Many of us have heard of the dangers of black mold, and some of us have actually encountered it. This alleged killer hides throughout our homes, seemingly harmless until we see it on ceiling tiles, or in spaces with water damage. But the question lingers: what is black mold? And is it safe to stay in a house with it? Here, we tackle these questions and more to give you a better idea of what you may be dealing with, in your own home.
What is Black Mold?
Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as toxic black mold or just black mold, is a blackish-green blemish or spot that can be found in our homes. It thrives in cellulose-rich and moist areas and surfaces such as drywall, fiberboard, and gypsum board. Black mold is highly attracted to moisture, which is why it finds its home in areas with water damage, leaky pipe areas, and previously-flooded homes.
Is Black Mold Dangerous?
Despite its name, black mold isn’t necessarily highly dangerous to our health. However, we shouldn’t keep it in our homes either. This is because everyone has varying tolerance levels to allergens such as mold spores, which is what mold is — an allergen.
Black mold can be a more significant problem, however, to those who have respiratory allergies, asthma, or immune suppression and will feel the mold’s mycotoxins and its effects more than most people. But regardless of whether you feel any symptoms or not, it’s best to eliminate black mold from your home as soon as possible.
What Are the Symptoms of Black Mold Exposure?
There’s no reason to panic if you find black mold or mold damage on your property. However, they do pose more health risks to sensitive groups like those with immune conditions or respiratory conditions. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), spores from black mold can give flu or cold-like symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and skin and eye irritation. Longer exposure to black mold can cause more severe symptoms like fever, shortness of breath, and nausea.
How to Keep Your Home Safe from Black Mold
If you absolutely have no choice but to live with black mold in your home and are having a reaction to it, here are a few steps you can take to make your stay more comfortable. First, find the areas where it grows. Black mold can usually be found in areas where there is a lot of moisture, such as on top of showers, under sinks, in refrigerators, in basements, and inside air conditioning units. Next, try using products that may help. If you notice small amounts of mold damage, you may be able to treat it with mold-removing spray or by using a bleach solution of 1 cup bleach to a gallon of water. If you succeed in removing mold damage from your home, the next thing to do is to prevent it from coming back. You can do this by cleaning and drying areas at home prone to moisture, as well as fixing leaky pipes, windows, and roofing. You can also use a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels at home low and keep areas such as the shower, kitchen, and laundry well-ventilated.
What Happens When You Hire a Mold Removal Company
If you have a lot of black mold in your house though, it’s best to hire a professional to remove it. Mold professionals can also locate all the areas where mold is growing and how to best get rid of it. In addition, mold removal companies follow certain procedures to ensure that all toxic mold is eliminated from your home and won’t come back.
Here are the steps that a mold removal company will take to remove black mold. First, they will do an assessment. This is where an expert will come into your home to determine how serious the problem is and what kind of mold infestation you have in your home. Even if there isn’t any visible mold, they will be able to determine if there are disturbing signs of possible hidden mold growth. To accurately do this, air samples may be taken to analyze the exact situation in your home.
The next step is containment. The affected area will need to be completely closed off for your own safety. The premises will only be ready to use once the entire mold remediation process is finished. This means all the spores have been eliminated, the affected materials have been repaired, and the cleanup is complete.
Removal is the most important and difficult task of the remediation process and requires plenty of specialized equipment and experience. Cleaning surfaces like glass and metal are relatively easy, but mold that has penetrated deep in concrete and wood can only be effectively removed by professionals.
They will then perform repairs. Professionals are trained to fix and restore your damaged property, but what matters the most is that they will make sure that mold won’t come back anytime soon. In some cases where the damage is too severe, the replacement of all affected materials may be needed.
Effective filtration is another reason why it’s necessary to have professionals eliminate mold in your home. Air filtration machines with HEPA filters will ensure the purity of the air and safety of your living area.
All in all, it is best to call on the help of professionals because they have the necessary experience and proper equipment. They also rely on proven mold removal techniques and products, so you never have to worry about mold in your home again. Now that you know what black mold is and how you can eliminate it from your home, it’s best to take a stroller around your home to see if it’s hidden in any of your rooms. They say that prevention is better than cure, so if you see any water or moisture building anywhere in your house, remember to clean and wipe it as suggested above. After all, you won’t have to pay for a mold removal bill if there’s no mold to remove in the first place.
Do You Need a Mold Removal Company?
Americon Restoration is here for you! We are Cleveland’s mold removal experts. With years of experience removing mold damage, we can help you restore the safety and comfort of your home! We know you may have concerns about COVID-19 and we want to assure you that we are doing everything in our power to keep our employees and our customers healthy and safe. Americon Restoration is taking all necessary precautions before entering our customers’ homes and closely following CDC guidelines. We want you and your family to feel safe and stay healthy! Please contact us through our website or by phone at (216) 221-5200.