More and more often, we are seeing customers with these kind of questions so we decided to put together some answers here.
Are some molds more hazardous than others?
Some types of molds can produce mycotoxins. These molds are common, and are sometimes referred to as black toxic mold. There are a few reports that toxic molds inside homes can cause unique or rare health conditions and of course it also depends on exposure and your immunity to it. If you think you have a mold problem in your home, you do not need to find out what type of mold you may have.
All molds should be treated the same way when it comes to health risks and removal.
All indoor mold growth should be removed promptly, no matter what type of mold is present, or whether or not it can produce mycotoxins. All Health and responsible organizations agree on the fact there is no need to find out the type of mold since they all must be removed.
Here is some food for thought: Do you need to test your moldy bread to find out if it’s OK for you?.
What is black mold or Stachybotrys ?
Stachybotrys chartarum or atra is a greenish-black mold that can grow on materials such as drywall or sheetrock, when they become moist or water damaged. It requires quite a bit of moisture that’s why is associated with wet building syndrome (70% or higher on materials). Not all greenish-black molds are Stachybotrys chartarum however.
Some strains of Stachybotrys chartarum can produce mycotoxins.Whether a mold produces mycotoxins depends on what the mold is growing on and conditions such as humidity , temperature or other factors. When mycotoxins are present, they occur in both living and dead mold spores, and may be present in materials that have become contaminated with mold.
While Stachybotrys is growing, usually a wet slime layer covers its spores, preventing them from becoming airborne. When the mold dies and dries up, hvac disburtion or physical handling can cause spores to become airborne exacerbating the problem.
So if everyone agrees on removing all molds regardless, how can I do it safely?
Mold should be cleaned as soon as it appears. Persons who clean the mold should be free of immune compromised symptoms and allergies. Small areas of mold can be cleaned using a fungicide. We now know and tested that bleach or vinegar do not kill fungus in fact they just discolor it; and disinfectant just makes it to safe levels for human and do not completely eliminate it, you need a “cide” ( complete kill). Personal protection should be worn during the cleaning process. The cleaned area should then be dried quickly.
If the mold returns, it could mean you have an underlying problem, such as a water leak. Any water intrusions must first be fixed when solving mold problems. If there is a lot of mold growth don’t take a chance on spreading it all over your house and give us a call. The best thing to do is to use saran wrap or plastic and isolate it or cover until a professional can inspect the area