You’ve probably heard a lot about black mold by now. It’s often mentioned for its toxic properties and is, therefore, a cause of panic in many homes. But experts suggest that labeling black mold toxic is not always the truth. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that mold is not toxic in itself, but points out that some types of mold can indeed produce toxins, mycotoxins to be precise.
However, that does not mean you should leave mold unchecked. If you do not contact an experienced mold removal company, the problem could spread beyond control, leading to expensive repairs needed to permanently get rid of the infestation. Even though not all mold is toxic, the spores mold produces can still cause a lot of problems for people suffering from asthma or allergies.
The best way to know what black mold is toxic is to understand what black mold does to you, what does black mold look like and how you can remove it from your home.
What’s Black Mold?
Stachybotrys chartarum, commonly known as black mold is a type of fungus that thrives in dark, moist areas. Old homes are most likely to suffer a mold infestation, but that’s not always the case. Mold can grow anywhere it finds suitable conditions. Mold spores can infest your home through windows, doors, air vents and find an area with enough moisture to start growing. These are often areas near condensation, leaky pipes or air conditioning systems. Mold prefers wet materials like cardboard, paper, wood, and tiles. That’s why walls, ceiling, and wooden surfaces are often the first to fall victim to mold infestation.
How Does Black Mold Look
Black mold is not the only type of mold that can grow inside your home. It’s not even the most common one. You might also stumble upon strains of mold like Cladosporium, Aspergillus or Alternaria. The truth is those names don’t mean much to you, as you cannot discern these types of mold with the naked eye. However, black mold is the most dangerous among them, but that does not mean any mold is not an issue that demands attention.
You can recognize black mold by its dark color and slimy texture. It makes it different from other types of mold that differ in color and texture. For example, Alternaria appears as a dark brown, wooly coating on a surface.
How to know if Mold is Dangerous
People react to mold differently. Some members of your family may experience symptoms like wheezing, sneezing, coughing and chronic upper respiratory issues while others exhibit no symptoms at all. However, prolonged exposure to black mold can be harmful to anyone. For once, prolonged exposure to black mold has been linked to asthma development in children.
How to Remove Black Mold
As with most things, prevention is the best removal method. Make sure to take care of moisture and replace surfaces damaged by water as soon as possible. Inspect your plumbing and air conditioning system, fix the leaks in the attic or basement.
If you see a small mold infestation scrub it off using a dishwashing soap solution. If the infestation is larger, you can use bleach diluted in 10 parts water. Don’t paint over the mold before making sure you’ve removed it and replaced the affected surface, as camouflaging it will only help it spread undetected. Finally, dispose of any materials you used to clean the mold with like rags in sealed plastic bags.
However, if the problem is already widespread, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced mold removal company like Emergency Home Solutions to assess the problem and offer the best solution.