Is All Mold That Is Black Dangerous
It is important to remember that black molds are hazardous. Thus, you should tiptoe your cleanup around it or else you might get unwanted bodily reactions. However, the question of whether all black mold is dangerous or not still stands.
The color and toxicity of a black mold goes separately. This means that not all molds that appear in black are fatal.
Similarly, not all deadly molds merely appear in black. White mold usually looks like a white powdery residue, and its health issues are dependent on the individual.
Thus, before you deal with this mold with your scrub brush and cleaning agent, there are differences you should remember. Through this, you know which mold you should protect yourself from and which one does not really need much caution.
What Are The Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
If you find black mold on your property, theres no need to panic. But black mold presents more health risks to sensitive groups like those with respiratory conditions or immune conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control , black mold spores can generate cold- or flu-like symptoms such as:
- Stuffy nose
- Shortness of breath
So while black mold probably wont kill you, it can make you feel sick and should be removed as soon as possible.
Remove Mold From Building Materials
Once you have the right safety protection in place, you can go ahead and remove the flooring, drywall or other material that has become infested with mold. Go slow, and be careful not to kick up too much dust, as the dust can carry spores with it. Also, be sure that you have a safe and environmentally friendly way of disposing of the material you remove.
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How To Find Hidden Black Mold In Your Home
Do you suspect you have mold hidden in your home? Whether you can visibly see mold growing or can smell an unpleasant earthy odor, mold is a common problem in houses with water damage or leaks. If you see signs of mold in your home, a black mold test can be performed on a sample to determine if it is indeed mold, what toxic variety it is, and what should be done about it.
Is Black Mold Dangerous
The short answer isnot really. But that doesnt mean you should keep black mold as a pet.
Everyone has different levels of tolerance to allergens like mold spores, but thats all black mold isan allergen.1 Those with asthma, respiratory allergies, or immune suppression will feel the effects of black molds mycotoxins more than most folks.
As one source put it, Previous reports of toxic mold syndrome or toxic black mold have been shown to be no more than media hype and mass hysteria. 2
But whether you feel black mold symptoms or not, its best to get rid of black mold as soon as you find it.
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How Do Molds Get In The Indoor Environment And How Do They Grow
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, and pets can and be carried indoors. When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.
Removing Black Mold On Wood
Removing black mold on wood is a bit trickier. The wood behind drywall is part of the structural framing of the wall or ceiling, so its basically a permanent fixture. Sometimes the wood is so rotted and falling apart that it needs to be removed and replaced with new. But that is rare, and in the vast majority of cases the wood is still strong and structurally sound.
The good news is that black mold on wood can almost always be easily removed.
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What Causes Mold To Grow
Black mold, like most molds, thrive in conditions that are dark, unventilated and damp. The less the spores are disturbed the more they will grow it can grow for months, even years behind a surface without being noticed. It may have started out in an area, such as behind or underneath appliance, anywhere there are pipes, especially leaking or sweaty pipes and/or around leaky windows. It can also seep in from the ground around your home. High humidity can also cause excess moisture which can develop into spores. Once it has started to grow it can spread on and into the walls.
How To Know If Mold Is In Your Walls
Mold often grows out of sight in wall cavities due to water problems like flooding or leaks. Before you know it, it creates a toxic environment in your home, compromising the indoor air.
The good news is that even hidden mold leaves behind clues. You can find out if mold is growing in your walls in several ways. Here is how to spot mold that grows inside your walls.
If your home has suffered severe water damage, mold will grow in your walls if the water wasnt removed within 24-48 hours. If water reached drywall, the best practice is to cut it one foot above the water line.
Other water problems like leaking pipes may also trap moisture inside your walls. Even in these cases where leaks are visible, moisture can get inside walls, providing mold a place to grow. Be aware of signs that drywalls are moist such as:
- water stains
- deterioration like peeling, bubbling or cracking of the paint or wallpaper
Moreover, if the walls are bowed, bulging or warped, they most likely contain moisture. Another clue is if the surface of walls feels wet or damp.
