No matter how clean your home is, you’re still susceptible to black mould. Otherwise known as strachybotrysatra, this mold only needs humidity to germinate, and in 24 to 48 hours, you’ll find that it has stuck and is spreading fast.
It grows in moist places, and your home has no shortage of these. It can come from leaky pipes, it can come from water that wasn’t dried off completely, and it can happen if there is flooding. The problem with black mold is that it’s a health hazard. It’s associated with about a dozen different chest conditions, and it can be fatal, especially to infants. Pets shouldn’t be allowed close to it too, as the spores are so fine that they will be breathed in and go straight to the lungs.
You need to get rid of it as soon as you see it anywhere in your home, and here is how:
- 1- First, contain it. You should identify the source of moisture and stop it right away. This will stop the mold from spreading. If you have a dehumidifier, use it so that you dry out the humidity in the area. If the black mold is as a result of flooding or a burst pipe, you need to pump the water out and use fans and a dehumidifier to dry up. Black mold spreads through spores in the air, so you need to contain the area and make sure that there is no air flow to other areas of the house. It can move relatively easily to other rooms especially if there is a draft.
- 2- Get a respiratory mask, gloves and eye protection to take care of any spores that might otherwise find their way into your body.
- 3- You can use bleach or a disinfectant. They both work well. There are numerous kinds of paints in the market too that can get rid of black mold quite easily. Whether you decide to use bleach, disinfectant or any of the available paints, apply the affected area completely, and then get your dehumidifier on again to dry out the area.
- 4- Depending on the extent of the mold damage, you can clean and retrieve items that have it, but make sure that they are non-porous, like plastic. If they are porous (books, clothing, carpets etc) the black mold spores will be lodged in the fibres, and if you retrieve them, they risk contaminating other items or surfaces before long.
- 5- As you remove contaminated items from your house, make sure not to walk them through the house, or if you must, find the shortest way to get them outside.
When removing black mold, especially if it’s severe, have all family members out, and make sure that especially kids and pets don’t get in until you’re done. You need to let the area dry out completely, and then make sure that it has enough circulation and no humidity.
If you have had an occurrence of black mold once, it’s likely that you will see it again and again. You can call a professional mold remover, who works with specialized chemicals to kill off the mold for good.