The Dangers of Black Mold
Many homeowners have heard horror stories about the dreaded “Black Mold”. However, new homeowners might not be aware of the dangers it presents, as well as how to treat it. Our mold experts at Aloha Restoration have put together this informational guide to teach you all about Black Mold.
What is Black Mold?
Black mold, which also goes by the scientific name Stachybotrys chartarum, is a family of mold found in homes globally. Like the name suggests, black mold is usually black in color, but can range from green to gray as well. Growing in moisture rich environments, this mold can be identified by its dark color and circular growth pattern.
Black mold falls into the category of “toxigenic mold”, as they produce mycotoxins that are harmful to living things. While toxigenic molds do not always produce mycotoxins, there is no way to tell if the mold is producing them or not through sight alone, meaning the mold should be removed as soon as possible.
Health Issues caused by Black Mold
Like other varieties of mold, black mold spreads through releasing spores. These tiny spores get picked up by the air and float away, trying to land somewhere they can grow. Mold spores cause issues such as coughing, wheezing, stuffy nose, and irritation of the skin. For most people, these symptoms are generally mild, but those with mold allergies may experience more severe reactions.
Black mold is dangerous for more reasons than their spores, as they also produce harmful mycotoxins. These toxic chemicals hitch rides on the mold spores, spreading the same way. When exposed to mycotoxins for an extended period of time, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and breathing issues can occur. In more severe cases, such as after prolonged exposure or in immunocompromised individuals, nosebleeds, pneumonia and other pulmonary issues can arise.
Mycotoxins are incredibly harmful, not just to humans, but to animals as well. Pets can become sick from black mold exposure as well. Due to the variety and severity of health issues caused by black mold, immediate removal is recommended.
Treatment & Prevention
Once black mold has been found, immediately quarantine the area to ensure your family isn’t exposed to the mold. DIY mold removal can be difficult, and the procedure is made even more complicated with black mold. Due to the potential health risks of exposure, use of PPE, such as an N95 mask, is highly recommended. Because of this, DIY black mold removal is discouraged, as you want an experienced professional who will do the job properly and safely.
If you’re trying to avoid black mold (which you should be), prevention is easier than removal. Stopping the problem before it even happens will save you plenty in cost. Some easy ways to prevent black mold are:
- Routinely checking for leaks and cleaning up any water spillage immediately
- Keeping the humidity of your home below 50%, as mold grows more easily in humid environments
- Rearranging humid environments such as bathrooms by removing fixtures that trap moisture, like carpets or stuffy cabinets, mold has less places to grow
- Regularly cleaning areas prone to mold buildup with mold-killing products
While prevention is the best way to avoid black mold, some cases may slip through the cracks. If you do find black mold, do not try DIY removal. As stated earlier, the possible health risks of black mold exposure are too dangerous for the average person. Instead, give a call to your trusted mold removal experts at Aloha Restoration. We have plenty of well-trained and licensed professionals that will help get your home back to normal in no time!