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Toxic Black Mold and Your Health
It creeps into your home, and suddenly you see it rapidly taking over a portion of your home…or do you? Did you know that mold often grows in areas of your home that you cannot see? Behind walls, underneath floors, crawlspaces and attics are all areas that mold can take hold and quickly spread.
Stachybotrys Chartarum aka black mold is a highly toxic mold that can grow in homes and commercial buildings. Its toxicity is a result of the mycotoxins it produces.
Greenish-black in color it is a gelatinous mold that is usually slimy. But, did you know that when the mold colony’s water source is eliminated, the mold can appear dry and powdery?
Not all mold is toxic black mold
Many molds have a similar appearance to toxic black mold. If you find black mold, it is best to hire a professional to evaluate the mold for a definitive answer.
Testing for Mold
A mold inspector will have the necessary knowledge and equipment to properly ascertain the types of mold you might have in your home or office.
Some common areas mold is found include:
- Kitchen walls (visible and behind walls)
- Bathroom walls (visible and behind walls)
- Exposed foundation walls (often near cracks)
- Underneath floors
- Windows and window sills
- AC and heating vents
- Crawl space
How and Why Does Mold Grow?
Mold typically can grow as temperatures exceed 73 degrees and it thrives in temperatures above 77 degrees. However, mold can occur in lower temperatures as low as 36 degrees and higher temperatures up to 104 degrees. Black mold will typically remain dormant at temperatures outside of this range.
Additionally, mold can take hold in buildings with higher humidity. It can often be found in environments with humidity higher than 55 percent. As a general rule, black mold will not germinate unless it has standing water or humidity of at least 90 percent. Once black mold starts growing it does not need as much moisture to continue to flourish – but it will typically need a humidity of seventy percent to flourish
How Quickly Can Mold Grow?
Many molds can begin to grow after being in contact with water for 24 to 48 hours. Back mold will usually take longer. The area must be wet for several days for black mold begins to grow generally at least twelve days.
Mold and Light
Unsurprisingly, mold does not need light to grow. In fact, it can spread in complete darkness and may thrive in those conditions. As a general rule, mold grows best when there are small amounts of light. Abundant light and sunlight (ultraviolet light) can kill black mold.
What are some of the health consequences of Toxic Black Mold?
The mycotoxins emitted by black mold can cause serious health issues. The health ramifications of toxic black mold include:
- Damage to internal organs
- Suppression of the immune system
- Mental impairment
- Respiratory issues
- Dermal inflammation
- The feeling of tiredness/exhaustion
In short, this toxic type of mold can cause severe and irreparable damage to your health. In the most extreme cases, toxic black mold has been linked to death. Thus, if you suspect your building has black mold, it is important to take immediate steps to remediate.
Toxic Black Mold is NOT a DIY project
Due to its toxicity, this type of mold is best left to the professionals. Disturbing the mold can release enormous amounts of mycotoxins and spores throughout your building. A professional is experienced in toxic black mold removal and can do so while containing the mycotoxins and spores giving you the best outcomes.
Our Mold Testing and Remediation Services
We offer comprehensive mold testing and remediation services. We can identify and treat all types of mold and protect your building from further occurrences. While the toxic molds are of great concern, any mold in your home or office should be eradicated and its root cause eliminated to prevent further damage to your building.