Visible Signs of Mold
First of all, if the wall is rotting, it likely has mold underneath it. In less severe cases, mold might not be that noticeable. Inspect the walls and check for mold on walls behind furniture and along baseboards too.
Another sign of visible mold is discoloration of walls, even if it has been painted over. If the water damage inside the walls persists, mold will show signs on the surface.
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Growth Spots Of Varying Colors
Black mold, as the name implies, is often dark in color. When searching for black mold, look for circular-shaped spots that are black, dark green or dark brown. Some black mold can also take on shades of orange or have flecks of white within it.
Most of the time, black mold has a slightly furry appearance. Larger growths of mold may appear as a black stain that stretches along your wall, floor or ceiling.
What To Do If You Discover Mold
If you follow the steps listed above and find mold growing in your basement or another room in your home, it’s important to act quickly before it can spread further.
Failure to address the problem could lead to expensive and potentially dangerous structural issues in your home, as well as worsened health problems.
Generally speaking, mold removal is a job best left to mold remediation professionals. Calling an expert will help you to identify the root cause of the mold growth and ensure you’re totally eliminating mold from your home.
A professional will also be able to take steps to prevent mold from growing in the future.
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Whats Wrong With Wet Drywall
Drywall is made out of gypsum and other additives. That makes for a relatively lightweight building material that is still pretty durable. At the same time, those components also absorb water. Soaked up water provides a perfect haven for mold to grow, and the paper backing of drywall contains cellulose which becomes food for the mold.
Preventing toxic black mold growth and the spread of mold spores is a major reason for removing sheetrock that has experienced water damage, but its not the only one. Drywall loses a majority of its structural integrity when it gets wet, which is especially dangerous on a ceiling.
Wet drywall also has to be removed from interior walls too though. Wall cavities simply do not dry unless the sheetrock is taken off and the cavity is aired out. Wet fiberglass insulation batts get heavy, and theyll start to slump down in the wall cavity creating large pockets of air loss at the top of the wall. This drives up both heating and AC bills.
Mold And Mildew Health Concerns
The health of both humans and pets may be affected by the presence of mold and mildew in the home. While some people may not be affected at all, others who are especially sensitive may experience symptoms such as itchy eyes, wheezing, or a runny nose. People with asthma or allergies will feel the most severe reactions to mold and mildew.
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Do I Need Professional Testing
In short, usually not! Because, remember the saying: no mold, no matter what color, belongs in a healthy home. And that is good news because a professional mold inspection with testing can run anywhere from $300-$750. In most cases where mold is clearly visible, knowing exactly what type of mold you have is unnecessary. We advise most of our clients to forgo the inspection process and just apply that money saved to the cost of fixing the problem. The EPA agrees that mold testing isnt necessary in most cases.
There are exceptions, however, such as when a mold inspection with testing is required as part of a real estate sale or if you require proof that a mold problem is present, such as for a legal dispute. If you think you may have a mold problem, but arent sure, then we recommend formal testing from a professional. And if you require clearance testing to verify an all clear after a mold problem is fixed, then professional mold testing is necessary.
Common Places For Mold To Grow
If you have had water damage to your home, its important to be on the lookout for possible mold growth. For example, mold in basement walls or floors can occur after flooding or severe water damage. Also chronic or persistent leaking from appliances, sinks, and showers can also lead to mold growth.
To find hidden mold, look for evidence of water intrusion which is often a sure sign that you either have mold in the home now or will be growing it soon. While it can be difficult to detect mold in the walls, its important to look for these signs of mold growth, to identify the problem as quickly as possible. Moisture meters and particle counters can be used by a certified inspector to source the water leak and fungal growth and even help detect if there is mold in your walls.
If you suspect mold growth in your home, here are some of the most common locations to check for mold to grow in the house:
- Air Ducts
- Near Plumbing
Keep in mind that mold is a sign of excessive moisture and water intrusion and can be visible or hidden behind many different surfaces. Whether its from a leaking pipe or previous water damage, mold can lead to costly building repairs and even adverse health effects, which is why it should be handled promptly.
