Black mold is the most well known mold and can be found either inside or outside and distinguished by its greenish-brown color. Its technical names are S. Atra and S. Chartarum and it thrives in areas whose air quality indoors is poor and where damage has been caused by water in a buildings interior, even if the moisture has been eradicated. The reason for this is that cellulose stays damp even after the surrounding area has been dried out, and the mold takes advantage of this and grows in the cellulose. The first documented case of black mold needing constantly damp areas to grow in was in the 1800’s.
Black Mold Health Risks
Over the last twenty years black mold has been shown to have a link to an increase of 300% in asthma sufferers, as reported in 1999 by USA Today. The Mayo Clinic also reports associations to sinus infections. People most prone to being affected by black mold are those with existing lung problems, poor immune systems and the very young or old. Even healthy people can be affected with black mold symptoms including heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, rash, dizziness, poor concentration, runny nose and headaches. If a person should suffer with AIDS or cancer, black mold can be fatal if it enters the body.
How to Prevent Black Mold
It is always better to prevent it if possible, as black mold removal is a lot more difficult to do. Some effective black mold prevention options are as follows:
- Inspect ceilings, floors, walls and roofs properly for signs of water or water damage.
- Make sure plastic covers are used in basements or crawl spaces.
- Use a system for air purification.
- Ensure proper ventilation of the home.
- Use a dehumidifier.
- Avoid water build-up and do basement crack repair.
Black Mold Removal
Never use bleach to try and remove black mold as this will remove the color staining but will not be effective in removing the actual mold. If the home has beige or white walls this could be problematic. There are numerous solutions and products available for the removal of black mold, and it is advised that a combination of them is used to increase the chances of proper removal of the mold.
If the black mold is a severe case then hiring a professional may be the best option, but for smaller areas over the counter products will typically work effectively. Once the black mold has been removed it is important that measures are taken to ensure it does not reappear.