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.
Who Should Be Concerned
Mold becomes a big, expensive problem very quickly. This problem can even start from or spread to hard to spot and reach places. Mold inspections by a professional environmental consulting company are essential for peace of mind.
You are more likely to be affected by a neighbors mold problems if you are in closer vicinity to their home or business.
- Vacant Units
- Long Sitting Properties Under Construction
- Long Foreclosed Properties
- Close Neighbors
Property managers may not regularly tour empty houses. Homes and businesses in limbo can easily foster fungus. Leaking appliances, abandoned animal waste or food, or weather-related damages that let water inside go unchecked. This is when mold moves in.
Find The Moisture Source
Black mold removal is important. But first, one must identify that it is black mold. First, look at the color, followed by the smell. Black mold is black or even dark grey in color, and often smells wet and musty, as it usually grows in areas with a lot of moisture. Black mold is also usually noticeable in the home if you experience a burning or scratching sensation in your throat or lungs. Black mold is dangerous, and can greatly affect your health if left untreated, so it’s important to remove it as soon as you’re aware of it.
Before you can begin any black mold treatment, youll need to perform a black mold test and find the source. Its often the result of excess moisture in a particular area. Youre most likely to find black mold in areas of your home that you dont visit as often like the basement, but it can pop up anywhere. Here are a few common moisture sources to look for:
- Faucets and fixtures. Sink, shower and bathtub faucets and fixtures that are leaking can lead to the growth of black mold over time.
- Exposed plumbing. Damaged or leaking pipes, especially in warmer temperatures, can often create black mold in areas like basements.
- Water heaters. A small leak can create black mold in your basement or water heater closet.
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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, it can also appear as dry and powdery. Black mold is also dangerous because its sometimes difficult to distinguish from other species of mold.
The following are health symptoms associated with black mold exposure:
- Eye irritation
In severe cases, symptoms caused by inhaling black mold can lead to the following health troubles:
- Respiratory complications
Sometimes mold invades spaces that are hard to see and reach. It spreads fast, burrowing into walls and ceilings and hiding in cupboards and under carpets. Quite often, people are exposed to black mold without even knowing it. If you or anyone in your home is experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms without knowing why, you may be exposed to mold.
Is Black Mold Growing Due To Your Negligence
Keep in mind that you cannot blame the landlord for your mold problem if its growing because of something youve done or neglected to do. If the apartment isnt properly ventilated to help eliminate humidity. If you dont perform proper cleaning then you may have trouble filing a lawsuit against the landlord.
This is because tenants have certain obligations when they rent an apartment, and not doing your part doesnt make the landlord responsible. To avoid such situations, make sure you do what you can to limit mold growth by ensuring air can easily move through and that the apartment stays clean and free of standing water.
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Find Out What’s Happening In Douglasvillewith Free Real
Each item on an inspection form has a point value ranging from 1 to 9 points, with violations deducting points from the best possible score of 100. Higher points are taken for items with higher risk to cause illness, while repeat violations take even more points.
Visit the Georgia Department of Public Health’s website for links to the inspections. Restaurants are sorted below by city and date of inspection.
What Happens If You Breathe In Black Mold
For people sensitive to mold, inhaling or touching mold spores can cause allergic reactions, including sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash. People with serious mold allergies may have more severe reactions, including shortness of breath.
However, if you breathe in large amounts of mold for a long time, it can cause chronic allergy or cold like symptoms, or more serious side effects such as chronic fatigue, brain fog, or even mold growth in lungs or respiratory systems.
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How To Identify Mold On Walls
Before you can start to remove molds from a wall, it is important that you identify all areas that have been contaminated. The most common areas where it is found typically include the basement, bathroom, kitchen, garage and bedroom, especially a bedroom that is next to a bathroom or a bedroom next to the laundry room. You should look in areas that have a lot of dampness or moisture, such as the laundry room, basement and kitchen. You should also look at the grout between the bathroom tiles, above ceiling tiles that water stains, in any area where you smell mildew or there is a musty smell and any area that has been subjected to flooding. If you have water stains on the wall, or peeling or bubbling paint, it may be inside of the wall, which means you may need to remove the drywall to look behind it, especially if you smell a musty odor. Identifying black mold is fairly easy, because it is as the name suggests, black in color. It also usually has a slimy appearance.
