How to get rid of black mold March 23, 2020 – Posted in: Blog
The growth of mold and mildew will always be a big issue for property owners. They can destroy the integrity of one’s property and even put one’s health at risk, but what is black mold? In a nutshell, it is made up of several species of toxic mold that thrives in humid environments but most professionals focus on specific type: Stachybotrys chartarum. It can be recognized by their greenish-black color on the surfaces they grow on.
How dangerous is black mold? As we have mentioned above, they are toxic. Hence, exposure to them can lead to different health issues. On top of that, they can also aggravate existing medical conditions. Don’t worry, we’re going to talk more about what these are in a bit, and most importantly, how to get rid of black mold.
Black Mold Signs and Symptoms
It is important to note, though, that not all types of mold are toxic. Some can simply cause mild allergies. But this doesn’t mean that you should ignore their presence. It is crucial to identify the typical signs of black mold infestation.
The first tell-tale sign is its color. It can be distinguished by its black or greenish-black hue. There are certain species, though, that manifest with a grayish color and a powdery texture.
Toxic Black Mold Symptoms
Aside from the visual cues as your toxic black mold grow in clusters, you can also identify that there is black mold growth in your home with its strong distinguished odor. The smell can be pretty hard to miss, but we certainly recommend getting the help of a professional when in doubt.
Health Effects of Black Mold
Aside from the signs we have mentioned above, though, another tell-tale clue that you might have a black mold issue is that you might sneeze or start wheezing the moment you step inside a room with this type of mold infestation. Speaking of which, here are other black mold health effects.
Black mold exposure can immediately lead to:
- Nose stuffiness
- Skin irritation
- Eye irritation
- And sneezing and wheezing as we have mentioned above.
Prolonged exposure can lead to:
- Feelings of exhaustion
- Frequent coughing (even when not currently exposed)
- Difficulty breathing
Finally, long-term exposure can lead to:
- Memory loss
- Tingling and numbing sensations
- Light sensitivity
- And more.
On top of that, it can also aggravate other health conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. Black mold poisoning is definitely not something to take lightly. Hence, we strongly suggest dealing with your mold issue the moment you identify it.
How to Kill Black Mold
So how does one deal with black mold? Don’t worry, we’re going to talk all about black mold removal next, but first, it’s important to identify what causes it first.
Black Mold Causes
The main culprit of black mold growth will always be excessive moisture. If there is a source of water and unresolved water damage then you can expect that there’ll be black mold in the house. The usual locations that you want to double-check are if there’s black mold in the bathroom, kitchen, basements, and other spaces where water can collect undetected. There might be black mold on the wall too that can be caused by roof leaks and cracks.
Black Mold Test
The best way to determine whether there’s actual black mold growth of not is to still get your property tested. There are two ways to do so. You can either seek the help of professional mold testing and remediation companies to test your air and suspected surfaces, or you can opt for the DIY route and get a mold testing kit from your local hardware.
Mold testing can cost quite a bit, but doing it yourself will definitely allow you to save significantly. You just need to follow the instructions on your black mold test kit on how to obtain specimens and send them to the addressed laboratory for testing. You will need to wait for a while to obtain results. In the meantime, we can move on to start our black mold remediation process already.
Black Mold Removal
There are different ways to ensure black mold removal. If you’re wondering our technique of cleaning black mold, then you can follow the steps below:
- Prepare yourself. You don’t want to suffer from the negative effects of black mold exposure, that’s why it’s of crucial importance to wear protective gear. This includes an adequate face mask (like an N-95), goggles, and a pair of gloves. We recommend wearing old but comfortable clothes too.
- Protect your work area. Be sure to seal off the affected rooms properly in order to prevent cross-contamination. You can use wide pieces of plastic sheeting and duct tape.
- Ensure proper ventilation. You’d also want to make sure that airborne contaminants are escorted out of the room. This is where the use of air movers come in. They are more powerful than a regular fan in circulating the air within a space, remove unwanted particles, and even dry dampened and water damaged surfaces.
- Open infected surfaces. If you’re going to break open a wall, then just make sure to be extra careful to not cut an electric wire by accident.
- Moisten the infected surfaces. This will prevent the undisturbed particles (like mold spores) from going airborne and contaminating other surfaces further. Dispose of the damaged and heavily infected materials and debris by putting them in heavy-duty plastic bags. Tie it up and dispose immediately after cleaning.
- Vacuum smaller debris and particles. Do this to clean up anything that was too small to pick up and bag.
- Scrub them down. Finally, you can now proceed to scrub the infected areas with a brush and your choice of DIY mold removing solution. You can use an ammonia-based solution by mixing clear ammonia with water at 50% each. If you want to use bleach, then add a part of bleach with ten parts of water. For a more natural option, you can even use plain old vinegar as well. Just don’t mix ammonia and bleach together as they can create toxic fumes! Spritz your solution to the surface with a spray bottle and start scrubbing.
And that’s it! That’s how to get rid of black mold. You’re done. If the problem still persists, or if the contamination is simply too much for you to DIY then know that you can always call for a mold remediation company to help you out.
Don’t underestimate mold growth. It can severely affect your property’s indoor air quality and value. Good luck!