Toxic black mold is one of the most hazardous substances a homeowner has to deal with. It can invade the home and cause a number of health problems.
What is black mold?
Black mold is a toxic species of fungus that grows in homes that on many common building materials. Black mold grows best in areas that are warm and moist. Typically, the growth medium needs to wet for at least a week before black mold will grow on it.
As it flourishes, the mold produces a toxic substance called mycotoxin. This dangerous substance is contained on the spores of the toxic mold and within the mother colony. Spores are released by the mold and become airborne. Once breathed, mycotoxin can cause serious health conditions such as respiratory problems, suppressed immune system, mental impairment, nausea, and more.
Look for signs of black mold
If you have any symptoms of mycotoxin poisoning, you should check your home for signs of black mold. Once you have identified a potential black mold problem, you can take steps toward mold removal.
Visible mold growth
The bathroom is one of the first places to look for black mold. The perfect conditions exist here for optimal growth. You may not have noticed it before, but black, slimy spots on the bathtub caulking or shower curtain are an indication of black mold. Also, if your wall tiles or the drywall near the tub or shower stall looks muddy, it could be a sign of black mold.
A sour, musty smell anywhere in the house is a sign of black mold growth. The black mold smell comes from mold decomposing wood and any other material it is growing on. Even if you do not see any black mold, you should not ignore the problem. As the mold grows, so will the problem.
Symptoms such as nasal congestion, sore eyes, sneezing or a runny nose that is worse when you are in your home could mean that you should consider having a mold removal service inspect your house. As the mother colony grows, an increasing number of spores will fill the air. Allergic reactions are proportionate to the number of mold spores and mycotoxins a person inhales. Allergic sensitivity can grow with additional exposure. Soon, even a small amount of black mold exposure will trigger symptoms.
Spongy floorboards or loose tiles in areas vulnerable to leaks or water damage are one thing to look for. In bathrooms, caulking that has separated from the tub can allow mold to enter behind the tiles and wall.
Past water damage
If your house has had water damage as the result of a leaky roof or a flooded basement, chances are that mold has started to grow behind the walls or in hard to see areas. Since water flows down, the basement is a good place to look for black mold.
If you think you may have a mold problem in your home, call a professional mold removal service right away. Do-it-yourself fixes are often inadequate because mold is tenacious and often returns if not properly removed.