Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is just one of the many types of fungus that can grow inside your home. That said, this kind of mold is particularly notorious for striking fear in homeowners, thanks to its sinister appearance and potential adverse health effects.
As such, nobody expects to deal with black mold damage in their house. However, the reality is that, with the right conditions, mold spores that make their way into your home can settle and multiply in no time, leading to microbial growth. The resulting contamination is not only unsightly but also harmful to your property and health, making black mold damage restoration necessary.
How Does Black Mold Damage Occur?
Black mold typically grows in warm, humid, and damp areas. These could be anything from your basement and crawl space to your showers and kitchen. It can also grow in rooms with excess moisture caused by leaky pipes, malfunctioning ventilation systems, and even inadequate water restoration.
No matter the source of moisture, it’s crucial to pay attention to organic building materials in these parts of your home, like wood. Especially when subjected to water damage, these porous items become an ideal environment for microbial growth.
Black Mold on Wooden Furniture
With mold spores found everywhere, it’s easy for wood furniture to fall victim to mold contamination. Since mold thrives on any cellulose-based matter, mold affecting your home’s wooden furnishings and structures can eventually lose their structural integrity and crumble.
Black Mold on Wooden Floors
If you have wooden floors, it’s best to look for signs of mold on your flooring after a recent water damage event. Minor spills and floods not cleaned promptly can leave behind moisture, eventually turning your floors into breeding grounds for mold.
Black mold damage on floors does not simply result in stains on your tiles or floorboards. It can also lead to further contamination beneath the surface, causing wood rot and warp. As such, immediate mold remediation is critical to prevent extensive and expensive repairs.
Is Black Mold Dangerous?
Black mold can be harmful not only to your home but also to your health. The contamination can trigger allergic reactions in some people. It also produces toxins that can negatively affect your indoor air quality. In high concentrations, the spores released into the air can even cause severe respiratory issues.
Black Mold Exposure Symptoms
Symptoms of exposure to black mold are similar to those caused by other types of mold, with the following being the most common:
- Coughing or wheezing
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Itchy eyes
- Irritated throat
- Skin rashes
People with severe mold allergies may have more intense reactions, including shortness of breath and nausea. Moreover, prolonged exposure can cause chronic allergies or more serious conditions, such as chronic fatigue, fungal infections, and respiratory distress. This is especially true for vulnerable groups, such as:
- Infants and children
- Older adults
- People with weakened immune systems, allergies, or asthma.
Is Black Mold Dangerous?
Black mold is considered potentially toxic. Breathing in its spores has been associated with allergic reactions, breathing difficulties, and respiratory conditions. However, it isn’t more dangerous than any other type of mold. All types can cause adverse health effects of varying severity and must therefore be removed as soon as possible.
How To Prevent Black Mold
Fortunately, you don’t always have to be in reactive mode when dealing with mold in the home. There’s a clear and actionable starting point for preventing microbial growth: monitoring the amount of moisture.
On that note, here are some helpful tips to avoid turning your home into breeding grounds for mold:
- Use a dehumidifier to keep the humidity level in your home at no more than 50 percent.
- When taking a hot shower, turn on the exhaust fan and keep it running for up to 20 minutes after the shower to remove excess moisture.
- Use your air conditioning unit to keep moisture out during hot and humid days.
- Clean up after leaks and water damage immediately. Drying wet areas right away prevents your walls, floors, and possessions from absorbing moisture.
- Hire professional water restoration services after emergencies like burst pipes, sewage backups, and flooding. This ensures thorough water extraction and drying.
- Never leave damp towels, coats, or shoes in a heap.
- Improve ventilation in your home. Use ceiling fans and open your windows when the weather permits to keep the air flowing.
Remove Black Mold Today and Protect What You Love
Black mold can damage your property and belongings, but it can also pose significant health risks to you and your family. Understanding how it grows and how to prevent it can help you get started in protecting the things and people that matter the most to you.
If you already have microbial contamination in your home, note that removing mold does not simply involve cleaning stains. Especially when porous materials like wood have been affected, professional mold remediation is imperative to eliminate contamination effectively. Otherwise, the mold can continue to ruin your property and belongings – and plague your loved ones with health issues.
Black mold can be dangerous to your health and difficult to remove, but Restoration 1 is here to help. Give us a call anytime to find a service location near you. Our IICRC-certified technicians will assess the damage and perform an efficient black mold damage restoration to make your property safe and healthy again.