Black mold is just about the worst type of mold you can find in your home. Unlike other types of mold, the black mold is highly toxic and difficult to remove, and releases spores that can cause a variety of serious infections.
What exactly is black mold?
Black mold (Stachybotrys chartarum), is a common indoor mold that grows in dark and damp areas of your home. It releases toxic spores into the air, which can be quite dangerous when inhaled. The black mold is commonly referred to as toxic mold, and the name is pretty accurate.
Besides causing respiratory problems such as sneezing and coughing, prolonged exposure to it can have serious consequences on your health. According to one study, breathing in black mold spores during infancy can result in asthma later, while some experts claim that the mold can cause inflammation in the brain, movement disorders, behavioral disorders and neurological problems.
Here’s how to recognize you have black mold in your home:
The black mold has a pungent and musty smell and can be easily noticed when you enter a room that has it. If you can’t find it immediately, it may be hiding behind a wallpaper, tiles or plastering. You may be accustomed to the smell after a while, so a “fresh” nose may help you with the detection of the mold.
Visible water rings
The appearance of water spots on your walls is a pretty accurate way of identifying black mold. They might not be mold immediately, but they may be a sign of water damage, which will definitely lead to mold. If you see the rings, clean the area well, or get a serviceman to do it for you. Repairing the leaking pipes is required if you want to steer clear of mold.
The early symptoms of black mold intoxication are itchy skin, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, coughing and irritation on the skin. If you experience these symptoms, we suggest checking your house for black mold.
Odd colors on the wall and visible growth
Although black mold is usually black, it can also appear in the form of black stains or black furry growth on the walls. Green, white and orange specks are just another form of black mold. No matter what the color is, you need to get rid of the mold as soon as possible.
Getting rid of black mold
There are more than one safe ways of getting rid of black mold. If you don’t choose to hire a professional, it’s time to get to work. Here are a few tips on destroying the black mold in your home:
Do it yourself
Before starting, you must protect yourself from the mold. Put on a pair of gloves, a dust mask and goggles, and make sure you’re wearing clothing that covers your entire body. Once you’re ready, start by closing off the moldy area with duct tape over any crack or vent. Close the doors, and put a small fan in the room which should direct the spores out a window.
Next, take a brush and clean the area with soap and water. Be gentle and try not to scrape the wall off. Collect everything that fell out in a bag and throw it away.
Next, spray a powerful disinfectant on the area and around it, then leave the window open and let the room ventilate for a whole day.
Black mold disinfectants
Here are a few essential oils that work great as black mold disinfectants:
Pour some vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it on the area, then leave it to dry. Repeat the process a few times a day until the black mold subsides.
Spraying a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide on the moldy area will kill most of it. Rinse with a bit of water after about 20 minutes.
Grapefruit seed extract
Add 20 drops of the extract in 2 cups of water, then pour the mixture in a spray bottle and use it on the mold.
Tea tree oil
Spray a mixture of tea tree oil and water on the moldy parts of your walls to keep the mold from spreading.
Some people like to use bleach to remove black mold, and although it may work, it’s not recommended for use as it can burn your skin and cause respiratory problems.
Although it’s pricier, professional black mold treatment is the best way of getting rid of black mold. It might take some time, but the experts will destroy the mold and keep it from recurring.
Preventing black mold
Here are a few tips which will help you prevent black mold from spreading on your walls:
Watch for leaks
As soon as you notice a water spot on your wall, you need to call a professional who can locate the problematic pipe.
Reduce the humidity in your home
Mold loves damp conditions, so make sure to reduce the humidity in your home, especially in the bathroom or around your AC. Buying a humidifier is one of the best choices.
Improve the ventilation in your home
If you don’t want to get a humidifier, ventilate your home often in order to get rid of the spores in the air and prevent mold from spreading on your walls.
Finally, professional testing will identify the risk of mold on your walls and detect its origin point. It will cost you, but these people know their job well.