What Is Black Mold?
One of the first steps in figuring out how to get rid of the black mold is to understand exactly what it is. Black mold is not any one particular kind of mold but more or less an informal grouping of different species of molds that resemble each other. Black molds can come from any variety of mold, from Aspergillus to Penicillium, to Cladosporium, Chaetomium, and many others.
Mold is found nearly everywhere on the planet since its spores are carried in the air on the wind as well as in water. These types of mold require three things to survive: a source of standing water, a food source, and little or no light. Water is necessary for reproduction, transportation, and enabling the toxins the mold creates to help digest its food. Black mold typically uses organic material as a food supply. This can be anything from organic waste to cellulose such as paper, fabric, or wood. The lack of light is necessary since mold is sensitive to UV light. Sunlight does a great job at drying out an area and making it hard for a standing water supply to exist.
Signs of Black Mold
Most people notice a mold infestation first by their sense of smell. Black mold has a characteristic odor that is very hard to remove. This is due to the breakdown of organic material it has begun to digest as its food. Later, colonies will begin to follow the patterns of standing water, such as in water-damaged walls or ceilings, or especially along with your tile in your shower or bathroom.
What does black mold look like? The colonies are a blackish-green color that can grow in circles or even sheets, mostly beginning as what appear to be small black flecks that eventually grow and collect with other expanding colonies.
Main Causes Of Black Mold
Black mold is a living organism, a fungus, which begins its lifecycle as a spore. Spores can remain dormant in dry conditions for a very long time until they reach standing water and begin to propagate. Low light areas and places rich with organic material for food are where they will begin to grow. Mold spores are carried in the wind as well as water. Keeping an area clean, dry, and well-ventilated will typically limit their ability to grow. Major infestations are common after floods or even dripping ceilings or pipes.
Health Hazards Black Mold Can Cause
These species of mold are serious, not only in the amount of destruction they can cause to your home (they eat wallboard and paper-like candy) but also because of the potential risks to your health they may cause. People who are sensitive to spores and mycotoxins. These molds may cause health problems such as hives, rash, nosebleeds, hair loss, asthma attacks, respiratory difficulty, and in some cases, even cancer. It has been noted in some cases that certain molds can cause cognitive difficulty, paranoia, and even hallucinations.
Immediate Steps To Take For Black Mold Removal
If you want to know how to get rid of black mold, here are a couple of different routes you can take.
The CDC lists steps to take in order to clean the mold up after a disaster. Here are the basic steps you can take for cleanup. Remember to always wear protective gloves, eyewear, and clothing when using cleaners and being exposed to harmful substances such as mold.
- Stop the leak: The first step is to remove the water supply for the mold. This can range from stopping a leaky pipe, patching a leaking roof, or removing water that has flooded your basement during a storm.
- Remove contaminated items: Damaged and ruined items will house mold colonies for a long time. Get rid of them by double-bagging them and throwing them away.
- Clean the area completely: Use a fungicidal cleaner such as bleach-based, vinegar, or enzymatic cleaner to kill the mold and sanitize the area. Be sure to scrape away large pieces and scrub using scotch Brite or other lightly abrasive pads until all mold is removed. Rinse well.
- Keep the area dry: By eliminating moisture, you will greatly reduce further mold infestations.
Hiring A Professional
The best way how to get rid of the black mold is by hiring a professional. Not only do they have the training and equipment needed to safely remove mold, but they also have cleaners that aren’t available for unlicensed people to use. A professional such as Strongwater Restoration can quickly and effectively remove the mold and do it in such a way that vastly limits any damage to your home, business, or property. It also saves you time and likely money due to replacing items that could be damaged by improper cleaning.
If you suspect you have a black mold problem, you probably need the help of a professional. Doing it yourself poses risks to property damage, as well as exposure to dangerous chemicals. Contact us if you would like to find out more about the process of getting rid of black mold and protecting your home, family, and health.