Symptoms Of Black Mold
What Does Black Mold Look Like?
Stachybotrys is commonly known as black mold because its black in color. We see black mold most often when there is flooding or water damage, such as attics, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.What does black mold look like? Check out these photos of black mold in basements that experienced flooding:
Is black mold dangerous?
The answer to the above question is It can be, but the vast majority of black mold situations we see are nothing to panic about.If you search black mold youll be sure to find plenty of websites and articles that tout the dangers of it. Weve seen quite the long, sensational list everything from seizures to cancer to death. But the truth is that it most situations are nothing to panic about because:It has never been scientifically proven that black mold is any more harmful than other types and colors of mold.Only a small percentage of people are especially sensitive to mold .Most horror stories come from people with severe, prolonged exposure to mold while most situations are small areas of mold growth that get cleaned up rather quickly.So why does black mold get so much hype? Well, a lot of it has to do with a general lack of information about a strange substance that looks especially ugly and threatening.
What are mycotoxins?Can black mold make you sick, cause cancer, or kill you?
Stachybotrys Chartarum Also Known As Black Mold Is Dangerous
Stachybotrys Chartarum, Also Known As Black Mold, Is Dangerous
Stachybotrys Chartarum is the official name for what most people refer to as toxic black mold. The sub-strate almost requires moisture at the saturation point to sustain growth, and I find it in only about one in ten homes I sample. Bear in mind however, that most of the homes I sample for mold have a family member or members suffering from allergies or some other illness. Judys home had the highest level of Stachybotrys of any home I have ever tested and Ive tested hundreds.
Most of what we hear about black mold is from the media.
For instance, a news article featured a woman who thought she was poisoned by black mold. After being exposed, Dana Anhalt: became ravaged by excruciating joint pain.My symptom list stretched to four single-spaced pages. I started fading fast as every system of my body broke down.
Healthy Air USA are mold inspection and mold removal experts serving the Atlanta, Georgia area. We have helped 1000s of consumers and business owners with their mold issues using our mold removal process.
One of our goals is to educate consumers about mold through our blog. We are often called by people who are concerned that they may have black mold growing in their homes or businesses. Please dont panic! We are here to help and are just a phone call away, 770-205-1710!
Black Mold: What You Should Know
Sinister-sounding and potentially dangerous, toxic black mold can strike fear in the heart of any homeowner. But by being able to identify black mold and understand how to prevent and control its growth, you can help to keep your home free of toxic black mold.
Read Also: How To Clean Mold From Basement
Final Word On Black Mold: Best Avoidedbut Not Deadly
As for black molds toxic reputation, those with immune suppression, asthma, or other respiratory problems are most at risk of feeling ill.
Its not likely that youll die from black mold poisoning because its just not that toxic. That said, you should act quickly if you find it in your home. The good news is its treatable, removable, and preventable.
Can I Remove Black Mold Myself
If the black mold growth in your home is small enough for you to treat alone, a simple mixture of bleach and water can help. Add one cup of bleach to one gallon of water and apply it to the moldy spots. Apply the cleaner to the mold spot and scrub away the growth. Be sure to dry the area thoroughly when youre done.
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Black Mold Is The King Of Molds
Black Mold Is The King Of Molds
Ideal conditions for Stachybotrys growth include moisture, a nutrient/food source, temperature, and time. Ideal humidity for this black mold is a relative humidity of 90% or higher for it to begin the germination growth process. Stachybotrys feeds on materials with a high cellulose content such as hay, straw, wood chips, and building materials such as ceiling tile, drywall, paper vapor barriers, wallpaper, insulation backing, cardboard boxes, and paper files.
Stachybotrys is considered the King of Molds because it will develop into the dominant mold group if the conditions are favorable and will crowd out the other molds that began feeding on the material first.
Where Does Black Mold Grow
While Stachybotry chartarum is not the most common type of mold growth, it can be found in your home or workplace. Like the other types of mold, it thrives on moisture, so any surface thats been damaged by water is a potential growing ground. However, black mold is more likely to grow on porous substances, such as:
Black mold can grow beneath the surface of your walls and ceiling. So, if your walls were damaged by water, youll want to dig deep and make sure there was no structural damage done to the wood past the drywall.
If you do smell something musty, theres a good chance its growing in your home, even if you cant see it. Weve covered a few other places where mold could be hiding in your home.
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Get The Materials Needed During Black Mold Remediation
Materials needed to complete a mold remediation project can vary depending on the cause, location, and size of the mold-affected areas. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration , a department in the United States Department of Labor, recommends that the correct materials be used when cleaning up environments damaged by mold.