Remember That Professionals Have Tools That You Dont
According to Jeff Miller, a real estate agent with AE Home Group in Maryland, More often than not, the mold is either from a small plumbing leak or from a roof leak, so fix that first. If the mold is located under a bathroom or kitchen sink where there could be a plumbing leak, call a plumber to investigate. Similarly, he recommends having a roofer inspect and seal any gaps in the roof if you see thats the cause of the mold.
Miller recommends having the mold remediated by a professional. They have access to the proper chemicals you need to ensure no mold residue after treatment, and they can test your home to ensure that the mold hasnt spread.
Kyle Rowley, mold remediation expert at Restoration 1 in Waco, TX, agrees. He says that mold can be tricky and dangerous. Even if there has been no water damage to a property, mold can come from something as simple as a leaky window because moisture and mold go hand-in-hand.
And because mold can cause so many problems, he says homeowners shouldnt take any chances. Having mold present can lead to allergens, irritants, mycotoxins, sneezing, breathing problems and long-term diseases, Rowley says.
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Black Mold Found After Teacher Complaint
Parents, students and city officials attend the Angela Lorenti Memorial 2018 Board of Education Candidates Forum at the Stamford Government Center on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018 in Stamford, Connecticut. The room
STAMFORD Black growth was found in certain office spaces in Government Center during an investigation sparked by complaints from teachers working out of central office because of mold problems already present in their classrooms.
Last month, about nine Westhill High School teachers who had filed workers compensation claims due to mold-related symptoms were instructed to work out of Government Center after they presented doctors notes saying they couldnt work out of their classrooms where mold was found, according to Diane Phanos, president of Stamfords teachers union.
Teachers said the room they were in was cramped and mold was visible throughout the area.
It was outside the room, inside the room, in the hallways, in the bathroom, said Ruth Walden, one of the teachers asked to work out of Government Center. We all saw the mold. We pointed the mold out.
A new report from the districts environmental consulting firm found black growth behind vinyl wall coverings in the third floor bathrooms and on the office HVAC cents and adjacent tiles.
According to mold task force member Mike Handler, the growth was not tested to determine whether or not it was mold.
Phanos did not respond to attempts for comment on this story.
How To Remove Black Mold Yourself
Did you know that its often possible to remove black mold yourself? Its true! Professional mold remediation can cost thousands of dollars and is often excluded from many homeowners insurance policies. But in many instances hiring a mold removal professional isnt necessary and black mold can be removed by a handy homeowner in less than one weekend of work.
If you feel like you may be a homeowner who is up to the challenge, weve written an eBook that gives step-by-step instructions on how to tackle your mold problem. For less than $20, we guarantee that youll save hundreds, if not thousands, of your hard-earned dollars.
You can purchase our eBook here:
And if youre not comfortable tackling the problem yourself, were happy to provide you a quote if youre in our service area. Just contact us for a completely free quote.
Bottom Line: No mold belongs in a healthy home. Be it black mold, or any other color of mold. It should all be treated the same. If you have mold, remove it.
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What Should I Do If I Think I Have Toxic Black Mold In My Home
Immediately hire a company who specializes in mold testing to confirm that mold is located in your home. Once it is confirmed that you have mold present, you need to make sure it is safely and quickly removed. A mold remediation company is best suited to take care of this for you to ensure all of the mold is removed from the home and educate you on preventative measures for minimizing your risk of mold returning.
What Is Black Mold And Where Does It Come From
Also referred to as stachybotrys, black mold is one of the most common molds you can find indoors. It grows in areas that are damp, dark, and humid as such conditions favor their existence and survival. Like other types of molds, the black mold releases spores into the surrounding air, which can be absorbed through your skin or inhaled into the lungs. Black mold can be transported easily to other areas in your home through damp clothing, shoes or pets. It is always important to have an idea about the mold to prevent it from causing serious health effects to you and your family.
How Does Black Mold Look Like
Molds come in different shapes, sizes, and colors such as blue, white, green or black. As the name suggests, this type of mold is noticeable by its black color. They can also be distinctive by their profiles and texture since some of them appear to have a bumpy appearance and hairs while others are flat looking. Black molds are found almost everywhere and they are made up of tiny microscopic organisms. They are hard to see by the human eye until they start clustering together. Mold spores may be invisible as they spread throughout the air when disturbed or blown from the surface they attach themselves.
