your home, compromising its structural integrity and safety.
Once you know that you have black mold in your home or office, it is crucial to remove it as soon as possible.
Never attempt to do so yourself as this could result in further contamination and unnecessary exposure. Contact Mold Busters today — we’re certified black mold removal specialists.
What is black mold?
Black mold, scientifically referred to as Stachybotrys atra or Stachybotrys chartarum, is without a doubt, one of the most dangerous types of mold that can be found indoors.
It has been linked to severe illness, respiratory disease, and neurological damage as well as many other incapacitating conditions.
For these reasons, among many others, it is critical to educate yourself about black mold and to remove it as soon as you discover a problem.
Once black mold starts to grow, it can spread very quickly to cover entire walls, floors and ceilings.
Black mold often develops in buildings that have been victim to serious water damage or flooding. It can be an equally destructive problem in both new and old constructions, leading to a decline in indoor air quality, Sick Building Syndrome and other serious health problems.
In fact, industry professionals often refer to black mold as the invisible killer because people usually have no clue that they have a problem until they start to experience debilitating symptoms and a decline in their health.
Signs of black mold
It’s not always easy or possible, even, to tell if a building has black mold.
In some cases, it requires the most up-to-date technology, such as thermal imaging, to pinpoint problem areas. This could be because they’re out-of-sight, growing behind walls and underneath floor boards.
In fact, airborne mold spores are so tiny that you can inhale them without ever knowing. And despite your suspicions, it’s never mold until it’s tested.
If you’re concerned about a contamination in your home, office, cottage or wherever else, look for the following common signs and symptoms associated with black mold:
- Stains: Small stains on your wall may be a strong indication of a mold problem. Since mold spores thrive on damp or moist surfaces, the yellowish stains in your walls can help in the formation of mold spores. If you see black, brown, or green patches on damp areas of your home, beware this indicates that a mold problem may develop in the future.
- Musty odours: That stale and musty odour, typical in basements, is an obvious sign of mold growth. Once you notice there’s a musty odour coming from your home (most likely from a recently wet or damp surface), keep your eyes open for other indicators of mold. Damp boxes in your basement or garage, crystalline substances on basement walls, and tiny splotches on your water softener tanks are a few possible indicators of mold in the home.
- Health symptoms: You must pay attention to your family’s health and watch for unusual or recurring symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, rashes, eye irritation or other allergy-like reactions. Ask yourself if anyone in your house is becoming hypersensitive to the changes in environmental conditions. Are your children suffering from respiratory problems and experiencing allergic reactions when they’re inside the house?
- Discoloured walls. Discoloration of walls and other surfaces is a big tell. Yellow water stains on walls are often succeeded by black mold spots. Even cracked or peeling paint, and bulging are signs that there is moisture in your walls.
- Poor ventilation (humid air, condensation on the windows). Poorly ventilated homes—true for most modern homes today—causes humidity, which in turn encourages accumulation of moisture on ceilings, behind walls and other surfaces. Lack of ventilation also means that wet areas take more than usual time to dry properly, which is enough time for black mold to multiply.
- Peeling paint
To ensure existing black mold is detected before it wreaks havoc on the home and occupants’ health, frequently check for the common signs of mold.
Also consider asking our professional mold inspection advice. Explain signs you’re noticing. Inspectors cannot conclude anything over the phone, but they may have a better idea of what you’re seeing, smelling or experiencing and whether it has anything to do with mold.
What causes black mold to grow in your house?
The main reason for black mold growth is moisture, which can be caused by several things, such as:
- Water Leakage. Water leakage is one of the main reasons for mold growth. Sometimes we don’t notice the leaks in our pipes, roofs, air conditioners, washing machines or toilets and by the time we realise, there is enough accumulation of moisture causing black mold.
- Flooding. In the unfortunate event of a flooding, water ends up soaking the whole house, including walls, ceilings, and flooring. Naturally, because water enters these surfaces deeply, it takes several weeks for them to completely dry out. This offers perfect environment for black mold to grow and spread.
- Irregular maintenance. If black mold is not found and dealt with quickly it can become a serious problem. However, homeowners shy from keeping a regular maintenance schedule. Common areas such as windows, heating and cooling systems, and plumbing need to be regularly cared for.
- Humidifiers. Humidifiers are great for adding moisture to the air, but they are also a good candidate for mold growth and distribution through the house. This problem can be taken care of by often cleaning the equipment with an antimicrobial solution and using a humidity sensor to control the humidity levels.
- Condensation. Condensation commonly occurs in pipes, air conditioners and walls and is a conducive environment for mold growth.
