Black Mold 101

How To Treat & Prevent Black Mold In Your Home

Black mold is one type of fungi that is known as stachybotrys chartarum and this particular mold is known to grow in damp or water-damaged buildings. Black mold can also be found in natural substances such as soil and grain though this isn’t a common occurrence.

People that live in locations of the country that have a high humidity level should be on the lookout for black mold. This particular fungus will grow and thrive in conditions where humidity levels are greater than 55%. Moisture and water is a key component to black mold reproduction. Black mold needs moisture to reproduce. Water is also needed as a part of growth cycle for black mold. These are the primary reasons as to why high humidity provides a suitable breeding ground for this type of fungus. Black mold also feeds on materials such as fiberboard, ceiling tiles, wood products, paper, clothing and dust.

Black mold thrives in flood areas

Black Mold 101

Black Mold 101

It is not uncommon to find an outbreak of black mold in areas of the country has been impacted by flooding conditions. One of the warnings that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives to people who have experienced flooding is not to return to their homes because of the potential health problems that could result from being exposed to black mold. Structures that have been impacted by flooding take at least one week to dry. While a building is drying out mold populations rapidly spread throughout the structure. Once the black mold begins to take root it becomes so ingrained within the structure that it literally becomes uninhabitable. At this point, a building either has to undergo extensive treatment to eliminate a black mold infestation or it has to be destroyed.

Many residential homes also experience problems with black mold when water enters into their basements or attics. A summer storm or excessive rain can cause extra moisture to enter into a home. If the outdoor or indoor temperature is warm enough it could raise the humidity levels up and create the perfect conditions for black mold. Building and residential owners should check for yellow, green, brown or black stains on a wall or a ceiling. Stains such as these usually indicate a problem with mold. They should also check any signs of cracked or peeling paint since it usually indicates moisture build up behind the paint. Once a basement or attic has been affected by black mold a residential home owner will probably have to contact a professional company that specializes in black mold removal to eliminate this problem. They also have the option of purchasing black mold removal products to do the job on their own.

Business and home owners can take some basic measures in order to prevent the spread of black mold. People that use humidifiers within their homes should make sure that they are keeping the humidity level between 55-60%. Mold can still grow within this range of humidity but as long as the humidity level doesn’t exceed this point it shouldn’t be a problem.

Inspecting a structure for water damage after a storm or during a time period where a lot of rain has fallen is also another way to prevent the outbreak of mold. Pipes should also be inspected for rust or condensation since these two conditions are the results of excessive moisture. Having a lot of house plants could also lead to an increased problem with mold. Plants need water to survive and moisture levels will naturally rise when they receive water. Black mold can also grows on bathroom tiles within many homes. Consistently cleaning the bathroom area should keep mold from forming. Homes with poor ventilation are also candidates for black mold growth. This results from a home having a lower air pressure when compared to the outside air. Homes with low air pressure and poor ventilation will force contaminants and moisture into its walls. Ultimately, building and home owners should contact a professional company to detect and remove black mold if they are not able to handle this problem. Owners should also have air quality testing performed to help determine if mold is present within a residence.

Removing Black Mold From Homes

Preventing and removing black mold from a structure is important for making it inhabitable but it’s also important for health reasons. Black mold health effects are usually problematic for people with respiratory problems and allergies. Sometimes people can display black mold symptoms which could be the result of this fungus being in a home or place of business. These symptoms include nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, skin irritation, chronic fatigue, headache, nausea, bleeding in the lungs, wheezing or skin irritation. People with circulatory problems might be greatly affected by the presence of black mold and they could even develop a mold infection in their lungs.

The CDC states that black mold isn’t necessarily toxic though it has the ability to produce toxic substances. Mycotoxins are one type of toxin that mold can produce and it has been known to cause disease or death in humans. In some cases black mold has been the cause of death but it is very rare.

Removing black mold from a residence is important and depending on the size of the infestation it can be done by a business or home owner or a professional company. Anyone who is involved in the removal of mold should wear a mask and protective gear. Blocking off the contaminated area is also wise so that mold spore won’t have the ability to spread to other parts of building or home. If the contamination is severe all people should leave the home while the clean up take place.

Eliminating or reducing moisture is the first step to wiping out mold. Find out where the source of moisture is then wipe it out. Use a dehumidifier to dry out basements that contain a lot of water. Using a commercial mold remover product is the next step with keeping mold under control. There are mold removal sprays and mixtures and some paints are also designed to keep mold from forming. Bleach and water can also be used to clean up mold. When removing contaminated debris take the shortage route through the structure. This will reduce the spread of mode from one area to the other. These methods will help to get rid of black mold that is present within a business or residential structure.