What Causes Black Mold
Signs that you have Black Mold in your Home
These are the signs you need to look at when analyzing the presence of mold in your home:
Dark Rings and Spots in Ceiling and Corners
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What Are Symptoms And Signs Of Mold Exposure
Molds produce irritating substances that may act as allergy-causing substances in sensitive individuals. Furthermore, some molds produce toxic substances known as mycotoxins, but mold itself is not poisonous or toxic. The term toxic mold, therefore, refers to the fact that certain kinds of mold can produce mycotoxins. The conditions under which some molds produce toxins are not understood, and the presence of mold, even a mold that is capable of producing toxins, does not always imply that toxins are being produced or that a health risk or problem is present. Mold may not cause any health problems, or it may lead to allergy or other symptoms in people, including adults and children, who are sensitive to molds.
Allergic reactions to mold are the most common health effects of mold and are therefore the greatest health risk related to mold. Allergic reactions may happen immediately or develop after a period following exposure. Both growing mold and mold spores may lead to allergic reactions. Symptoms and signs of mold allergy may include
Mold or mold spores may cause asthma attacks in people who have asthma and are allergic to mold. Even in some non-allergic individuals, mold can cause symptoms of irritation in the eyes, skin, and airways. For example, the black moldStachybotrys, along with some other types of mold, produces toxins known as mycotoxins that can cause irritation of the skin and airways in susceptible individuals.
How To Remove Mold From Plaster
- Use a non-ammonia based soap, mixed with water
- Dip a stiff bristle brush or push broom into the cleaning solution and scrub the plaster, using a âWâ motion .
- Using a garden hose for large exterior walls or a sponge for smaller interior walls, thoroughly rinse the wall.
- Allow exterior walls to air dry and use a large bath towel to dry interior walls.
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Removing Mold In The Kitchen
Spotted mold in your kitchen? Scrub any hard surfaces with one of the solutions mentioned above, taking care to thoroughly rinse any food prep areas after. You may need to replace porous surfaces, such as wooden cabinets, that are contaminated.
To prevent mold and practice adequate kitchen maintenance, open your windows to improve ventilation and run the hood vent when cooking and cleaning. Wipe water from hard surfaces, and fix leaky faucets as soon as possible. Always make sure your tableware and serving dishes are dry before storing them to keep mold from proliferating in cabinets. Scrub mold from surfaces as soon as it appears, then be sure to dry the area to prevent it from spreading.
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Preventing Black Mold In Houses
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following to help prevent black mold in your home:
- Keep the moisture level in your home between 40 and 60 percent.
- Make sure areas of the home that generate moisture, such as laundry rooms, bathrooms and cooking areas, have adequate ventilation.
- Repair any leaky windows, roofs or pipes as soon as possible.
Those simple steps can go a long way toward preventing black mold in homes, but its no guarantee you wont still develop a problem.
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How Do I Know If My House Has A Moisture Problem
One of the best ways to tell is by checking the humidity. A home with high humidity likely has a moisture problem. Musty smells suggest mold, mildew or rot. Household odors that linger may indicate too much moisture in the air. Frost and ice on cold surfaces from condensation can be a sign of excess moisture in the air as well.
Signs Of Black Mold In Houston
Like all types of mold, black mold thrives in moist, warm environments exactly the type of environment produced by the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. If your property was impacted by the flood, you have an increased chance that your home or business is infiltrated by this type of mold.
There are several warning signs that indicate the presence of black mold in your home or business. When it comes to detecting mold, use your eyes as well as your nose.
Some of the signs that you should be on the lookout for as you examine your Houston home or business impacted by flooding include:
Visible mold growth. One of the tell-tale signs of black mold growth is actually seeing it. As youve likely guessed, this form of mold appears black in color however, it isnt always dark black. It can actually appear to be grayish, greenish, or blackish. It often has a slimy-like texture, as well.
An odor. Black mold isnt always visible, which is why it can be difficult to identify. It feeds off of surfaces that have a high cellulose content, or that are low in nitrogen. Black mold has pungent musty or mildew-type of odor, so if you notice this scent, seek further investigation from a mold expert.
If mold growth is present in your heating and air conditioning venting systems, the odor may only be evident when the system is turned on. Therefore, when you run your HVAC system, pay close attention if you smell a musty odor.
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