- Clogged-up gutters. Blocked gutters stop the flow of rain water, thereby causing the held up water to eventually seep into the walls or roof of your home. if the problem is not found and fixed at the earliest, it can lead to severe mold growth.
- Damp clothes. Because of lack of outdoor spaces, you may have started to dry your clothes indoors Sometimes you may be even leaving damp clothes in your laundry baskets. If there is improper ventilation, this causes moisture to be released into the air, which in turn raises the humidity levels. In addition, when damp clothes are left to dry indoors, it can create wet surfaces where black mold can flourish.
- Humid basements. Because basements are usually not well ventilated, they often contain high amounts of moisture or humidity compared to the others rooms in the house. Common reasons for this include condensation or even water leakage from other parts of your home. Since we don’t inspect basements on a regular basis, it is a highly likely place for black mold growth.
- Water near the base of the house. Water can build up in your yard and/or in the area around the base of your house, which apart from causing black mold can also present structural issues in the long run. This problem also occurs especially if the ground is not levelled or is on a slope, which can cause the rainwater to end up at the base of your home. Digging a drain could divert the water away from your home.
The following areas of a home are typically most prone to black mold growth and therefore most likely to need black mold removal:
- Basements (mold on floors, walls, and carpets as a result of moisture intrusion)
- Crawlspaces (mold as a result of condensation on walls and ceilings)
- Bathrooms (showering, leaky toilets and other sources of moisture give rise to mold on shower walls, tiles and grout)
- Laundry rooms (washing machines, damp towels and poor ventilation can cause mold growth)
- Kitchens (cooking, boiling water and washing without an exhaust fan causes humidity to accumulate and ultimately leads to mold growth)
- Closets (storing damp or dirty clothing in a closed space can cause mold)
- Underneath furniture (lack of ventilation, darkness, warmth and dampness can all contribute to mold growth).
The fact that mold is able to grow so easily explains why black mold removal is such a complex task.
However, when left to a professional, black mold removal can be effective and yield long-lasting results. Call Mold Busters today for expert help with your mold remediation project.
On this picture, you can see reasons and causes of black mold growth in house:
Symptoms and health effects associated with black mold exposure
Black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, is the deadliest and most dangerous species of mold and the one that should be avoided at all costs.
Listed below are some of the most common symptoms of exposure to this deadly black mold:
- Coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing
- Onset or worsening of allergies and/or asthma
- Dizziness or nausea
- Skin irritation and rashes
- Throat irritation
- Chronic fatigue and low energy
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Anxiety and/or depression
For all health effects and symptoms caused by black mold check out our guide here.
How to identify black mold?
If you suspect mold, do your research: know the reasons why you suspect there’s a problem and understand the benefits of an air quality test or surface sample.
Only once a mold test, taken by professionals and carried out inside an accredited laboratory, confirms the presence of mold, will the property owners know for certain whether there’s a problem.
If there is, it’s important that remediation immediately follows, otherwise the problem will only worsen in time.
If you are responsible for having the mold taken care of, you must act fast. If you don’t, the health (and even the lives) of your family members are at risk.
How to get rid of black mold?
When it comes to black mold, don’t take any risks by trying to get it rid of up yourself. There are many bloggers and DIY enthusiasts out there who say that applying a mixture of bleach and water on a moldy surface will kill the mold.
However, this is not true. For one, your ability to get rid of the mold depends on the nature of the material that is contaminated. While hard, non-porous surfaces may be easily cleaned with a damp cloth, porous materials such as wood, fabric, carpets or drywall cannot.
These materials absorb the mold contamination deep down, so cleaning of mold becomes much more difficult. Often, if the damage is severe, you may even be required to cut out entire sections of contaminated drywall, for example, and replace them with brand new gypsum board.
For these types of black mold problems, hiring a professional is your best and safest option. You can trust the certified experts at Mold Busters to give you fast and effective results with long-lasting protection against future mold growth.
We can even run air quality tests after the mold remediation to make sure that the black mold has been completely eliminated from your living environment.
The importance of professional black mold removal
Systematic black mold remediation services play a huge role in improving your quality of life and protecting you from disease. In addition, these services are the only reliable way to prevent costly mold-related damage and loss.
Although the idea of removing mold on your own may seem cheap, easy and appealing, the use of improper cleaning techniques can leave you with a bigger problem than you had to begin with. When done incorrectly, do-it-yourself mold removal can cause mold spores to become airborne and spread to other areas of the home, where they can be easily inhaled by the home’s occupants.
By hiring on professional mold removal, you can eliminate mold, protect your family and gain peace of mind knowing that you’re living in a safe and mold-free home.
Recurring black mold problems need to be dealt with by professionals who are able to remove mold safely and efficiently. When this is done, you and your family can return to your everyday, mold-free lives.