Understanding the Risks of Black Mold

Aug 20 2014

Black mold, also known as stachybotrys, is one of the most potentially harmful types of mold. While it’s not as common as other types of growths, it is known to show up in homes and businesses. Prolonged exposure to black mold can lead to:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Irritated eyes
  • Worsened asthma
  • Coughing and weezing
  • Excessive sneezing
  • Headaches
  • “Sick building syndrome”
  • Extra health problems for those with compromised immune systems
  • Other allergy-like symptoms

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and you’re not sure what’s causing them, it could be because of black mold. You and your family don’t have to suffer through the coughing and sneezing. Instead, learn how to recognize it growing in your home, remove it, and make sure it doesn’t come back.

What Does Black Mold Look Like?

It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what black mold looks like, as there are hundreds of varieties of mold, all with slight variations in color and growth patterns. As a general rule, stachybotrys is usually greenish-black and is often found on paper products, ceiling tiles, wood products, carpet, and drywall among other materials.

Black mold in a window frame.

How Does Black Mold Enter Your Home?

Black mold spreads through the release of spores into the air and is found mostly in dark, damp, and humid conditions. Wherever there is moisture, there is the potential for mold. It can enter an indoor space through:

  • Open entryways
  • Furnace systems
  • Ventilation systems
  • Air conditioning systems

These spores can also attach themselves to people, clothing, bags, and animals which can later turn into full mold colonies. It’s important to note that it can grow from spores invisible to the human eye, so always be aware of the signs it could be growing in your home.

Signs You Have Black Mold Growing in Your Home

Mold thrives in dark, moist environments. Anywhere there is water damage, excessive humidity, condensation, or leaks, there is potential for growth. Besides the symptoms listed above, there are a few other signs that you could have a problem, including but not limited to:

  • A musty, damp smell
  • Discoloration of carpets, walls, or floorboards
  • High humidity in your home or business

It may be hard to find it growing in your home, and knowing where to look for growths even if you’re not seeing any of the signs is important. Read more about where mold could be hiding in your home.

How to Prevent Black Mold Growths

In order to prevent mold from growing in your home, make sure that it isn’t too humid. Any excessive moisture, whether it’s because of humidity or water damage caused by a burst pipe or flooded basement, creates a mold-friendly environment.

How to Remove Black Mold

You may not be certain if what you find is black mold but all types should be treated with the same caution for potential health risks. If you notice it growing in your home, take immediate action to get rid of it. Here are the steps you should take to clean and remove mold growth:

  1. Clean up and stop any water sources that created environments for mold to grow.
  2. Use vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or a solution of lemon juice to kill any spores.
  3. Scrub the affected area until it is completely removed.
  4. Replace any porous materials that had mold growing in it, such as carpet or drywall, so the spores hiding in the pores doesn’t grow back.

When cleaning up mold, be sure to wear a respirator mask, gloves, and goggles when working in the affected area since spores are easily inhaled. If you don’t feel comfortable dealing with this problem, call a mold remediation specialist to safely remove it for you.

You can download our guide so you can take the right action fast in case of an emergency.

Have a Black Mold Problem?

If you want to learn more about mold and what you should do if you find it in your home, you can check out our complete guide! If you have any questions about mold or have found black mold in your home, don’t hesitate to give Rapid Restoration a call!

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