Use A Humidity Monitor
Lastly, put up a humidity monitor in your home. This will let you know if the humidity levels are within a healthy range. By watching over the humidity level, you can prevent your home from being a breeding ground of black molds.
On average, the ideal humidity level for household settings is 30% to 50%. Once it goes beyond 55%, your home becomes an ideal place for mold growth. This is what you need to avoid.
A humidity monitor will keep an eye on the moisture level. This way, you can act fast to fix leaks and remove other sources of dampness.
Could Your Symptoms Be From A General Mold Allergy
Regardless of the species of mold in question, symptoms of a mold allergy can appear very similar, especially when looking at many individuals. So if you see black-colored mold and experience allergic symptoms, it could be Stachybotrys, or it could be another species of mold. That said, the same person can react differently to different molds. For example, one person may have severe dry eyes in response to a Cladosporium exposure, while Aspergillus exposure may cause wheezing and asthma-like symptoms.
Why Is Black Mold So Dangerous
Black mold is commonly referred to as toxic mold, and for good reason. Aside from causing all kinds of respiratory reactions like coughing, sneezing, sore and itchy throats, and watery and itchy eyes, prolonged exposure can have serious health consequences.Black mold is toxic, and prolonged exposure can have serious health consequences.
One study found that exposure to mold during infancy led to asthma at 7 years of age, while others have linked exposure to brain inflammation, behavioral dysfunction, movement disorders, and neurological deterioration.
In short, black mold warrants its reputation as a toxin, and should be treated as soon as its discovered. Below are several signs it may be inhabiting your home.
Read Also: How To Mold Leather Holster
Common Mold Exposure Symptoms
In the beginning, these symptoms start out mild and they progress into serious health conditions over time. When the symptoms of black mold exposure are present, it means that the person has been exposed to mold spores, and those spores were breathed in or the person’s skin came into contact with the spores.
The initial mild symptoms may include things such as: runny nose, stuffy nose, wheezing, coughing, sinus infections, headaches, difficulty breathing or other respiratory infections.
As you can see, these symptoms are also associated with having a head cold, so the initial symptoms are not often associated with mold exposure in the beginning. The person may start to wonder about the health problems when they see that the symptoms are not going away. The symptoms of black mold exposure will continue to be present as long as contact with the mold spores continues.
How To Prevent Mold
Controlling moisture is the key to preventing mold from growing in your home. The following tips will help stop mold from becoming a problem:
- Keep the humidity in your house below 50%. Using an air conditioner or dehumidifier can help with this.
- Make sure your house is clean, dry, and well-ventilated.
- Fix any water leaks immediately.
- Use ventilation fans in your kitchen and bathrooms.
- Don’t put carpet in rooms that are likely to become wet such as the basement, kitchen, or bathrooms.
- Make sure wet floor mats are dried quickly.
You May Like: Moss Prevention On Pavers
How Does Black Mold Get Inside A House
Mold spores find their way inside by hitchhiking on clothes, pet fur, and air currents into your home. But spores cant get comfortable without plenty of water. This is why youll usually find black mold around water-damaged areas impacted by plumbing issues like floods or leaky pipes.
Materials like drywall, carpet, or gypsum board can soak up water, creating a perfect home for a black mold colony. If you find water damage at home, its crucial to remove all the affected materials to prevent mold from growing.
Where Does Black Mold Come From
Black Mold can originate from many different sources. It thrives in damp areas with a lot of cellulose, such as cardboard or paper items. Black mold is also present in some foods that are high in cellulose and low acidity .
However, mold can grow in any warm, wet areas of the house such as basements, showers, crawlspaces, and especially on windows. It can form as the result of your ventilation not working properly or if you have leaky pipes.
If you suspect you have leaky pipes in your house, you should check your basement thoroughly for mold. You should also check showers, corners, and crawlspaces if you think your ventilation is not working properly.
If left unchecked it will cause serious damage to your home.
You May Like: How To Clean Mold Between Pavers
Can You Sue Your Landlord For Mold
Yes. However, a tenant will have to prove there is a mold problem. When it comes to mold in a rental the tenant typically needs to prove 4 things:
This is where a consultation with an attorney well versed in mold laws comes into play. You dont want to tackle a mold lawsuit on your own.
Natural Remedies: How To Get Rid Of Black Mold
If you tend to opt for more natural household solutions that are kid- and pet-friendly, use one of these simple remedies:
- Tea tree oilThis natural fungicide is less corrosive than bleach or ammonia and effectively gets rid of mold and mildew in your home. Mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil with one cup of water in a spray bottle, spray the solution on affected areas, and let it sit for several minutes. Wipe the toxic black mold away with a disposable towel.
- Baking sodaFor lighter mold situations, baking soda is a great removal option. Create a 50/50 mix of baking soda and water to form a paste, apply it to the affected area, and let it dry. Scrub the area with a sponge or cleaning brush and wipe away any excess with a paper towel.
- VinegarWhite-distilled vinegar is a cheap and easy solution to get rid of moldand its much safer than bleach or ammonia. Pour vinegar onto a rag and wipe the mold-covered area until the mold has been completely removed.
- Grapefruit seed extractSimilar to tea tree oil, this is a natural and non-toxic way to disinfect, deodorize, and kill mold. Put 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract in a cup of water and spray the moldy area. Allow the solution to soak for 10 minutes and then wipe off any excess debris with an old towel.
Also Check: Cleaning Canvas Awnings Mold
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.
Is Black Mold Dangerous Heres The Truth
The truth is, many people arent negatively affected by mold. However, mold can cause allergies in some people who are sensitive to mold. In these cases, it can make their lives miserable. Mold can also cause severe medical issues with a small percentage of people who have other health complications.
