What is Mold?
What is black mold versus mold? Mold is a fungus found in moist, warm environments. It feeds on organic material like wood or paper found in homes and buildings. If you have had water damage like a flood, water leaks or even high humidity in your home or business, mold can begin to grow in 24 hours.
The main causes of human exposure to mold are breathing the air in buildings that contain mold – even if you can’t see it–and eating foods that have mold growing in them.
What is Black (or Toxic) Mold?
Certain types of mold are not believed to be harmful to people, but several strains known as toxic or black mold can cause a variety of illnesses and even death – especially to children, infants, and people with allergies or otherwise compromised immune systems. Black Mold has become a serious problem in some parts of the United States where foam board was used as wall insulation with no air space to let the walls breathe.
When black mold begins to grow, microscopic mold spores become airborne and travel throughout air conditioning and heating systems. You can inhale over a half million spores per minute without knowing it.
What are the Health Risks?
Symptoms commonly associated with Black Mold include:
- Sinus headache and nasal congestion
- Memory and hearing loss
- Skin rashes and hives
- Excessive fatigue
- Flu-like symptoms
- Ongoing sore throat and chronic cough
- Respiratory problems and bleeding in the lungs
- Permanent cognitive defects
- Increased risk of tuberculosis
What Can You Do About Black Mold?
Mold thrives in moisture. Flooding, leaks or other water damage, including slow leaks inside walls, can support the fast, widespread growth of toxic black mold. Prevent mold growth by stopping water from getting inside your home. Keep an eye out for leaking roofs, cracked foundations, clogged drains and faulty plumbing. Check regularly for moisture and/or signs of mold around kitchen and bathroom sinks, refrigerators and attics, carpets and walls.
Once any leaks have been repaired, all mold-damaged items will have to be removed – including carpeting, padding and ceiling tiles. If drywall is involved, 12 inches must be cut out above the water level and replaced once the room has been dried out.
Black mold is a serious problem. Taking steps to correct it without the proper training, safety equipment, tools and knowledge can make the problem worse and adversely affect your own health. Mold spores become airborne very easily and spread, so while it may look clean when you’re done, the area of contamination has actually grown – even moving into different rooms. When the spores are stirred up and become airborne, breathing them in creates an increased health risk for the person cleaning as well as everyone else in the home or office. This is especially true if you have had prolonged exposure to the toxic mold, resulting in hypersensitivity.
If you think you may have a black mold contamination in your home or business, the best thing you can do–for your own safety–is to have it professionally inspected. Professional Mold Removal Specialists will perform a quick and thorough assessment of the location and extent of the black mold hazard in your home or business. If black molds are found, they will be well equipped to perform all aspects of mold remediation safely, effectively and in accordance with the strictest industry standards.