Mold is a problem no one wants to encounter. When you think of mold, the thing that will probably come to mind is the color green and its musty smell. However, mold comes in a variety of colors, types, and textures.
There are over 300,000 different species of mold— each with different characteristics and effects.
Some mold types aren’t as bothersome and require a quick wipe down with a cloth and some detergent or antibacterial solution.
However, some types of mold tend to spread quickly and require professional mold remediation.
What is Black Mold
The most dangerous type of mold you should always look out for is black mold, also known by its scientific name, Stachybotrys chartarum. This type of mold is toxigenic and can cause severe allergic reactions.
Black mold is often found in wet areas where humidity levels are relatively high. Some areas that are prone to black mold are bathrooms, basements, kitchens, attics, and areas with leaks.
This type of mold loves to grow on soft surfaces that are highly cellulose and low in nitrogen. It can also grow on hard surfaces. Black mold on hard surfaces is easy to remove since hard surfaces aren’t porous.
You can often spot black mold from its distinct smell before you can see them. They are also usually greenish-black in color.
No matter how small they look, keep in mind that they can be very toxic and produce mycotoxins that are highly dangerous if you’re exposed to them.
Unfortunately, mycotoxins are everywhere. You don’t just find them in mold spores. The air you breathe today and the soil that grows your food contain mycotoxins as well. However, when a substantial amount of mycotoxins are around, it can pose many health problems.
The Dangers of Black Mold
Black mold isn’t just a bother to look at; it can also bring many homeowners and even pets problems. Here are the top three effects of black mold:
The presence of toxic black mold and mycotoxins can create an unhealthy and unsafe environment for you and your family. It reduces air quality in your home and can cause serious illnesses such as respiratory problems, mold sensitivity, and even fatal or chronic conditions.
Black mold exposure can also worsen existing lung conditions or even develop asthma or respiratory illnesses.
Other than that, black mold can also cause mental and neurological problems. For example, when you’re exposed to black mold, you might experience brain fog, confusion, short attention span, slowed reflexes, dizziness, or depression.
In addition to neurological problems, you might experience respiratory issues such as shortness of breath, coughing, pulmonary edema, sore throats with no known cause, and itchy noses.
Although black mold won’t cause your home to fall apart, prolonged mold exposure will affect the durability of your home. As a result, you would need to keep replacing your framing or walls due to the rotting caused by black mold.
Not to mention, if it keeps coming back, you would need to leave your home immediately and get professionals to remove the black mold.
Black mold can also affect your four-legged friends. Like their human counterparts, cats or dogs can experience similar symptoms that fall under these three categories— respiratory distress, allergic reactions, and toxic reactions.
If your furry friends have been exposed to black mold, you might see them constantly sneezing or coughing, have runny noses, watery eyes, experience fatigue, or even bleeding from the mouth or nose.
Your pets might also have excessive scratching or itching, fur loss, or sores. Toxic reactions can be severe such as gastrointestinal issues, a decrease in appetite, vomiting, tremors, and neurological problems.
If you spot small black spots, try cleaning them with antibacterial soap and make sure to throw away the cloth or sponge you used since they might be contaminated.
Also, get rid of any source of moisture. If the black mold keeps coming back and gets worse, then the last thing you need to do is get professional help.
Preventing black mold growth might seem like a chore, but it’ll benefit you and your loved ones in the long run. The key is to keep moisture at bay.
So, keep your home clean and keep an eye on damp spaces such as bathrooms, basements, attics, and kitchens. Clean your home as often as you can.
Lastly, always look for signs of black mold growth. In the beginning, this might be difficult to do, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to spot mold growth with ease.
This means looking for signs of leaks or cracks, musty smells, and spots on walls, floors, or any item in your home. Leaks and cracks often result in damp areas, and when left unchecked, it can cause water damage, which goes hand-in-hand with mold growth.
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