What is Black Mold?
If you do not already know what black mold is or what it looks like, it resembles a black shadow in circular shapes. This black shadow is frequently seen on walls in the home that have had some sort of uncontrolled water damage. There are many types of mold, but black mold is one of the most common and toxic types. This mold thrives in cellulose-rich building materials that are affected after being damaged by humidity, damp conditions or any level of water damage. It particularly grows in wet gypsum, behind wall paper or any porous surface. Black mold requires moisture content in order for it to grow, making neglected water damages and humidity perfect conditions for it to propagate.
Black Mold is not commonly found in nature. It is more frequently found in environments produced by human habitats. All the mold needs to grow are:
- Large quantities of cellulose material
- Warm temperatures
- Low nitrogen content
- High levels of humidity
The spores that cause the mold are only released if the mold is disturbed manually, especially if it is wet. Do not attempt to remove the mold yourself. While you may be successful at removing it from a surface, it will continue to grow underneath it. It best to hire a professional to help you identify and mitigate the black mold, especially if you’re severely allergic or vulnerable to it. All of our technicians at JD Restorations are trained and specialized in Black Mold remediation, and any other type of mold that may be present in your home.
Recognizing the problem area. It is impossible to avoid mold 100%, but at least you can minimize it. Once you have identified that mold is present, the next step will be to find its point of origin. Finding where the humidity is coming from. This can be from:
- Leaks from the roof
- Water pipes leaking
- Heavy condensation
- And any other form of water source
After you have identify the origin of the problem, correct it if possible. You may do this by drying wet carpets, applying mold-resistant products and repairing damaged pipes.
Dry wet areas instantly
Try to keep you home free of large quantities of humidity and condensation. If there are no sources of dense humidity, mold will not propagate. Removing excess sitting water from areas after each rainfall. Avoid accumulation of water in basements or any other area of the home. Avoid leaving wet things around the house. Dry the bathroom floors and walls after showering. Do not leave wet clothes in the washing machine. This is an area in which mold can grow and spread quickly. Hang wet clothing to dry outside or in areas with good air circulation.
Airing out your home is a great way to minimize humidity inside. It is important that all areas at home have good ventilation. Kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms or laundry room must have a proper ventilation to avoid humidity and to keep mold away. Open the windows whenever it is possible, if you are cooking, taking a shower or cleaning. Try to place electrical appliances that produce moisture in areas that have proper ventilation. Check them for mold spots and clean them periodically.
Using mold-resistant products at home is a great way to prevent mold growth. If you are renovating your home or constructing a new-build, try to use mold-resistant drywall, mold-resistant sheet rock, and mold inhibitors for paints.
When building or renovating a home choose wisely. Common drywall is made of gypsum and paper. Mold-resistant ones do not contain paper; they are made with fiber glass so they are more resistant to humidity. Purchase quality building products. Use mold-resistant drywall in areas likely to have large quantities of humidity like bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and kitchens.Control Humidity
Try to control humidity inside the house. Unfortunately, it is not possible to avoid humidity 100% at home; but you can control it. It is useful to measure humidity levels. If you notice condensation forming, dry surfaces on which it is present immediately.
How can you identify black mold?
Identifying Black Mold is fairly easy. It is a blackish color (variations of colors may be present) and has a wet looking appearance. It may also look ashy and flaky if it has propagated but the water source has dried out. You may also notice black, bundled growths around your house (on walls, cabinets.
Pay special attention to damp and warms rooms. If you start coughing, sneezing, or wheezing when you enter the room for no reason, this is red flag. The spores related to toxic black mold contain mycotoxins that cause allergies and you can cause these symptoms.
- Severe allergies
- Inflammation of the skin
- Skin irritations
- Organ Damage
- Respiratory problems
- Inflamed lungs
Preventing Black Mold growth
Being aware of possible causes of Black Mold is key, in being able to prevent it. You can start by correcting issues in the home that provide the perfect conditions for its growth. Some of those preventive measures are, repairing broken water sources such as leaks, increasing ventilation, discarding old foods, papers, or woods. The musty smell of humid areas cannot be easily disguised. This is another sign that there is a section in the home that will be the perfect nest for Black Mold to grow in.
Things to remember:
- Properly restoring water damages in the home is number one. Lingering leaks, or sitting water from storm damages will cause mold growth.
- If any type of mold is visible on food throw it away immediately.
- When you notice black circular spots showing through the walls, the area is already affected, contact us immediately for an inspection of your home.
- Remember that Black Mold is toxic and calling specialists is the best option.
Use a dehumidifier in the home to keep indoor relative humidity low. Use an indoor air purifier with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration or install an appropriate high-efficiency filter in your air conditioner or ventilation system.
- Make sure your rain gutters are clean and not blocking water drainage.
- Don’t leave old books, newspapers, or wood sitting unused for long periods.
- Don’t put carpet in rooms like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
- Don’t ignore leaks from pipes or groundwater fix them as soon as possible.
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