OSHA states that workers can clean items that have the ability to be fully cleaned, dried, and then reused. This process may utilize blowers, biocides, and manual scrubbing. OSHA goes on to state that items that cannot be completely cleaned and dried must be removed. The items that OSHA recommends for mold remediation include, but are not limited to:
Plastic Sheets and/or BagsPlastic sheets or bags are needed to wrap the mold-infested items that are being thrown away. This will minimize the spread of spores.
TrashcanA trashcan is needed to dispose of the water-damaged materials including, but not limited to: carpet, drywall, and insulation. The trashcan may need to be large or small. The size of the trashcan depends on the size of the job.
Wet VacuumsWet vacuums may be needed to help collect the water from floors and other hard surfaces covered in water.
DetergentNon-porous, hard materials should be cleaned with a detergent.
Scrub BrushesScrub brushes to help remove mold from salvageable surfaces.
BlowersBlowers will help dry out the moisture-ridden areas.
Special thanks to # 1 MOLD REMOVAL NATIONWIDE for the use of their image.
Quick Overview Of Black Mold
The term black mold is often associated with some black or greenish black spots present on water damaged surfaces such as ceilings, wall-boards, floors or carpets.This fungus belongs to the Stachybotrys type of molds . Black mold is commonly called toxic black mold or toxic mold. We will use these different terms in this article.
Black molds are considered harmful to your health and well-being because they release spores through the air. Then these airborne lightweight spores could enter the human body through ingestion of contaminated food or inhalation of air. Toxic black molds play a leading role in mold poisoning but they are not the only type of mold responsible for health problems.
Black mold are usually a result of house plants wet clothes humidifiers defective or not properly installed dryers machines steam from shower/bath/cooking plumbing leaks leaky roofs damp basement/crawl spaces or flooding. But keep in mind that all black molds are not dangerous and not all toxic mold are black.
Black mold infestation are found in damp dark corners, with bad air circulation and lack of sunlight. This is the perfect recipe to stimulate the growth mold in general .
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Repair The Source Of The Moisture
It is imperative that the moisture source for the mold-infestation be corrected. If you do not correct the moisture source but, for example, pull out old drywall and put up new drywall, you can expect that the mold situation will recur. This is because the atmosphere that the mold thrived in will continue, thus aiding mold to regrow in the area. If there is a plumbing issue, it needs to be rectified. If it is a leak in the roof, the roof needs to be fixed.
Video on Removing Mold and Getting Rid of Moisture from Steve Maxwell
What Are Black Mold Health Symptoms
We all know mold isnt welcomed in the home, but did you know too that breathing in the presence of mold can harm your health? There are over 2,000 different species of mold and the most dangerous of all is called Stachybotrys Chartarum, also known as black mold or the invisible killer.
Why is black mold so dangerous? Black mold releases toxic spores that linger in the air and attack your respiratory health. The potency of these toxic spores has proved to be the most detrimental to human health.
Black mold often appears as slimy and greenish-black. If its water source runs out, black mold can also appear as dry and powdery. Black mold is also dangerous because its sometimes difficult to distinguish from other species of mold.
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Is There Evidence That Black Mold Causes Disease
Contrary to popular belief in the media, there is no clear evidence that black mold or Stachybotrys chartarum causes long-term human disease. There are case reports that link black mold to conditions such as pulmonary hemorrhage or memory loss. However, strong supporting evidence that black mold causes long-term human disease has not been proven.
What Can I Do To Keep Mold Out Of My Home
- Inspect your home for water damage and visible mold.
- Fix water leaks and areas of condensation immediately.
- Keep humidity levels below 50% in your home.
- Use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom to improve ventilation.
- Add mold inhibitors to paint.
- Clean your bathrooms with mold killing products.
- Do not carpet kitchens or bathrooms, or other areas with water.
Also Check: How To Kill Mold In My Basement
Black Mold: What Is It
Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly known as black mold, is a mold thats often black in color and can grow in homes in humid or damp areas. The mold feeds on organic materials in common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation or sub-flooring that have been exposed to moisture, as HGTV describes.
As the mold proliferates, it can release toxic substances. It is these that cause health problems. The CDC explains it this way: The term toxic mold is not accurate. While certain molds are toxigenic, meaning they can produce toxins , the molds themselves are not toxic, or poisonous.
However, though the release of mycotoxins does not always occur, the possibility that it can is reason enough to take care of any mold problem right away.