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How To Tell If Black Mold Is Hiding In Your Walls
Black mold – the words alone are enough to make you cringe. It’s the last thing you need in your home. Any mold can cause problems for people who are allergic, of course, but those molds referred to as “black” or “toxic” are particularly dangerous. Chances are, if the conditions inside your home are hospitable to mold, you’re going to have it. If you suspect the mold is “black” or toxic, however, consider hiring a professional to remove it for you.
Black Mold On Drywall In Basement
Basements are one of the most common areas to find mold in a home. Due to the lack of ventilation and humidity, many people develop moisture in their basements that make it the prime breeding ground for all sorts of mold and bacteria.
Black mold is made of a toxic microfungus that can cause a host of health complications in humans. The sticky black spores of Stachybotrys chartarum are ingested or inhaled, leading to chronic respiratory problems and even the development of internal bleeding.
Basement drywall mold isnt just hazardous it also spreads fast. Removing the mold as and any traces of bacteria from your home as soon as possible is vital for protecting your property and health.
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Types Of Mold Colors Commonly Found In The House
Molds come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and while some may think that color can serve as an identifying characteristic, unfortunately, it is not. The main means of identifying molds involve looking closely at the structure, spore, and growth morphology, which isnt easily done without access to a lab. Color isnt a good distinguishing characteristic of mold or toxicity because one patch can have multiple colors or change color for several reasons. Some factors that affect mold color are:
- Food source
- Humidity level
- Light exposure
Regardless of what color a mold is, if its in your house, thats a sign that there is an active moisture problem and it should be removed as soon as possible so the moisture problem can be fixed. Heres a guide to mold colors that you might find in your home.
How Do Molds Affect People
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions. Severe reactions may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of molds in occupational settings, such as farmers working around moldy hay. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath.
In 2004 the Institute of Medicine found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people with asthma symptoms in people with asthma and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition.
In 2009, the World Health Organization issued additional guidance, the WHO Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality: Dampness and Mould pdf iconexternal icon pdf icon. Other recent studies have suggested a potential link of early mold exposure to development of asthma in some children, particularly among children who may be genetically susceptible to asthma development, and that selected interventions that improve housing conditions can reduce morbidity from asthma and respiratory allergies.
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How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
Depending on the severity of your black mold infestation, you can either clean it yourself or hire a professional. Hiring a professional is more expensive, but it prevents you from being exposed to the mold while trying to remove it. Youll probably want to hire a professional cleaner if you have wide-spread growth in multiple rooms.
If you choose to remove the black mold yourself, be sure to take the proper safety precautions. You want to avoid letting mold spores touch your skin or breathing them in by wearing:
- Latex gloves
- Protective mark, preferably a dust mask
- Long sleeves and pants, or a full-body jumpsuit like a painters suit
Once youre dressed to tackle black mold, follow these steps to remove small infestations:
Mold Testing And Removal Cost
When the mold in your home is more than you can manage, its time to call in some professionals. The cost of black mold removal varies depending on the severity of the infestation and the location in your home.
Complete mold removal typically runs from $500 to $3,000 depending on the extent of the damage.
Professionals can help identify the cause of mold if youre unable to do so yourself. In some cases, they may remove portions of drywall, and in others, you may need to have your foundation sealed to prevent moisture from building up in your walls.
A repair for this problem ranges between $2,100 to $6,200. While you may be able to have the mold thoroughly removed without sealing your foundation, not doing so when its necessary will result in more growth in the future.
Preventative measures are one way to avoid getting black mold in the future after a removal. To learn more about mold removal procedures and to get a free quote, fill in the banner below.
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A Qualified Environmental Lab Took Samples Of The Mold In My Home And Gave Me The Results Can Cdc Interpret These Results
Standards for judging what is an acceptable, tolerable or normal quantity of mold have not been established. Sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth. If you do decide to pay for environmental sampling for molds, before the work starts, you should ask the consultants who will do the work to establish criteria for interpreting the test results. They should tell you in advance what they will do or what recommendations they will make based on the sampling results. The results of samples taken in your unique situation cannot be interpreted without physical inspection of the contaminated area or without considering the buildings characteristics and the factors that led to the present condition.