Black mold is often considered to be dangerous and scary. It is true that black mold can cause irritation, allergies, and sickness in extreme cases. However, there have yet to be studies to prove that black mold is more dangerous than other mold types.
Despite the fact that black mold isn’t nearly as dangerous as it is portrayed, you still should not keep any kind of mold spores in your home. This blog post will discuss more facts about black mold and ways to remove black mold in your home.
What is black mold?
There are actually over 20,000 species of black mold, but the star of our show today is Stachybotrys chartarum or Stachybotrys atra. It grows on damp, cellulose-rich surfaces such as fiberboard, drywall, gypsum board, carpet, or insulation. This greenish-black mold loves moisture, it can be found in previously-flooded homes, leaky pipe areas, and anywhere with water damage.
While black mold is less dangerous than it is commonly perceived to be, the severity of symptoms can vary from person to person. People with asthma, respiratory allergies, or immunosuppression are likely to have worse symptoms.
What does black mold exposure look like?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exposure to black mold causes flu-like symptoms such as:
- Stuffy nose
- Coughing or wheezing
- Skin and eye irritation
- Sore throat
- Skin rash
Those with asthma and mold allergies may have worse reactions to mold. Immunocompromised people and people with chronic lung disease may also get lung infections from mold.
It’s important to note that infants, children, and older adults are also most at risk for symptoms of mold exposure.
How do I clean mold spores in my home?
If mold is present in stores, offices, schools, or if the mold in your home exceeds 10 square feet, hire a professional. Make sure that the contractors you hire have insurance and licenses from organizations like the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.
Depending on the size of the black mold spot, it is possible for you to clean the spores on your own. It’s important to prioritize proper ventilation and protective gear if you plan on cleaning it yourself.
Creating a mixture of bleach and water can remove the smaller mold spots in your home. Add one cup of bleach to one gallon of water, apply it to the moldy spots, scrub, and allow the area to dry when you’re finished. You can also buy black mold removal products. We all found a handy guide from Home Depot that can help you remove black mold from your home.
It’s important to remember to never mix bleach and ammonia. The combination creates toxic fumes much more dangerous than black mold.
How do I prevent black mold from growing in my home?
Since we know that molds love moisture, the best way to prevent black mold (or any mold for that matter) is to keep your home as dry as possible. This includes ensuring the humidity in your home is no higher than 50%. Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can help prevent your humidity from rising.
Other ways to prevent mold growth includes:
- Using exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom that vent outside
- Ensure your clothes dryer vents outside as well
- Fix any leaks found in your home
- Clean and dry your home out fully and quickly after a flood
- Use mold-killing products when cleaning your bathroom
- Remove/replace carpets and upholstery that has been soaked and cannot be dried
- Avoid using carpets in areas that hold a lot of moisture
In conclusion, all kinds of mold should be avoided. But ultimately, you are not at risk as much as other sources may claim. The best way to ensure mold isn’t an issue in your home to control moisture as much as possible. If you need any help with moisture in your home, we can help! Contact us today.