Black Mold Symptoms
Black mold is a very common problem in buildings where water seepage has provided fungus a place to grow and proliferate. There are quite a few different species of fungi that can grow in damp patches on walls. Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria are very common, but Black Mold (Stachybotrys chartarum) is possibly the one that causes the biggest problems to humans and pets. It is very important to know exactly what Black Mold symptoms are so that you can take the necessary step to address the issue.
If your home has a mold problem then it will become apparent to you in a fairly short period. Some Black Mold symptoms are apparent in the structure of the home whereas others make themselves felt in the health of the people inhabiting the building.
When a building has a mold problem it will have a musty smell that is unmistakable. You should stay alert for these smells and should try to locate the source of the problem by tracking the musty odors. The mold will also be visible in most places. It starts off as a pale yellow or green stain on walls and ceilings. If it is permitted to proliferate then the patches will turn dark green or black in color and they will also increase in area.
Since Black Mold is a fungus, it lets off spores in the air that enter the respiratory system of people and pets living in the home. This can lead to a wide range of Black Mold symptoms, some of which can be extremely dangerous for the health. If you or any other person staying in your house suffers from frequent and persistent illnesses listed below then it is time to get the home tested for a mold problem:
- Respiratory distress
These problems are very difficult to deal with, and indeed it is impossible to get a cure from them as long as the fungal problem exists in the home. Many people try to deal with the problem on their own by sniffing out musty areas in their homes or offices and treating any affected areas with household bleach. However, this is not a proper way to deal with the problem because it is only a temporary solution.
Many times you might have serious health issues such as Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Emphysema, Lung Infections, Sinusitis or Fatigue Syndrome for which doctors are unable to offer you a lasting cure. You should then ask your doctor to check you for a reaction to Black Mold.
It would be a far wiser thing to call in professionals to study the different manifestations of the fungus and determine whether they are actually Black Mold symptoms and not anything else. Experts will then be able to offer the right treatment program in order to arrest the problem in its entirety. You will then be able to lead a healthy and happy life without illnesses that never seem to go away.
Steps For Black Mold Removal
Black mold has a distinctive greenish black color when compared to other molds and molds that are green.There might be stains on the ceilings or on the walls. Watch for slight signs of darker colors among the yellow stains. You might also notice a heavy odor of mildew or must in the area. There are several types of black mold that you should know about.
Mycotoxins are harmful spores that are in the air. Stachybotrys can grow in hard to find places such as celling’s and behind walls. Memnoniella is usually found with Stachybotrys. Aspergillus has more than 160 varieties and tends to grow in decomposing matter. Cladosporium and Fusarium grows on natural surfaces, including food, plants and soil.
How to Know Whether Your Home Has This Problem
Keeping the humidity down with a dehumidifier and making sure that high moisture areas (such as the bathroom and kitchen) are well ventilated are some good preventative measures to think about. You can also try putting mold inhibitors in new paint for any infected areas or high moisture areas of the home. Do not put carpeting in high moisture rooms.
Protection is key to staying healthy. Remember to always wear gloves, a respiratory mask, protection for your eyes and clothing to cover the skin when dealing with mold. The first step to treatment is finding the cause. The cause could be something as simple as high moisture in the air, a slight drip from a water pipe that has gone unnoticed or a major flood. Once you find the cause of the moisture in the area get it repaired.
Most contaminated areas are small and can be disinfected with bleach. A mixture of 1 cup bleach to a gallon of water is recommended. You can also add some dish soap to the mixture which will help release any dirt or grease from the area as well. Leave the mixture sit on the infected area for 15 minutes before clean up. Do not scrape or scratch at the mold to remove it as that will only release the spores into the air causing further contamination and possible respiratory problems.
If the problem is in carpet or insulation you will have to remove the contaminated area and replace it. This might be a little more costly, but it should only take a few hours and well worth the effort and money to remove it completely.
Lastly if the contaminated area is larger than a 2 foot square it is considered heavily infested and calling in professional help is highly recommended. This is the most expensive way to go, but the safest for all concerned. They are trained in dealing with black mold removal correctly. You and your family’s health should not be taken lightly.
If you have a black mold problem in your house, office or storage area then you need to take immediate mold remediation steps before the problem gets out of hand. If you allow the fungus to proliferate then you will soon have many health issues to deal with. You can no doubt solve the problem with over the counter mold products if it is very small. However, you need to get professional help if the affected area is larger than 10 square feet.
The duration and cost of the mold remediation process depends on the extent of the problem. You’ll need to call in experts to assess the problem so that the plan of action can be worked out. It is really very difficult for a layman to differentiate between the different fungi that cause this problem and use the right chemical treatment
It is also important to remember that these molds tend to release spores into the atmosphere especially when they are disturbed. A professional mold remediation company will send highly trained people who use the right equipment and who also wear protective gear. If you were to try removing huge patches of mold on your own you might end up seriously ill.
The first process of remediation, once the area has been surveyed, is to kill the fungus with the appropriate biocide. This is a powerful product that has the ability to kill the mold entirely. At the same time it will not harm the environment. The biocide will keep on working long after it has been applied to the affected area.
The works who apply the biocide have to come back the next day in order to complete the mold remediation process. This involves the use of a specific sealant in order to ensure that any mold spores that remain do not get the chance to grow. Most often it is sufficient to cover up the area with paint or whitewash. It is very important for this process to be done thoroughly so that the surrounding areas are also covered properly. The entire area should then be cleaned properly, preferably using a HEPA vacuum cleaner, so that as few traces of the fungus or spores remain as possible.
The entire process will only be effective if the source of water that has caused the problem is not plugged. Leaking water pipes and cracks in walls ought to be plugged so that moisture no longer collects in the walls. Make sure that you discuss this point with the company that you hire in order to provide you with mold remediation services.
It goes without saying that you need to get a very experienced company to deal with this problem. This will ensure that people occupying the building do not have health problems. In addition, the property will not reduce in value because of the mold problem. As you can see, the problem can be sorted out within a day or two as long as you have expert assistance.