Black mold, just the words alone can strike fear into the hearts of many a homeowner. While any mold in your home can be a problem, the mold commonly referred to as black mold denotes a number of unpleasant health issues. Black mold comes with quite the reputation, too! If you’re concerned that you may have black mold in your home, don’t panic! We’re here to help you get the facts on mold straight, figure out whether or not you need black mold removal, and breath a little easier.
What is black mold and why does it matter?
There are over 100,000 species of mold, and as you might imagine, they come in a wide variety of colors. When people talk about black mold, they’re probably talking about a specific species of mold, its scientific name is Stachybotrys chartarum. It tends to be a greenish black color, although it can also appear gray at times. This mold is particularly toxic, in that it can produce mycotoxins which when released into the air can negatively impact people’s health.
Mycotoxins are harmful even to people who aren’t allergic to mold, although people are more at risk if they have allergies, asthma, or weakened immune systems. Black mold doesn’t release mycotoxins 100% of the time, and the reasons why or when aren’t well understood.
The symptoms of mold poisoning often look similar to other respiratory ailments, such as allergies and the common cold, but if left unchecked will only worsen.
How do I know if I have black mold?
It’s challenging to know which kind of mold is in your home without taking a sample for mold testing, but there are a few indicators to look for. One method for how to identify black mold is to simply follow your nose. Stachybotrys chartarum has a strong, musty, earthy smell. If you smell that distinctive aroma, there’s a pretty good chance you’re dealing with black mold.
Since other molds can look similar to stachybotrys chartarum, visual identification can be trickier. However, you’re looking for a greenish black mold, with possibly some gray. Looking at black mold pictures can be helpful. While all molds need moisture to live, black mold is especially fond of damp, porous, and dark environments. That means drywall and wood, for example, that have experienced leaks or water damage are particularly susceptible to black mold. If you’re unsure what you’re looking for or what you’ve found, consider scheduling a home mold inspection.
And remember, if a water problem is causing mold in your home, be sure to correct the water issue as well.
When do I need black mold removal?
Black mold cleanup isn’t drastically different than any other kind of mold remediation. Because of the health risks, however, it is often more urgent. Whether or not you need professional black mold removal services has less to do with the specific species of mold, or even the color of the mold, and more to do with whether or not it’s a job you can reasonably do yourself.
Eliminate mold on a nonporous surface with bleach or other common household cleaners. However, when mold penetrates the porous surfaces of your home, and especially if it goes deep into walls, ceilings, and floors, you may need professional mold cleanup. A mold remediation team will get all of the mold out of your home, even removing and replacing affected drywall entirely, thus ensuring that the mold is gone for good. Remember that if even a little bit of black mold is left behind, it can easily spread again, leaving you with another costly black mold removal project.
Since stachybotrys chartarum prefers porous materials, if you suspect black mold, we suggest you call in the pros. This is definitely an instance when you’d rather play it safe.
If you’re looking for black mold removal in Terre Haute, or the greater Wabash Valley, the mold remediation team here at Rogers Home Improvement is standing by. We’ll assess your mold problem, get the root of it, and make sure the mold is gone for good. If you suspect you may have a black mold problem in your home, and you’re ready to schedule an inspection, give us a call today!