If youve seen a concerning growth in your home or been told that you have a black mold issue, you probably have a lot of questions.
You May Like: Get Rid Of Mold Smell In Basement
Identifying Mold In Your Home
How Can I Check For Mold
Its best to hire a professional to help you identify and remove mold, especially if youre allergic or vulnerable to it.
You should also consider hiring help if the mold covers more than 10 square feet, or if its hidden behind wallpaper, ceiling tiles, or other areas.
Here are some steps for identifying and removing mold.
You May Like: Black Mold On Grout
Black Mold Can Form In Dark Damp Corners Of Your Basement Without You Ever Knowing It
Worse, it spreads very quickly. Not only does mold rot drywall, but it can also lead to serious health issues. If you have asthma or allergies, mold can cause eye irritation, cough, congestion, and skin irritation. More serious health issues from mold exposure include fever, coughing up blood, nose bleeds, vomiting, and even liver damage. If you spot mold spores, you need to act quickly while taking proper safety precautions. Here well cover 5 steps for removing black mold in your basement.
Before you get to work in the basement, strap on a face mask and gloves to protect yourself. Without touching it, inspect the damaged area. Black mold will look like soot and may be dusty. If the job is too big, or you have health issues that could be exacerbated from addressing the mold issue, contact a professional cleaning service or mold remediation company, such as Woodard, and stay as far away from the area as possible.
Where Is Mold Found In A Home
A research study found that Stachybotrys preferred a very high relative humidity within wallsapproximately 97%which indicates that relative humidity could be an important risk factor . For black mold, you may consider smaller microclimates that may harbor such humidity levels: sweating pipes, under sink cabinets, front loading washing machines, standing water, roof leaks, damp cars, windows with condensation, etc. Generally, common places to check for mold growth include the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room.
However, humidity alone is not the only requirement for mold growthmold requires nutrients to grow. Any environment that has nutrients like cellulose or other organic matter can harbor mold if the humidity level is right. To further enable mold growth, an environment that has poor air flow and minimal disruption is ideal. For example, you can find mold on wallpaper, furniture, drywall, overly-packed bookshelves or overstuffed closets.
Read Also: How To Clean Mold From Leather
Black Mold Symptoms And Health Effects
Learn about black mold symptoms and health effects so that you can identify indicators of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning.
A mold infested room of an old building.
Mold in homes can be a costly and dangerous problem, particularly when infestations of toxic black mold occur. The symptoms and health effects of black mold exposure and black mold poisoning cover a wide range of health problems, but understanding the indicators can help keep you and your family safe.
Toxic black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, as it’s known to scientists, can release spores as it feeds on organic materials in common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation or sub-flooring that have been exposed to moisture. These spores, if ingested or inhaled, can cause a range of unpleasant and even dangerous symptoms in humans.
How To Identify Black Mold
While most molds are green or gray, toxic black mold is easily identified by its dark black or greenish-black color. You can also identify black mold by its musty, mildew-like odor.
Black mold thrives in warm, humid, and damp areas. Be sure to check basements, bathrooms, HVAC units, attics, and crawl spaces for signs of mold and inspect any areas with water damage. It can also grow on materials with a high cellulose content, like wood, paper, and dust.
Also Check: How Quickly Can Mold Grow From Water Damage
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?
How Are Mold Allergies And Exposure Diagnosed
There are no proven tests that show when or where you may have been exposed to mold. However, your doctor may check for mold allergies by reviewing your symptoms and performing one of the following tests:
- Blood test. Your doctor takes a blood sample and then sends it to a laboratory to measure the number of certain antibodies, which can indicate your immune systems sensitivity to different mold species.
- Skin prick test. Your doctor takes small amounts of mold and applies it to your skin using a tiny needle. Your skin will break out in bumps, a rash, or hives if youre allergic to that type of mold.
Don’t Miss: How To Clean Mold From Leather
Keep It Clean And Dry
It never hurts to clean regularly. Make sure humid areas and rooms with plumbing get regular spot checks. Add mold and mildew removal products to your cleaning routine, especially for the bathroom and kitchen.
Mold thrives on moisture, so use dehumidifiers in humid areas of your home like bathrooms, basements, or closets.
What To Do For Black Mold
If you see a patch of what you think might be black mold, don’t touch it remember, says Anderson, that disturbing the mold is what causes the spores to release its toxins. “Don’t attempt to wipe it or spray it or put any chemical on itthat’s just going to make it angry,” she says. “The best thing to do is contain it.” She recommends covering the entire area with plastica bag or dropcloth will worksecured around the outer edge of the mold area . “If you have HVAC running into that room, shut the vents so they’re not pulling anything into the other rooms,” Anderson adds.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Airborne Mold In House
What To Do About Mold In Your Home
If you recently found mold in your home, you are probably searching the internet to figure out what to do. This step-by-step guide will answer all of your questions. Dont panic, it may take some time but you will get past this. The key is to educate yourself and do it right the first time so the mold does not return.
Please note that this page was written to help homeowners. If you live in an apartment or rental house, here is information about the landlord responsibility for mold.
Is Toilet Mold Dangerous
The black mold growing in the tank, behind it, and under the toilet bowl can be a hazard to anyone, healthy or unhealthy. According to health experts, exposure to mold can lead to a stuffy nose, wheezing, red or itchy eyes and skin, hay fever and shortness of breath.
It is worse especially for individuals who are allergic to spores. It is recommended that you have safety measures put in place so as not to encourage its growth. You could put on a respirator so that the spores from the mold dont trigger allergic reactions as you clean.
You May Like: How To Clean Mold Off Bathroom Ceiling