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Black mold in the house: why is it dangerous?

There are over 10,000 types of fungi that can thrive in your space, and mold makes up a nice share of them. Mold is almost synonymous with damp, dimly lit areas like attics, basements, bathrooms, kitchens and anywhere that has experienced flooding. So, what kinds of mold are present indoors?

Types of black mold

Some types of mold that are notorious for cohabiting with humans are:

  • Alternaria;
  • Aspergillus;
  • Mucor;
  • Penicillium;
  • Cladosporium.

However, our focus here is on black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum). It usually appears dark black or sometimes dark green. This species can be highly toxic as it releases mycotoxins in its spores, which are inhalable. Black mold loves attics and grows on cotton, wood, and paper.

You must wonder: how can you tell these different species apart? Through mold testing service or some homeowners prefer DIY method: with a viable testing kit, you can swab the suspect areas and send the test to a lab for further examination.

How dangerous is black mold to health?

Black mold does not put you at risk of deadly diseases, but it can pose immense danger to those suffering from allergies and asthma.

Some black mold symptoms include:

  • Sneezing;
  • Coughing;
  • Nasal congestion;
  • Itchy eyes, nose and throat.

All these symptoms of mold sickness can be easily treated, although without handling the cause for the symptoms and removing it from the environment, you are not solving the problem.

For an asthmatic patient, inhalation of mold spores can aggravate their condition. Such a person will experience chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath. So, if you are on an inhaler and you live alone, you won't want to risk one more night in a home suspected of harboring black mold.

Toxic effects of black mold

The color and toxicity of mold are two different criteria. Both factors are determinants in how mold can be handled. Not all mold takes on the color black, and the hue doesn't make it any more toxic. Nevertheless, mold - toxic or not - has no business in your home if you desire healthy living.

To date, there's no proven evidence that mycotoxins released from mold spores have neural effects or cause fatigue or headache. People with allergies to mold are those with respiratory problems like asthma, who can show life-threatening symptoms. Otherwise, mold exposure symptoms include coughing, itchy eyes, nose and throat, and nasal blockage.

How can you get rid of mold?

Once you catch sight of mold in your home, you should quickly remove it. Yet don't be in a blind hurry to get rid of the fungus. Protect yourself. Careless handling can lead to spore inhalation.

To steer clear of the spores, you'll have to protect yourself with appropriate gear. Other processes in black mold removal include containment and ventilation, removal of mold source, and encapsulation. So, it is best to trust everything into the hands of a professional mold remediation service.

UCM Carpet Cleaning Burke uses more than chlorine bleach for black mold removal. The removal is carried out with AFDs (air filtration devices) to ensure disturbed mold spores are contained, and the affected areas are treated with mold foggers so you see the nasty thing no more.

What can I do to prevent mold from growing?

Can you do away with mold for good? Yes, you can. Try out these simple tips:

  1. Keep humidity low, below or around 50%. Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier.
  2. Fix water leaks as soon as possible.
  3. Use ventilation fans in wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
  4. Keep every part of your home clean, dry and well ventilated.
  5. Bathroom exhaust fans usually vent into the attic rather than outside the home. Put in attic vents to allow moisture to escape and unclog blocked attic vents regularly.
  6. Avoid carpets in damp places like your basement, kitchen, bathrooms and patios.
  7. Mop up spills quickly.

Sometimes, black mold stems from food remnants and spills. Mere cleaning may not suffice. For mold control, squeeze in some soap and do some scrubbing to bring the breeding chances of such spots to zero. Now, that's mold prevention.


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