It’s estimated that over 50% of homes have issues with mold. It’s more than a simple household nuisance. As mold is quick to spread and certain types of mold are far more dangerous than others.
Mold also has the potential to impact your health and damage the value of your home. So, what can you do as a homeowner to keep your home from becoming a breeding ground for mold?
Read on for the risks of black mold and how to get rid of it once and for all.
The Many Dangers of Black Mold
Mold is a type of fungus that can become toxic. It can get beneath surfaces and cause damage to your home. Mold can also wreak havoc on your health and wellbeing.
It’s a risk for pets, children, elderly adults, and pregnant women. Mold has the potential to cause infertility in women trying to conceive. It can also create problems for a developing fetus and newborns.
Breathing in mold spores can also pose risks for an otherwise healthy adult. It can cause headaches, fever, and fatigue. Mold symptoms may also resemble the flu or common cold.
Getting subjected to mold may result in breathing problems. You may experience coughing, sneezing, and changes in mucous. A stuffy nose may also persist if you’re exposed to mold.
Mold may also lead to eye and throat irritation. If mold spores come into contact with your skin it may develop a rash.
It can also interfere with the immune system. This may make you more susceptible to infection and disease. Those with extreme mold allergies may be even more at risk.
Black mold spores also contain neurotoxins, which can impact brain and memory functions. Prolonged mold exposure can cause issues with concentrating, behavioral changes, and anxiety. Coughing up blood, vomiting, and seizures are other symptoms of high exposure to mold.
Some homeowners notice that their sickness symptoms subside once they leave the home. This can be a sign that there is a mold problem living in your walls.
How to Identify Black Mold in Your Home
The most common causes of mold growth include areas of the home that are prone to its growing conditions. Mold thrives in environments with high moisture levels and warmer temperatures.
It tends to grow in dark and humid areas, like bathrooms. You may also find black mold living in basements and between walls.
The scary thing is that mold is not always visible to the naked eye. It can hide inside attic insulation, drywall, wood paneling, and beneath the carpet. Yet, mold has a certain musty smell that you will notice.
Mold can also be gray, white, or green in color. Yet, the black mold gets characterized by its dark coloring. As black mold grows it also tends to take on an irregular shape.
If you’re unsure, try googling black mold pictures. This will show you other characteristics of how the fungi will appear. A mold inspection is helpful if you cannot find the mold but suspect that its there.
How to Stop Mold Growth
There are a few preventive techniques to keep mold from growing in your home. You want to focus on quality air flow to ventilate your living spaces. Be sure to open windows to allow fresh air to move throughout the home.
You can also use a dehumidifier to lower humidity levels. Ideal humidity levels should fall between 30 to 50 percent. This will help to stop the growth of black mold in your house.
Installing air ventilation systems in humid environments like your bathrooms also helps. Mold can also live inside HVAC vents, ducts, and fan coils. So be sure to follow routine cleaning and maintenance for these systems.
Leaks can also cause water damage that leads to mold growth. So always fix any roof or plumbing leaks as soon as they happen.
It’s also important to keep water away from the home’s foundation. You can do this with gutters and a sloping ground elevation. Also, check to make sure there isn’t any standing water in your basement.
It also helps to run an indoor air quality test to check for toxins and pollutant levels. Any mold you notice should get removed right away to stop it from spreading or making you sick.
How to Remove Black Mold
Small spots of mold, like those in your shower, can sometimes get removed by yourself. People often use natural methods like white vinegar, baking soda, or tea tree oil for this.
But black mold removal is different and involves a special process. It can be dangerous to try and remove this type of mold on your own.
Touching or breathing in the mold can pose health risks. It’s also possible to disrupt mold spores when trying to remove them yourself. This can cause them to travel into the air or spread to other areas in the home.
It’s best to use professional services for mold removal or remediation. This includes people who get skilled in how to remove mold the safest way possible.
They also have proper safety gear, tools, and techniques for mold removal. This includes special cleaning products, ventilation masks, and protective plastic sheeting.
Mold removal teams also check home materials that may have gotten infected with mold. This includes checking the drywall and insulation of the home. This helps to ensure all traces of mold have gotten removed and it won’t grow back.
Professionals may also use antimicrobial cleaning agents after the mold has gotten removed. Some also use special air filtering products for cleaner air quality after removal.
Ensuring the Successful Removal of Black Mold in Your Home
Black mold can grow in any home, as long as the living conditions allow it. This can impact your home’s condition and the health of your family.
Following proper maintenance tips can help stop mold from growing in the home. Yet, remember that smell is often the first sign that there is a growing mold problem.
To keep a safe and healthy home, you’ll want to have the mold removed as soon as possible. Contact a professional to learn more about how to rid your home of the dangers of mold.