Symptoms of Black Mold at Home
Black mold in my home? The thought of black mold growing in our homes is very alarming. What’s even more unsettling is when you see something you suspect is black mold growing in your home. Knowledge about black mold is power. Knowledge has the power to calm our fears and to help us deal with the current or potential problem of black mold. It’s important to know the health problems that black mold can cause, and how to handle the mold if you think you have it in your home.
What is Black Mold?
Black mold is a mold that is often a black color, although it can be greenish or gray as well. The mold can grow in homes in damp and humid areas. It feeds on organic materials and common household materials like drywall, carpet, insulation, or subflooring that has been exposed to moisture. As the mold grows it can release toxic substances. These substances can cause health problems.
How to Identify Black Mold?
Black mold that’s growing in a visible area is easily seen. There are times when you’re not able to see a mold problem that’s actually happening behind your walls or maybe in your installation. If this is the case, you would smell a mold problem. Immediately investigate the source of the moisture that’s causing the smell. The smell would be most likely a musty, earthy smell like dirt or leaves that are rotting. If mold is present the smell is especially strong.
Testing for Black Mold
You can actually test for black mold in your home yourself. There are mold testing kits that are available at the hardware store or even on Amazon. The pricing can vary in range for the do-it-yourself project usually around $30-$50. When you do it yourself you can take samples from a suspected affected area, and then send them off to a lab to be tested.
Symptoms of Exposure to Black Mold?
Common symptoms of black mold exposure include itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, an irritated throat, and irritated nasal passages. It has also been reported that black mole can be the cause of headaches, dizziness, vomiting, and chronic fatigue. For individuals with allergies, they are more likely to be affected by black mold exposure. Children and the elderly along with those with a weakened immune system are definitely at risk of bad reactions to mold.
Cleaning and Removing Black Mold
Evidence of black mold should be cleaned immediately. The EPA explains that the key to mold control is moisture control. Mold on hard surfaces can be cleaned with a bleach solution, commercial cleaning products, or soap and water. Be sure to wear proper gloves, eyewear, and a mask when cleaning the mold. Proper ventilation is a must. Open doors and windows for air circulation. Ceiling tiles, drywall, carpet, and any other porous material that has become moldy should be thrown away.
When mold damage is very extensive, a professional mold remediation specialist should be called on to do the job. Finding the source of any dampness and moisture and addressing this source is very important so that the mold does not regrow.
At the end of the day responsible and safety-conscious homeowners will address mold issues immediately. Any mold growth in the home can be potentially dangerous and should be addressed thoroughly and swiftly.