Lawsuit Against Farmers Insurance Company
In 2001, a lawsuit was filed against the Farmers Insurance Company by Mary and Melinda Ballard. Mary had purchased a 7,400 square feet home in Dripping Springs just outside of Austin, Texas. Within a short period of time, the Ballards were experiencing water damage due to water intrusion events. Farmers Insurance Company, according to Ms. Ballard, undervalued repairs and mishandled her claims, causing substantial delays in getting any repairs completed to the ongoing water damage.
During a business trip, Mary met an environmental professional who conveyed to her, the potential for health issues associated with water-damaged building materials. At Mary Ballards request, testing was conducted by the environmental professional. The test identified molds including Stachybotrys. The homeowner was told by their environmental representative, that this type of mold could cause serious health effects to the occupants of the home.
Some states such as New York and Texas have regulated mold in buildings, requiring training and licensing for companies and individuals who may inspect and remove mold-contaminated building materials. The remediation industry fully expects soon that federal regulations will be adopted. In the meantime, there is a wealth of information from both government institutions and the remediation industry that should help to shed light on a problem that has been around for nearly three billion years.
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Black Mold Illness And Potential Health Issues
Video on How Mold Effects Your Body from moldguys
Black Mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is toxic to humans. This is because it produces toxins called mycotoxins, which work with ones genetics, diet, and interactions of other toxins to create a varying degree of reactions.
Thank you to Bulletproof for the use of their image.
Mycotoxins are also known to enter the body through the bloodstream and prevent protein synthesis, damage macrophage systems, and make it difficult to gather oxygen in the lungs.
Video on Mycotoxins effects on the body from Bulletproof
Micro fungi produce these mycotoxins after its initial growth phase and as it begins to develop spores. Fungi that go through these processes are called filamentous fungi. These fungi are rivaled by only two other systems that can produce a large variety of natural products or secondary metabolites: actinomycetes and plants.
Protein synthesis is the process of bringing molecules together through chemical reactions to form chemical bonds. In this case, chemical bonds form between adjacent amino acids at the same time as amino acids break their bonds to form tRNA.
In certain molds, protein synthesis reacts differently due to their environment. For example: sporangia in the water mold Achlya cannot differentiate if there arent enough nutrients. Since this mold actively synthesizes protein, there could be a change in the rate of radioactive amino uptake.
Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure In Florida
Mold in your Florida home can be a problem that is both costly and dangerous. This is especially true when infestations of toxic black mold occur. Toxic black mold symptoms can range from being mild to adverse, depending on the type and quantity thats present.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of black mold exposure can help keep you and your family safe.
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Create A Bleach Mixture
If the black mold growth in your home is small enough for you to treat alone, a simple mixture of bleach and water can help. Add one cup of bleach to one gallon of water and apply it to the moldy spots. You can also find commercial black mold removal products.
Apply the cleaner to the mold spot and scrub away the growth. Be sure to dry the area thoroughly when youre done.
Do NOT mix bleach with ammonia. This combination can create toxic fumes that are far more dangerous than any mold youre trying to clean.
Ppe For The Respiratory System
Respirators When Working on Mold:
Mold particles and mold spores can be present in the air. Workers should take caution to prevent breathing in mold spores and mold.
Thank you to OshaSafetyTraining for the use of their image.
There are different respirator rating letters and numbers to help classify the type of respirator.
Respirator Rating Letters
N: The letter N means that the respirator is not oil resistant.R: The letter R means that the respirator is resistant to oil.P: The letter P means that the respirator is oil proof.
Respirator Rating Numbers
95: A 95 means that 95% of particles are removed with this respirators filter system.99: A 99 means that 99% of particles, at least .3 microns in diameter, are removed with the filter on this respirator.100: A 100 means that 99.97% of particles, measuring a diameter of .3 microns or larger, are removed with this respirators HE or HEPA filter system.
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How To Get Rid Of Black Mold The Right Way
If pictures say a thousand words, pictures of black mold describe a home that is unhealthy and unpleasant. Once you know what kills black mold, you can employ numerous home mold removal remedies for getting rid of black mold if the mold is limited in scope. If the toxic black mold covers more than 10 feet of space, its best to call a professional to get rid of black mold. By calling us for a free mold removal consultation, youll get in-depth answers to questions like what is mold remediation, how to clean up mold, and how to remove mold. You can also find out more about the mold removal cost for your home.
Visible Growths And Odd Colors
You may be able to visibly see a black mold growth in your home. While most black mold is indeed black, it can have a wide range of variations. For instance, you may notice a dark, furry growth or what appears to be a black stain, or there could be white, orange, brown, and even green specks.
A good rule of thumb is no matter what the color, get it treated to avoid damage to your health.
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