What is Black Mold
Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a type of fungus that thrives in warm, damp places. It's not a single species but a whole genus of fungi.
For example, In the Sunshine State Florida, where the weather is often warm and humid, black mold can be a common issue in homes. This mold is toxigenic, meaning its spores can quickly infiltrate your home and pose a danger to you and your family.
Symptoms of Black Mold Poisoning
The symptoms of black mold exposure, sometimes referred to as mold poisoning or mycotoxicosis, can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include:
- Chronic coughing
- Irritation of the mucus membranes of the throat, nose, and mouth
- Eye irritation
- Chronic fatigue
Long-term exposure can lead to more serious health problems, especially in vulnerable groups like the elderly, the very young, and people with pre-existing health issues.
These problems can include muscle cramps, unexplained weight gain, sensitivity to light, stomach pains, numbness in hands and feet, confusion or memory loss, anxiety, and hair loss.
Where Does Black Mold Grow in Homes?
Black mold loves high humidity and warmth, making many parts of a typical home perfect for it to grow. Here are some common places where mold is most likely to grow:
- Kitchen: Microwave, stove, refrigerator, pantry, and sink.
- Bathroom: Shower, bathtub, sink, and toilet.
- Bedroom: Windows, window sills, and mattress.
- Living Room: Fireplace, chimney, indoor plants, couch, and curtains.
- Attic, Basement, and Garage: Near water heater, furnace, vents, insulation, areas with stagnant water, near leaks, and behind storage areas.
How to Minimize or Prevent Black Mold Exposure
To keep your home safe from black mold, you can:
- Regularly check gutters, pipes, and air conditioners to avoid potential leaks and water damage.
- Install exhaust fans in damp areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
- Keep rooms warm and well-ventilated during cold or wet weather.
- Keep all walls and surfaces dry.
- Use a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of moisture in the air.
- Regularly clean areas where mold is likely to grow.
When to Call for Mold Remediation Service
If you believe you are suffering from the symptoms of mold exposure, it's important to call a professional to conduct a black mold test.
When you call a mold remediation service, you can expect them to first conduct a thorough inspection of your home to identify the source of the mold.
They will then use specialized equipment and techniques to remove the mold and prevent future growth. It's important to act quickly when you suspect mold in your home, as the longer it's left untreated, the more damage it can cause.